MARY: Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Stefan Zweig
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MARY: Queen of Scotland and the Isles

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A sure candidate for best seller lists on two counts, --one, Zweig's name and the association with his Marie Antoinette, two, the subject of this new biography, Mary, Queen of Scots, is unfailingly a character that appeals to the romantic in everyone. Beyond that point, the handling of the material is, frankly, disappointing, from the angle of a popular biography. The facts are carefully and convincingly marshalled, too convincingly, for he destroys so much of Mary's sentiment -- shrouded glamor that she emerges as a dramatic and gallant figure, but a woman that loved neither wisely nor well, and that proved, at the crucial points of her life, to be an opportunist, with little thought for her country, her people, her traditions, but rather for the immediate issue. Human, yes, but disillusioning. And not -- in retrospect --wholly convincing from the psychological viewpoint. Bothwell, too, suffers in the handling, and seems scarcely the man for whom a world was well lost. Elizabeth comes out best in the shuffle, Zweig's brilliant analysis of her character is, in my opinion, the most significant part of the book. Taken all in all, it is as sound a piece of scholarship as Marie Antoinette, but not as interesting a human document, nor as colorful a depicting of the time and place. However, the sales are sure, and the publishers are counting is ""in the bag"" and backing it with heavy advertising appropriation.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1935
ISBN: 1443725161
Publisher: Viking