Skip to main content

The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Lady Margaret Douglas by Alison Weir: A Book Review

The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Lady Margaret Douglas
Author: Alison Weir
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: January 12, 2016
Pages: 576
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir comes the first biography of Margaret Douglas, the beautiful, cunning niece of Henry VIII of England who used her sharp intelligence and covert power to influence the succession after the death of Elizabeth I.

     Royal Tudor blood ran in her veins. Her mother was a queen, her father an earl, and she herself was the granddaughter, niece, cousin, and grandmother of monarchs. Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, was an important figure in Tudor England, yet today, while her contemporaries—Anne Boleyn, Mary, Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I—have achieved celebrity status, she is largely forgotten. 

     Margaret’s life was steeped in intrigue, drama, and tragedy—from her auspicious birth in 1530 to her parents’ bitter divorce, from her ill-fated love affairs to her appointment as lady-in-waiting for four of Henry’s six wives. In an age when women were expected to stay out of the political arena, alluring and tempestuous Margaret helped orchestrate one of the most notorious marriages of the sixteenth century: that of her son Lord Darnley to Mary, Queen of Scots. Margaret defiantly warred with two queens—Mary, and Elizabeth of England—and was instrumental in securing the Stuart ascension to the throne of England for her grandson, James VI.

     The life of Margaret Douglas spans five reigns and provides many missing links between the Tudor and Stuart dynasties. Drawing on decades of research and myriad original sources—including many of Margaret’s surviving letters—Alison Weir brings this captivating character out of the shadows and presents a strong, capable woman who operated effectively and fearlessly at the very highest levels of power.

      My Review: Margaret Douglas, the Countess of Lennox, was the daughter of Queen Margaret Tudor and the Earl of Lennox. She is the granddaughter of Henry VII, the niece of Henry VIII, cousin of Mary I and Elizabeth I. She was also the mother-in-law of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the grandmother of James I. At one point, she was the heiress to the English throne.

     Despite Margaret’s colorful and prestigious history, she is often overlooked by the more famous historical figures in the Tudor family. Indeed, I really did not know anything about her, except that she was the mother of Lord Darnley, the husband of Mary, the Queen of Scots. However, Alison Weir’s biography attempts to bring this forgotten woman to light. This was a surprising read. Not only did she lead a dramatic life, but she was a primary witness for the scandal and drama of the Tudor court.

     As King Henry VIII’s niece, Margaret served as a lady-in-waiting to four of his wives. She ended up incurring her uncle’s wrath twice by having romances with two men related to two of her uncle’s wives, Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard. One angered her uncle so much that he imprisoned her in the Tower. She eventually married the Earl of Lennox. Her son, Lord Darnley, married Mary, Queen of Scots.

     Overall, this biography shows us that Margaret Douglas was an important figure in Tudor history. Her story is full of tragedy, but she has accomplished much. It is through her hard efforts that put James I on the English throne. While the biography can be dry at times and written like a textbook, it tells a story of court intrigue, murder, treachery, and danger that will keep the reader interested. Margaret Douglas’s story needs to be told so that she will no longer be forgotten, but to give her the recognition she deserves.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

Tituba: The Intentional Witch of Salem by Dave Tamanini: A Book Review

Tituba: The Intentional Witch of Salem Author: Dave Tamanini Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy Publisher: David F Tamanini Release Date: 2020 Pages: 317 Source: Publisher/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: If you love historical fiction... come revisit Salem's terror in this provocative new telling of enslaved Tituba, no longer a caricature, but a fully human woman with magical powers.      Come! Let Tituba cast its spell with a unique and tantalizing tale that explores the wild emotions driving accusations of witchcraft in 1692.      A Promise and a Hope      Enslaved Tituba has been faithful to a promise to her dying mama in Africa. She has appeased the masters from Barbados to Boston to Salem and waited for her magic.      A Mother’s Agony      When Tituba’s only son dies trying to escape slavery, her life changes forever. After enduring the crush only a mother can feel, she rages and turns to vengeance.      Witches Tear into Salem      The villagers see wi

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to