Monday, July 19, 2010

Question from Elizabeth M - Biography of Margaret Douglas

Has there ever been a biography of Lady Margaret Douglas? She is such a fascinating character. Her life was one of foiled love affairs, intrigue, and ambition. Are there any rumors of a forthcoming biography of her. There really should be, as she is one of the more colorful characters of the Tudor period.


Orla said...

I know of one book which she features in, in big detail.
Tudor Cousins: Rivals for the Throne by Dulcie M. Ashdown. Ashdown is also planning to write one about her, not sure when it'll come out.

kb said...

Margaret Douglas is one of the most fascinating and frustrating characters of the period.

Fascinating because she led such an interesting life at the center of court politics in three of the Tudor courts - Henry VIII, Mary I and Elizabeth.

Frustrating because her presence in the archives is ghostly. There seems to be a lot of information missing from the archives. I keep wondering if there are a stash of letters from her to her son Darnley lost in the Scottish archives somewhere. Parts of her childhood are just blank. We don't even know what country she was in for a few years.

There is one biography available that I know of:
K.Schutte, A Biography of Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox (1515-1578)
– Niece of Henry VIII and Mother-In-Law of Mary, Queen of Scots (Lewiston, NY, 2002)

It reads very much like a dissertation re-worked for publication. Unfortunately the first 100 pages, 4 chapters, is spent describing events before Margaret's birth.

Five years ago I heard of two biographies in the works. Neither has yet been published.

I haven't read Ashdown's book so can not comment.

It would be great if more was available on her. She figures as a terrific she-wolf villain in my favorite historical fiction series by Dorothy Dunnett, The Lymond Series.