So High a Blood: The Story of Margaret Douglas, the Tudor that Time Forgot
Margaret Douglas was Henry VIII’s niece. At age fifteen, he invited her to his Christmas court. She became a lady in waiting to Queen Katherine and a close companion of Princess Mary. Attractive, intelligent, witty, and popular, Margaret shared their strong Catholicism, but when expedient she practiced Protestantism. After a long courtship, she secretly married without Henry’s permission, an offense considered treasonous and punishable by beheading. Margaret was eventually forgiven and returned to court, where she developed a taste for politics and meddled in the sensitive relations between England and Scotland, where her half-brother, James V, was king. After James’s death, Margaret supported her niece, Mary, Queen of Scots, and promoted a marriage between Mary and her son, Lord Darnley, a situation which Elizabeth I considered a direct threat to her throne.
Ms. Ring, a Canadian who now lives and teaches in Cambridge, England, has written a scholarly and comprehensive biography of Margaret Douglas. She paints a picture of life in the Tudor court with a great deal of interesting detail. This is a must read for any Tudorphile.