Long-forgotten letter by Mary, Queen of Scots showed promise to revive her reputation

In the six days before Mary, Queen of Scots was found dead in her cell at the Tower of London, she wrote one last letter to her mother. The story of the letter —…

Long-forgotten letter by Mary, Queen of Scots showed promise to revive her reputation

In the six days before Mary, Queen of Scots was found dead in her cell at the Tower of London, she wrote one last letter to her mother. The story of the letter — written while she was still alive and completed the day before she died — was circulated just four days after Mary’s execution, in the hope that it would spark a debate about the queen’s truthfulness, something that even Elizabeth I never had to deal with.

New research has found that the last letter was written in 1613 — 12 years after Mary’s visit to New Scotland. She was later executed as a traitor, even though the king believed she could have saved him from death at the hands of the English. The letter to Mary’s mother is just the latest piece of evidence to confirm her claim.

Elizabeth, Queen of England: A Time of Discord Between the Crown and the Red Parallax Scene – Michael Wood, the Times

You are a mess!… The Letters of Elizabeth and Mary are being released by the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, where they will make their debut on 16 September, almost 400 years after they were written.… There are many surprises in these huge volumes… This was the time of tensions, it could well have been that it did what the body could not – destroy the Queen’s reputation. But the textual evidence, coming from parchment, paints an even more complex picture, reducing the scene… to what Elizabeth herself would have seen, and understood, much more clearly than we have.

Read the full story at The Times.

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