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Mary Queen of Scots

Introduction

Mary Queen of Scots (Mary Stuart), 1542–87, only child of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise. Through her grandmother Margaret Tudor, Mary had the strongest claim to the throne of England after the children of Henry VIII. This claim (and her Roman Catholicism) made Mary a threat to Elizabeth I of England, who finally had her executed. However, Mary's son, James VI of Scotland, succeeded Elizabeth to the English throne as James I. Mary's reported beauty and charm and her undoubted courage have made her a particularly romantic figure in history. She is the subject of Schiller's great drama Maria Stuart, of an opera by Donizetti, and of plays by Vittorio Alfieri, A. C. Swinburne, and Maxwell Anderson.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish History: Biographies

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