Annette Laing's The Snipesville Chronicles
The Young Mary Queen of Scots
Fiction , Historical , Teen / March 19, 2018

This is one of three Young Adult novels by Jean Plaidy in Max Parrish’s “The Young” Series. As in her novel Royal Road to Fotheringhay, Plaidy begins with Mary, Queen of Scots at the age of five. Scotland was in danger of being invaded by the English, who wished the young, fatherless Queen to be taken to the court of Henry VIII and eventually married to Prince Edward. However, she was whisked away to the island of Inchmahome and later sailed to her mother’s homeland, France. Instead of an English alliance, she was betrothed to the dauphin—the delicate eldest son of King Henri II and Catherine de Medici. Life at the French court was enchanting, except for the frightening Queen, who took every opportunity in embarrassing the Queen of Scots. There were also her power-hungry Guise uncles, who relentlessly steered her to policies that served their interests. This story, based solely on her younger years, ends with Mary leaving France for Scotland after the premature death of her first husband, King Francois II. One very blatant absence is the character of Diane de Poitiers, who was not mentioned at all in this story. I am assuming this has to do…

Meg Roper
Fiction , Historical , Teen / March 19, 2018

This young adult novel penned in the early 60’s is based on the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas More, one of King Henry VIII’s ministers who fell out of favor during the king’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. It is a simplified version of her full length novel titled St. Thomas’s Eve (republished as The King’s Confidante) but is not, as some listings file it, the same book. Chronicling the political career of Sir Thomas More, this story covers the controversy with religion, including Martin Luther and Henry VIII’s title of Defender of the Faith. It follows More’s family from their happy home at the Barge to their new home in Chelsea. When More becomes the most important man in the country, his family nonetheless stays the same, and as he prepares his self-sabotage due to his beliefs, he finds that the only thing he will miss in the world is his loving family. Mistress More, Thomas’s wife, is the heart of this story. Her personality and verbal quirks keep humor in an otherwise sad story, for all Tudor enthusiasts know what happens to the deeply religious and scholarly Thomas More. For anyone in doubt has only to look at the…