Tudors Versus Stewarts: The Fatal Inheritance of Mary, Queen of Scots

The rivalry between Elizabeth Tudor (later crowned as Elizabeth I) and her first cousin Mary Stewart has been the subject of many biographies. Both descendants of Henry VII, the women each had a legitimate claim to the English throne; as the daughter of James V of Scotland, Mary Stewart could also claim the Scottish throne, which would give her the power to unite Britain and end the centuries-long feud with France.

Although much ink has been spilled on the tense relationship between the two cousins, few have tried to explain how this "perfect storm" of loyalty and rivalry developed; Tudors Versus Stewarts aims to fill the void. Linda Porter (The Myth of "Bloody Mary") puts this infamous feud in context by beginning not with the circumstances of Mary Stewart's ascension or even her birth, but with the defeat of Richard III by Henry Tudor (Henry VII) at the Battle of Bosworth. Porter weaves together the depths of the Tudor-Stewart family rivalries and interconnections with the decade of political maneuvering that placed the would-be queens in such a precarious position.

Far from a case of mere "cousin rivalry" or jealousy, the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth was deeply political, and each woman keenly felt the welfare of nations resting on her shoulders. Tudors Versus Stewarts brings this relationship and its players to life in clear, elegant prose that does justice to one of the most well-known royal intrigues in British history. --Dani Alexis Ryskamp, blogger at The Book Cricket

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