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Scottish history. The granddaughter of King James IV and his wife
Margaret Tudor, Queen Mary’s status as heiress-apparent to Queen
Elizabeth’s throne in England paired with the violence of the
Scottish Reformation set the stage for one of the most dramatic and
poorly understood lives of the 16th century.
reign as queen of Scotland, celebrating her life more than her death
and showing us all why she was truly a woman ahead of her time.
translations, and the lyrics to all four featured period songs
performed in the book.
Holyrood palace filled with music. Dancing Bransle les Lavandieres Queen Mary laughed as she clapped her hands during the four steps to the left. During the dance’s following four steps to the right she put her hands into fists which she moved up and down as if rubbing a shirt against a washboard before turning in place in a circle over her left shoulder. Following the music’s repeat Queen Mary stepped two steps to the left and two steps to the right. A tall and handsome nobleman entered the hall, approaching the circle of dancing couples who now repeated the bransle set. As Mary Seton prepared to step into the circle as the queen’s dancing partner, the young man cut in, “May I?”
Mary Seton nodded and stepped out, allowing the man to take her place, shaking his finger at the queen as he stepped side to side. Following the music, the queen repeated the mimed scolding before stepping back into place to take the four steps to the left accompanied by clapping and the four steps to the right miming the wash board as the gentleman’s partner. Two more repeats of the entire dance followed before the musicians played the final held note signalling all dancers to bow or curtsy. Politely the dancers applauded. Queen Mary turned to her new dancing partner, “Do I know you?”
The man bowed deeply, “No Your Majesty, not exactly.”
“It is a bold thing to cut into a dance like that—particularly to dance with a queen.”
“I am known for my boldness—and my exceptional good looks,” laughed the man proudly.
“Who are you?”
“Henry Stewart, at Your Majesty’s service!” smiled Henry proudly.
“You are Lord Darnley?”
“You seem oddly familiar; did we meet before?”
Henry took the queen’s hand and kissed it, “Once, in Paris. My mother sent me to express our sympathy for the loss of your father-in-law. You invited me to your coronation as queen of France.”
“A lifetime ago it seems.”
“Did you love your husband? He was quite the sickly fellow—not particularly handsome I might add. He seemed …what is the right word here…undeserving of your beauty and grace.”
“And I suppose you feel yourself his better in these things?”
“Would you like me to show you? I am confident I can offer you proper evidence on this matter—in private of course.”
Queen Mary laughed uncomfortably at his boldness, “I suppose you have practice in this matter whose fruits you offer me now?”
“Only you can be the judge of that,” hinted Lord Darnley. As if on cue the musicians started the musical introduction to a galliard. Darnley put his arms around the queen as if for a lavolta section of the dance, “Dance with me!” Caught off guard Queen Mary found herself unable to speak, but nodded her consent. Boldly Henry took her hand, guiding her around the dance floor in the vigorous and very athletic dance filled with leaps, spins, kicks, and courtly flirting that took her breath away. When at last the dance finished, Darnley pulled her close to him, “Marry me!”
“Yes!” replied the queen, still breathless from the dance.
Gently Henry kissed her romantically. Queen Mary returned the kiss, her heart swept away.
is author of over twenty-five books published and self-published
since August, 2012 with editions spanning across ten languages and
counting. A dedicated scholar and biographical historian, Ms.
Rockefeller is passionate about education and improving history
books are as beautiful to read as they are informative.
travelling to historic places, and watching classic motion pictures
and classic television series. Favorites: Star Trek, Doctor Who, and Babylon 5.
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