Reality and fiction

Flodden was a disaster for the Scottish nation. The heir to the throne was a baby in 1513 and the best of the country's leaders perished along with their king. The misery of a long minority and a succession of regents did nothing to help stabilise the country. Queen Margaret married the young Earl of Angus who assumed power until in 1528 King James  escaped his step-father's rule and took power himself at the age of 15. Margaret and Angus produced a daughter, also named Margaret. Dowager Queen Margaret chose to remain with her son when Angus was outlawed and fled to France and England, taking his daughter with him.

In spite of his mother being English, James V leaned toward France, and married two French women. The first, Madeleine, died within months of arriving in Scotland, but the second, Marie de Guise, produced three children; two boys and a girl. Only the girl, Mary, survived childhood. Somewhat ironically, the king's illegitimate children survived and one later caused young Mary a great deal of harm.

Another battle with England in November 1542 resulted in defeat for Scotland at Solway Moss, and on the 14th December king James V died at the age of 30. Once more Scotland was punged into confusion after a battle in which her best men had died, the heir was barely eight days old and the Scottish nobles considered themselves better suited to rule than the Dowager Queen Marie de Guise. Cardinal Beaton seized the Regency, and amassed too much power at a time when the new teachings of Calvin were filtering into Scotland. The burning of heretics did not go down well, and he was murdered in 1546. Henry of England wanted the little Queen married to his son Edward, and rather than persuade the Scots into the marriage, he went about it with a great deal of force, harrying the Borderlands and sacking Edinburgh and Leith in 1544.

It is against this background that I have set my Scottish Queen trilogy. My protagonist is fictional, but he moves among real historical characters. The first volume, Abduction of the Scots Queen, is published and available on Amazon as both paperback and Kindle, as is the second volume, Queen's Courier. The third volume, The Queen's Letters, is nearing completion and will be published before Christmas.


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