In the Shadow of the Throne: The Lady Arbella Stuart

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9780720611274: In the Shadow of the Throne: The Lady Arbella Stuart
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Lady Arbella Stuart, once a favoured heir to the throne of Elizabeth I, has become a forgotten Princess. This book reveals startling evidence to explain her fall into obscurity and seeks to re-establish her once again as one of the brightest stars of the House of Stuart. Directly descended from Henry VII through his eldest daughter Margaret Tudor, she was first cousin to James I, niece to Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley and daughter of Darnley's younger brother Charles Stuart and Elizabeth Cavendish, daughter of Bess of Hardwick. In the Shadow of the Throne will change our understanding of Arbella Stuart by utilizing new medical research into the hereditary disease of porphryia. This new evidence not only confirms the presence of the illness in George III and his descendents, but also makes clear that symptoms were present in his ancestors back to the Tudors. James I, his eldest son Prince Henry, Mary Queen of Scots, Charles I's youngest daughter Minette and Arbella herself are now believed to have been afflicted; a close study of their health from available records reveal significant physical suffering as well as bouts of mental derangement, even madness. James I, the dominating influence on the adult life of Arbella, treated her alternately with great kindness and severe cruelty which is now known to have coincided with his attacks of the illness. With the obvious exception of Mary, it can now be argued that all these members died from porphryia.

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Lady Arabella Stuart (1575-1615) should have led a life of aristocratic privilege: this poignant biography reveals how she was victimized by the King and ended her days in the Tower.

Review:

"In the Shadow of the Throne is a fascinating and revealing study of Arbella and the House of Stuart - united by blood, by a common illness and ultimately in death."

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