Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots by Sarah-Beth Watkins

Margaret TudorMargaret Tudor was the oldest sister of Henry VIII and the wife of James IV of Scotland.  For someone who is more than a bit fascinated by the Tudors, I realised on seeing this book up for review, I knew nothing about her – something I immediately felt the need to rectify.

What I found was a woman who seemed to be passionate, determined, and unable to not make the wrong choices (so when her husband died, his will said that she would be regent for their baby son as long as she didn’t remarry – which is what she went and did pretty much straight away, spending the next decade then fighting for her right to rule and to see her son).

It all sounds fascinating, and it was.  It was also over too quickly.  At 168 pages, this is a short book.  It presents a woman that I wanted to know more about but feel like I have just scratched the surface of.  Key events were over before they had begun and the world in which Margaret lived, the life she was expected to live, were covered so briefly that unless you already had an understanding of it you may well have been left in the dark.

As a taster, then, this was a good start.  For someone used to read more detailed historical works, this was an easy read.  It was well written in a conversational style but felt like a long essay rather than a fully formed book.  I, for one, wanted more.  So, not bad, but – for me – not great either.

liked-it-a-littleAbout the book…

Margaret Tudor was Henry VIII’s older sister and became the Queen of Scotland after her marriage to James IV in 1503. Her life was troubled and fraught with tension. She was continually caught between her country of birth and the country she ruled. After James IV’s death, she made the disastrous decision to marry the Earl of Angus, threatening her regency and forcing the Scottish council to send for the Duke of Albany to rule in her stead. Over the years Margaret’s allegiance swung between England and Scotland making her brother Henry VIII both her ally and her enemy at times. Although Margaret wished for peace between the two countries, these were tumultuous years and she didn’t always make the wisest choices. Yet all she did, she did for her son James V and her absolute conviction he would rule Scotland as its rightful king.

Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Chronos
Number of pages: 168
Publication date: 8th December, 2017


Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.


  1. I like short biographies like this if I really don’t know anything about the person. The drawback is that you don’t learn a ton, and what you do learn is covered so briefly that you aren’t really all that informed on it. Sounds like an interesting lady, though! Maybe a beefier biography is in order.


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