Rival Queens – The Betrayal of Mary Queen of Scots

Kate Williams


— Sold Out —

Sat 22nd June at 7:00pm
Hosted by Jules Button from Woodbridge Emporium
Venue: Longshed, Deben Waterfront, Woodbridge

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Bestselling author and broadcaster Kate Williams’ Rival Queens offers an electrifying new perspective on Elizabeth and Mary, and the most important relationship of their lives – that which they had with one another. Rival Queens explores the lives of these two incredible women of power in a man’s world laying bear both their friendship and the struggle that would end in Mary’s betrayal.

Mary and Elizabeth: cousins, rivals, queens. They allied and fought and plotted – but could never escape their bond… A story which inspired the film ‘Mary Queen of Scots’.

At the end of the Tudor era, two queens ruled one island. But sixteenth-century Europe was a man’s world and powerful voices believed that no woman could govern. All around Mary and Elizabeth were sycophants, spies and detractors who wanted their dominion, their favour and their bodies.

Elizabeth and Mary shared the struggle to be both woman and queen. But the forces rising against the two regnants, and the conflicts of love and dynasty, drove them apart. For Mary, Elizabeth was a fellow queen with whom she dreamed of a lasting friendship. For Elizabeth, Mary was a threat. It was a schism that would end in secret assassination plots, devastating betrayal and, eventually, a terrible final act.

Mary is often seen as a defeated or tragic sovereign, but Rival Queens reveals instead how she attempted to reinvent queen ship and the monarchy – in one of the hardest fights in royal history.

Going back to the original letters and archives, Kate Williams has created an electrifying new perspective on both Mary and on Elizabeth and, ultimately, on the great sacrifices a woman must make to be a queen.

Kate Williams is an author social historian and broadcaster. She fell in love with history whilst studying for her BA at the University of Oxford. She has an MA from Queen Mary, University of London and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. She is currently Professor of Public History at the University of Reading and is also lecturer and TV consultant, appearing regularly on the BBC and Channel 4. Kate is the author of four historical biographies of Emma Hamilton, Queen Victoria, Elizabeth II and Empress Josephine as well as a series of novels.

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