Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A brief expose of the worst book ever written about Marie Stuart and the Four Maries, IMHO.

Remember the expression, For crying out loud?  It was something people said in the 1940s when they saw or heard something outrageous. Alas, it is 2015, and I am just short of SCREAMING out loud. I have just read the worst novel ever written about the Queen of Scots. But that 's just my opinion.  Yesterday I posted a reviewed in which I admitted  I had only read the first 35 pages because I could not deal with the inaccuracies. I gave the book three stars because the writing was decent, and the editing was quite good. Tonight I went back and read the remainder in case I had been too hasty in dissing it. Big Mistake

 I should have removed it from my Kindle library and read something more intellectually challenging, like the speeches of Michelle Bachman.  Mayhap I should have finished the book last night and given it an honest one star. Because I, too, am a novelist and sympathetic to the challenges we face, I do not give one-star reviews.  Maybe I'm jealous because the author outsells me.

The writing in the grossly disappointing book went from inaccurate to downright mendacious. It is not quite a print version of Reign, but I find it equally offensive.The producers of Reign did not pretend to sweat issues of historical accuracy. Other reviewers (6) of the book claim the writer accurately researched the topic. That is really scary. Mayhap she did. Do libraries still shelve World Book?

Alas, it is 12:18 AM, PST, too late (or early) to scream. I think I'll have another glass of Apothic White and calm down. I've become an intellectual snob in my old age. The historical distortions in the novel at issue are so much worse than anything P.G  has written;  I am taking back every mean thing I've ever said about The Other Boleyn Girl. I'd try sleeping, but I'd have nightmares.

The amazing thing is, according to Amazon, this book outsells my novel The First Marie and the Queen of Scots, which may have its editing glitches, but is a well-researched historical novel covering the same territory. So who am I to head-butt someone who is successful?
But, Hey! Did you know the kings and queens of England are all buried in a vault at a place called Kingston Abbey?  So much for Westminster Abbey's Henry VII Chapel, Windsor Castle chapel where Henry VIII and Jane Seymour are interred,  and a couple of interesting car parks here and there., to say nothing of the Royal Masoleum at Frogmire  where Victoria rests. And, silly me. I thought Elizabeth Tudor died in 1603. Shows what I know. If my protagonist Marie Flemyng from the First Marie had shiny black hair, why did the poets of the Pleiades called her the most beautiful blond woman in Christendom?  And I had no idea 'burly'borderer Bothwell was having supper with the Queen of Scots and David Rizzio on the night of Rizzio's murder. I guess I am looking at a different guest list.  Time for the wine. I feel a scream building.
I choose not to name the title or the author of the book which triggered the emergence of my dark side. You will recognize it if you check the Look Inside feature before you hit the Buy Now button. It is the story which begins with Mary Seton's night time vigil at Fotheringhay, at a time when she was well ensconced at Saint Pierre les Dames du Rheims. It ends even worse, with author's notes informing us where the bodies of the Royal are buried.  I tried to Google Kingston Abbey, and damned if I could find it. I must be living in a not quite parallel universe.  Sour grapes, you say? What the hell.  As long as the wine isnae corked, I'll drink it.


  1. ROFL... A fine rant! I'll believe you, because I've witnessed similar blatant research (?) errors within 17th-18th century novels and the infamous Regency era. ;)

    1. The book had six reviews on Amazon and two of them were very critical of the writing, not the research. She says she grew up in a library. Obviously she never made it to the history stacks. .

  2. Ha! A fine old rant Linda, what a good idea to have a rant and then not disclose the name of the book. I should have done that recently

    1. I figure the woman or her agent can find me if they look. I posted a review on Amazon that was appropriate for the Amazon audience. She has not published anything is the past two years. I take that as a sign from the Gods.

  3. He he... It's like when I read that rather well-written but horribly inaccurate book featuring Vikings, Irish princesses, potatoes, and a winter wedding ast which salads were served - in teh 10th century...We live in the same universe. Have never heard of Kingston Abbey. I do think a book so inaccurate deserves a review saying it is just that - inaccurate.

  4. I posted a review on Amazon that was appropriate for the Amazon audience. She has not published anything is the past two years.

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