Well .. . .Not really found

The Lost Tudor Princess: A Life of Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox by Weir Alison (2015-11-24) Hardcover - Alison Weir

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.

Ah the Tudors – a Showtime series made you hot all over again. Not that you ever lost the hotness, you understand.

And to be fair to Weir, she was writing about the Tudors long before Showtime got its idea, so she wins.

There are problems with books like this one. There are reasons why full length studies of Margaret Douglas (or Lennox) and Elizabeth of York are not often done. There really isn’t quite much information in terms the ladies themselves. This is more of a sign of the ladies’ times than anything else. Yet, it is true that every so often and historian finds something new about such a personage or presents a new theory that will get people to look at said women differently.

That really isn’t the case here.

This is not to say that Weir’s biography is a bad book; it isn’t. In some places, while not shedding new light on events, Weir moves them into the spotlight and presents the details in one place, something that is not usually done. Weir’s book, however, does fail into the pitfall that most other books about “lost” people fall into.

It’s less about the person and more events that surround that person.

At times, Margaret disappears for pages. This isn’t so surprise –after all she was Mary Queen of Scots’ mother-in-law, her mother was the queen of Scotland, her brother a king, her cousin a queen, and she was a woman living in a man’s world. It is too Weir’s credit that there is discussion and dissection of Margaret’s poetry as well as her early “love affairs”. There is a wonderful section about the symbolism of the Lennox jewel.

Yet, at times, the book is less about Margaret and more about the power politics that she lived with and in. Therefore, if you are a long time reader of Tudor biographies and histories, or even a long time reader of Weir (or Fraser) much of this book is, quite frankly, old hat. Furthermore, the reader comes away still with a vague idea of Margaret. It’s true that this image is better drawn then the power hungry woman that is often seen in connection Mary, Queen of Scots – an image that Weir never endorsed - , yet the Lost Tudor Princess is hardly found and is still less well known than those who shared the stage.

This isn’t Weir’s fault, but it is still the case. If you come to this book for a better look at Margaret Lennox, then you will be disappointed in some ways. If you come to this book because you are trying to complete your Weir reading list or because you enjoy Weir’s writing, you will not be disappointed – Weir’s writing is engaging as always -if one sided in some of her depictions.