THE WHITE QUEEN by Frederic Fallon


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The emotional and political entanglements of Mary Queen o' Scots, while she is Queen o' and before the English confinement, offer a rich basis for this ripe, exotic, faintly pulpy drama. The author has chosen to portray Mary as Amazonian, langorous, given to mooning at windows and on strands. She may interrupt strategy sessions with remarks like: ""The cragberries are in bloom again."" However Mary and her men generate a kind of smoldering heat although Darnley, her husband and nominally King, is charming and weak, with homosexual inclinations. Mary at first adores him, but reluctantly succumbs to a guilt-ridden contempt. Bothwell, her lover, both adores and hates her, while engineering his position for a time, one step ahead of Mary's half-brother James, whose plotting betrays her again and again. The author admittedly has taken liberty with some historical facts, but this does not intrude upon the calamitous penultimate events -- the murder of Mary's suspected papal spy, Riccio; a wedding masque just before the assassination of Darnley; and the dispatching of that unfortunate to be strangled in the snow. Overcharged but the author's impressionistic intensity sets off a few sparks.

Pub Date: June 2nd, 1972
Publisher: Doubleday