- London, Blissetts (distributed by Maggs Brothers Ltd), 2019 234x156mm. x, 401 pp. 7 black and white illustrations. 300 copies. Hardcover.
Courtship, Slander, and Treason presents two independent but complementary studies of episodes in the career of Mary Queen of Scots after her flight to England in 1568: her ‘forbidden match’ with the ranking English peer Thomas Howard, fourth Duke of Norfolk, in 1568-72, and her own trial, execution, and funeral in 1586-87. Not primarily intended as a retelling or latter-day reinterpretation of the fatal events – Norfolk’s execution in 1572 extinguishing the last dukedom of Queen Eliza- beth’s reign, and Mary’s the stuff of romance, remonstrance, and furious debate over more than four centuries – these essays are essentially historiographical, for the first time closely examining a range of contemporary printed and manuscript material. Some twenty-five texts are discussed in the first study; full bibliographical and contextual descriptions of the sixteen most significant are provided, incorporating corrections of traditional errors of attribution and dating, some of which have seriously distorted Marian scholarship. For the second study, more than sixty contemporary manuscript accounts of the events of 1586–87 were examined and analysed, with the aim of establishing proper family relationships amongst them and showing how later scholars have used these sources. Four textual appendices add full transcriptions of hitherto unpublished manuscript material, which may prove useful, or even essential to future Marian scholarship.