Mary, Queen of Scots – A Study in Failure

Mary, as a Queen of Scots, portrayed as a study in failure in Jenny Wormald’s book, was viewed very differently in France.

Mary, Queen of Scots, A Study in Failure

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, has long been portrayed as one of history’s romantically tragic figures. Devious, naive, beautiful and sexually voracious, often highly principled, she secured the Scottish throne and bolstered the position of the Catholic Church in Scotland.

To the court in which she grew up, she charmed everyone as the beautiful queen-dauphine. Arriving as she did in romantic circumstance, an escapee from her Scottish home chased out by the enemy English, she appealed to French chivalry. They did not see her as the failed Mary, Queen of Scots, but Marie the queen dauphine.

She grew up with the royal children. Soon French became her first language. François her frail, little betrothed adored her. Mary treated him kindly which made her a favourite of her future mother-in-law.

The powerful Guise family, her French family, saw her as their power card, and treated the queen-dauphine as a precious jewel. Far from a study in failure, she represented the pinnacle of success. She did not know the Scots or Scotland and did not expect to rule there in person. If she were to return to Scotland, she was almost bound to be a failure.

From Marie Reine de France to Mary, Queen of Scots

When her father-in-law died unexpectedly jousting in 1559 she and François came young to the French throne. Within a year, he died and she became a widow. Unwilling to remain in France, she returned to her own kingdom. As a Catholic Frenchwoman from a luxurious and cultivated court, the dour, Calvinist Scots and she clashed from the outset. For the Scots, Mary proved a failure as a queen.

Soiled and stubborn, she saw no reason to change her ways. Jenny Wormald’s Mary, Queen of Scots is a study in failure. With this background, how could she be anything else?

Who Was Mary Queen of Scots?

When we study Mary, Queen of Scots from a 20th century point of view, it is easy for us to call her a failure. But consider her life from that of a 16th century royal woman.

Her French family brought her as a French queen. While she lived in France, her birth country changed religion while her adopted country fought it bitterly.

Introducing Mary Queen of Scots: Part One—Her Early Life

Miss Price, in her easy to follow YOU TUBE VIDEO, about Queen Mary’s early life presents the challenges faced by the young Mary. Her mother sent her from chaotic Scotland to escape from England’s ‘rough wooing.’ When she returned to Scotland a widow, her life is no easier.

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