The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
I have long been a fan of Gregory's works since devouring The Other Boleyn Girl several years ago. This book shifts slightly later than her other titles, this time focusing on Mary, Queen of Scots and her early imprisonment ("guest", in the parlance of the time) at the hands of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth.
This story is told in three voices: Mary herself, Bess of Harwick and her husband George Talbot, who have the charge of taking care of "The Other Queen", and seeing that she is comfortable and well treated as plots, treason, armies assembling and marriages proposals flow around Mary, who by all accounts was stunning, charming, beguiling and yes, ambitious.
This book focuses on her early imprisonment and on the relationships Mary has with those around her, rather than on her unfortunate demise 16 years later at the executioner's axe.
As with all Gregory's books, I had to do oodles of research after I finished the last page to see what history truly tells us, and what Gregory took license with. I absolutely love this writing style, the stories she tells, and am fascinated by this period of British history.
Another winning title by Gregory - highly recommended!