Donald Smith’s third historical novel readdresses the conventional, biased readings of the enigmatic Mary Queen of Scots as either: a deceitful adultress or a pious martyr.
The chronicler of the story is the personable character James Maitland, son of the Secretary of Scotland and the principal lady in waiting to Mary Queen of Scots.
In his quest to unveil the truth he collects the different stories, letters and the testimonies of Queen Mary and her four Marys; her ladies-in-waiting.
Smith paints a sympathetic and credible portrait of a woman who still captures our imagination over 400 years after her death.
Ballad of the Five Marys, by Donald Smith, published by Luath Press, £12.99.