July 12, 2024

The Headless Queen: What Mary Stuart Wrote in Her Most Secret Letter

The Headless Queen: What Mary Stuart Wrote in Her Most Secret Letter

The newly decrypted messages are mainly addressed to Michel de Castelnau-Movesiere, the French ambassador to England. In the letters, Maria is concerned about her health and tries to persuade the ambassador to make requests to Elizabeth on her behalf. It also expresses its suspicion that the negotiations for her release were carried out with ulterior motives.

The messages are largely diplomatic in nature. Lasry says they won’t reveal much about Maria’s personal feelings. This insight into diplomacy is even more exciting for historians, says Susan Doran, a historian at the University of Oxford who works on the Mary Stuart project but was not involved in the new study. Much of the content of the letters concerned matters of diplomacy broader than their attempt to regain the throne of Scotland or claim the throne of England.

She negotiates with the Spaniards, of course with the French, as these letters show, with Scotland and Elizabeth. This makes her appear to us more as a political being, rather than just a captive queen,” Doran says. »Maria is much more than a conspirator.

Experts will now have to analyze the letters and place them in the context of Maria’s life and the course it took, Lasry says. The material on this topic is about 50,000 words – and it’s basically a whole new book penned by Mary Stewart: “We’ve only scratched the surface.”