Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Lord Darnley


Not only do biographies of Mary and Elizabeth abound, but both have been the subjects of novels, plays, operas, and films.  Great actresses have played either Elizabeth or Mary on stage or in film, including Helen Hayes, Bette Davis, Glenda Jackson, Vanessa Redgrave, and Judi Dench.

The following list of sources used in this article is but a fraction of those that exist.  They cover the essentials of the story of the murders, and provide the necessary details for the understanding of the politics and interactions of the time.

In general, most of the novels I read that involve Mary Queen of Scots are not very good, although a few have intriguing plots that reflect a good understanding of the history involved.  The most notable plays have become classics, and include Schiller's Maria Stuart and Maxwell Anderson's Mary Queen of Scots.  There are a number of operas, the most famous being that based on Schiller's play.

Principle Histories and Biographies:

Budlansky, Stephen.  2005.  Her Majesty's Spymaster.  Viking

Dunn, Jane.  2003.  Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens.  Vintage

Fraser, Antonia.  1969.  Mary Queen of Scots. Delta

Guy, John.  2004.  Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart.  Houghton Mifflin

Marshall, Rosalind K.  1986.  Queen of Scots.  Her Majesty's Stationery Office

Weir, Allison.  2003.  Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley.  Ballantine

Wormald, Jenny.  1988.  Mary, Queen of Scots:  Politics, Passion and a Kingdom Lost.

Taurus Park


Ashley, Mike.  1999.  Royal Whodunnits:  Tales of Right Royal Murder and Mystery.

Carroll & Graf

Finney, Patricia.  1992.  Firedrake's Eye.  St. Martin's Press

Gibbs, Tony.  1992.  Shadow Queen.  Mysterious Press

Lasky, Kathryn.  nd.  Mary, Queen of Scots:  Queen Without a Country. Scholastic



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