Arbella : England'S Lost Queen
Arbella : England'S Lost Queen

Arbella : England'S Lost Queen

  • Binding: Paperback
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Taking as its background what is arguably everyone's favourite period of history, Sarah Gristwood's historical biography focuses on a hitherto forgotten figure: Arbella Stuart, the niece of Mary Queen of Scots and first cousin to James VI of Scotland. Orphaned as a baby, brought up by her powerful and ambitious grandmother, the four times married Bess of Hardwick, introduced at court as a young girl where she was acknowledged as her heir by Elizabeth I, Arbella's right to the English throne was equalled only by James. Kept under close supervision by her grandmother, first at Chatsworth, and later at Hardwick Hall, but still surrounded by plots - most of them Roman Catholic in origin - she became an important pawn in the struggle for succession, particularly during the long, tense period when Elizabeth I lay dying. But the best was yet to come. At thirty-five and upon Jame's succession, Arbella was invited back to court, and fell in love with her cousin, William Seymour, a man twelve years her junior. Notwithstanding the fact that their union was forbidden, and that relationships that did not carry with the the Royal seal of approval was considered treasonous, they married secretly and were immediatly imprisoned. Underterred, Arbella set about organising their escape. Dressed up in men's clothing, she set out for Dover, arranging to meet her husband en route. He did not make their rendez-vous, and she was later intercepted off the coast of Calais, and escorted back to the Tower, where she died some years later, alone and, most probably from starvation.

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