Author Topic: Books/TV/Films about the Stuarts  (Read 91236 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline AGRBear

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6611
  • The road to truth is the best one to travel.
    • View Profile
    • Romanov's  Russia
Books/TV/Films about the Stuarts
« on: January 22, 2005, 03:22:15 PM »
Many of us go to Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and see a list of books about Scotland.  But which ones are the best to buy for a limited budget?

Perhaps some of us could suggest books to read about the subject of the Kings and Queens of Scotland.

My books are rather old so I'm not up to date with the new generation of books, so, this will help me, too.

AGRBear
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Offline Elisabeth

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2131
    • View Profile
Re: Books on Kings and Queens of Scotland
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2005, 03:39:02 PM »
I don't know about recent books on kings and queens of Scotland, Bear, but I saw a history of the Douglas family on remainder at Barnes & Noble's the other day. It looked pretty interesting.
... I love my poor earth
because I have seen no other

-- Osip Mandelshtam

Offline Helen_Azar

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7472
  • Coming up Fall 2015: Tatiana's diaries and letters
    • View Profile
    • War-time diaries of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov
Re: Books on Kings and Queens of Scotland
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2005, 04:48:06 PM »
Although it is also kind of old, I like the one by Jean Plaidy, "The Story of Mary, Queen of Scots: Royal Road to Fotheringhay".  You can get a copy on Amazon fairly cheap.

Offline KatieAnn

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 339
    • View Profile
Re: Books on Kings and Queens of Scotland
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2005, 03:02:53 AM »
I'd highly recommend "Mary Queen of Scots" by Antonia Fraser.  I read this years ago, and still dip into it occasionally.  She writes beautifully and really seems to bring Mary alive.  It can be purchased through Amazon.com for $13.57 (brand new), but I see they have used copies available from as little as 60cents.  Don't know what the postage will be - but the book's definitely worth it.
:)
Kathleen

Offline Martyn

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7022
  • Martyn's Chips
    • View Profile
Re: Books on Kings and Queens of Scotland
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2005, 03:53:10 PM »
Quote
I'd highly recommend "Mary Queen of Scots" by Antonia Fraser.  I read this years ago, and still dip into it occasionally.  She writes beautifully and really seems to bring Mary alive.  It can be purchased through Amazon.com for $13.57 (brand new), but I see they have used copies available from as little as 60cents.  Don't know what the postage will be - but the book's definitely worth it.
 :)


Yes I have to agree with Katieann about that.  Fraser's book really is seminal and hard to improve upon. I have had my copy for years and reread it every so often.  Very scholarly but certainly not dry.

Helen, Jean Plaidy is a historical novel writer, is she not?  I remember reading her books when I was a teenager and enjoying them immensely.  How accurate historically do you think thay are?  Do you think that she may put her own slant on history in order to render the books more romantic or dramatic - no disrespect but I think that her books were aimed at a female audience when they were published.......?
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Helen_Azar

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7472
  • Coming up Fall 2015: Tatiana's diaries and letters
    • View Profile
    • War-time diaries of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov
Re: Books on Kings and Queens of Scotland
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2005, 06:25:29 PM »
Quote

Helen, Jean Plaidy is a historical novel writer, is she not?  I remember reading her books when I was a teenager and enjoying them immensely.  How accurate historically do you think thay are?  Do you think that she may put her own slant on history in order to render the books more romantic or dramatic - no disrespect but I think that her books were aimed at a female audience when they were published.......?



Yes, Jean Plaidy is a historical novel writer, from what I have seen so far she is pretty accurate and well researched (her books don't read like romance novels, although the covers sure look like it often!).

The book that I mentioned though - it's not a novel, it is actually a non-fiction biography of Mary QOS...

Offline Martyn

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7022
  • Martyn's Chips
    • View Profile
Re: Books on Kings and Queens of Scotland
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2005, 03:53:21 PM »
Really Helen, how interesting......

Your point about the appearance of Jean Plaidy's novels is an apposite one.  At the risk of dating myself horribly, I well remember her books in the shops in the 1970's and the covers were always a reproduction of an image of the subject of the book; this served to render the book a slightly trashy look......

I do recall reading several of her books...'Flaunting, Extravagant Queen' - Marie Antoinette and another that dealt with the uneasy relationship between William of Orange, his wife Mary and her sister Anne after the accessions of the joint monarchs in 1688.......can't recall the title....Oh yes - 'The Road to Compiègne', another that she wrote about Marie Antoinette......

Do you rate her work then Helen?
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Helen_Azar

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7472
  • Coming up Fall 2015: Tatiana's diaries and letters
    • View Profile
    • War-time diaries of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov
Re: Books on Kings and Queens of Scotland
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2005, 07:28:31 PM »
Quote
Really Helen, how interesting......

Your point about the appearance of Jean Plaidy's novels is an apposite one.  At the risk of dating myself horribly, I well remember her books in the shops in the 1970's and the covers were always a reproduction of an image of the subject of the book; this served to render the book a slightly trashy look......

I do recall reading several of her books...'Flaunting, Extravagant Queen' - Marie Antoinette and another that dealt with the uneasy relationship between William of Orange, his wife Mary and her sister Anne after the accessions of the joint monarchs in 1688.......can't recall the title....Oh yes - 'The Road to Compiègne', another that she wrote about Marie Antoinette......

Do you rate her work then Helen?


Martyn,

I didn't read the books you mentioned, just the ones about Queen Victoria that I picked up completely by accident at a used book store about five or six years ago. I didn't know anything about Jean Plaidy then, never even heard of her, but I kind of wanted to read about QV and figured it may be good to read something in a form of a novel. It was the one called 'Prisoner at Kensington Palace" or something like that. This one didn't have a trashy cover, it had a drawing of QV as young girl, and was about QV's childhood. At the time I didn't know much about QV either, and I read it and liked it, but I didn't know how accurate it was. Then I took out several non-fiction biographies about QV, and this is when I realized how accurately Plaidy seemed to have portrayed V's life. Then I read the rest of the QV series, and they all seemed pretty accurate and not overdramatized at all. Like I said, I don't know about her other series, like Marie Antoinette, and I have seen the covers of some other ones so I know what you mean. But the books I actually read were not trashy at all, and seemed very accurate if you go according to the biographies, as I mentioned. Then I later came across the "Mary Queen of Scots" non-fiction (I think it may be the only non-novel Plaidy wrote and I thought it was pretty good. Perhaps some of her other books are trashy, I don't know because I haven't read them all, but the ones I read were not at all.

Just goes to show we shouldn't judge the book by its cover  ;).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by helenazar »

Offline Martyn

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7022
  • Martyn's Chips
    • View Profile
Re: Books on Kings and Queens of Scotland
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2005, 04:13:52 AM »
Oh I agree entirely - I have read some trash in my time that had eminently repsectable covers......LOL !

It was most strange to see Jean Plaidy's name come up, almost like a blast from the past.  I used to feel a bit guilty as a teenager, reading her books, as they were not perceived as serious works and very much women's reading (according to my father's draconian perspective anyway....) I had certainly never considered her to be anything other than a historical fiction writer......So thank you Helen for giving me a different perspective on Jean Plaidy.
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Helen_Azar

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7472
  • Coming up Fall 2015: Tatiana's diaries and letters
    • View Profile
    • War-time diaries of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov
Re: Books on Kings and Queens of Scotland
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2005, 07:16:53 AM »
Quote
 I used to feel a bit guilty as a teenager, reading her books, as they were not perceived as serious works and very much women's reading (according to my father's draconian perspective anyway....)


;D I wonder if your father ever read any of her books so that he could actually be the judge of that... I bet he just looked at the pictures!  ;)

But seriously, I learned a lot from her books and basically they were what made me get interested in Queen Victoria in the first place and start reading her biographies. And now I am very well versed in that subject!. So I don't know if you can get any more serious  :).

Offline tea_rose

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Books on Kings and Queens of Scotland
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2005, 10:01:24 AM »
  I can enter into the Jean Plaidy discussion!  I read many of her books from the library when I was very young. They had brightly colored covers with those pictures you describe.  Recently, I have collected a great many from E-bay and other sites. Some I had read long ago and some I had never read (such as the Marie Antoinette series which weren't published in the U.S. back then).  I still like them very much and endorse them for anyone who wants a generally accurate and compelling fictionalization of royalty. The Mary Queen of Scots books (there are two novels, I believe) are some of the best that she wrote.

 Several of the books have been republished in the U.S. (including "Royal Road to Fotheringay BTW)  They just put out a single volume of the Katherine of Aragon trilogy which I had never read and just received!

You can judge their immense popularity in America by E-bay. They always have bids!  If you live in Great Britain, they seem to be more readily available in used condition and more easily obtained at very cheap prices (from the E-bay auctions I have seen). Unfortunately, the shipping bars me from those auctions-my budget can't take it!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by tea_rose »

Offline Martyn

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7022
  • Martyn's Chips
    • View Profile
Re: Books on Kings and Queens of Scotland
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2005, 08:04:42 AM »
Helen and tea_rose, thank you very much for that information about Jean Plaidy; might just see if I still have some of her books kicking around somewhere ( I have books all over the house and garage...!)  Must admit that I did enjoy the ones that I read at the time.....
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Kimberly

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 3142
  • Loyaulte me lie
    • View Profile
Re: Books on Kings and Queens of Scotland
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2005, 04:25:00 PM »
Just spotted this thread. When i was a lot younger I used to spend my pocket money on Jean Plaidy books. Have you read the Catherine de Medici trilogy.... super. A bit off topic now but how about Anya Seton's "Katherine", made me fall in love with John of Gaunt.
Member of the Richard III Society

Offline Prince_Lieven

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6571
  • To Be Useful In All That I Do
    • View Profile
    • Edward III's Descendants
Books/TV/Films about the Stuarts
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2005, 10:21:30 AM »
Let's discuss films and TV programmes about the Stuarts too!

Starting with books, here are some I've read, with my opinion on them:

Ungrateful Daughters: The Stuart Princesses who stole their father's crown: This is a book about Mary II, Anne and the Glorious Revolution by Maureen Waller. It's an OK book. However, Waller's habit of not even modernising the language and spelling the the letters is very irritating, and makes them hard to read. Some good character points are brought up, but a bit too much time is spent on James II, IMO.

The Stuart Princesses, by Alison Plowden. This details the lives of the Winter Queen, Mary, Princess Royal, Princess Elizabeth, Princess Minette, Mary II and Queen Anne. It is a wonderful book, I think - easy to read and superbly detailed.

Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles, by Margaret George. This is an historical novel. Though not as good as the Henry VIII one by the same author, it is well worth a read, though occassionally too graphic, in fact needlessly so, IMO.

Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens, by Jane Dunn. I'm sure some people will disagree with me on this, but I found this book dull, directionless and hard to read.

Charles I's Children. I can't remember who wrote it, but it was a good little book.

That's my tuppence about books. I wonder, if anyone has read the following, could they please tell me what they thought of them?

Charles II, by Antonia Fraser.
William and Mary, by John van der Kiste.
Henrietta Maria, Charles I's Indomitable Queen, by Alison Plowden.

As for TV programmes . . .
Charles II: the Power and the Passion. A BBC drama fairly recently, I LOVE this. I saw it on TV and bought it on DVD as soon as I could. Wonderful costumes, wonderful actors, wonderful scenes. I highly reccommend it.

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot. 2004 drama. This centred around two episodes - one about Mary, Queen of Scots, and the other about her son James and the Gunpowder Plot. It was . . . Ok, IMO. Clemence Posey, who played Mary, was good. But she was a blond! At least they had Mary speak with a French accent, which was good. Robert Carlyle was OK as James, but seemed a little too . . .  physchotic, which was odd.

Please post thoughts and opinions!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2009, 01:39:03 PM by Prince_Lieven »
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Kimberly

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 3142
  • Loyaulte me lie
    • View Profile
Re: Books/TV/Films about the Stuarts
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2005, 11:13:14 AM »
1) The Jane Dunn book graces my bookshelf and I have picked it up several times...to dust it, it is sooo dull.
2) Mary Q of S and the Isles, I really enjoyed ( she has written a good book about Cleopatra as well ;) ;))
3) IMO the seminal biog on Mary is by Antonia Fraser excellent.
4) Another good, fictional novel is one called the Queen Honeypot or The Queen and the Honeypot- cannot remember the author but good.
5) I liked Gunpowder, Treason and Plot and Damian didn't fall asleep in front of it like he usually does.
Member of the Richard III Society