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“In the eleventh century a Breton nobleman of a minor sort went over to England. His son became friendly with David, heir to the throne of Scotland, and with him rode north to acquire great possessions. The Breton incomer settled down and prospered. Like an acorn planted in friendly soil he put forth growth, and out of him grew one of the great families of Europe. It was a royal tree, and of his seed came the Kings of Scotland and many lesser people. This is how the family and its story begins.”

Thus Eric Linklater begins the long complex story of the Stuart family, from their early-medieval beginnings to the petering out of the direct line in the Cardinal of York’s celibacy. Greatly gifted, but almost consistently unfortunate, the Royal Stuarts ruled in Scotland from 1371 until 1603 when their heirs and successors moved to the larger throne of England. Often impetuous and sometimes cruel, frequently never in any way be described as dull, and although as a family they demonstrated a superb capacity for royal survival very few of them managed to live into old age. They inherited a throne that was always beset with difficulties. In Scotland the crown was continually threatened by warring factions and in England religious strife caused one to lose his head and another his crown.

The Stuart story is one of conspiracy, internecine struggle, exile, hairbreadth escape, invasion and retreat.

Eric Linklater author, published by MacMillan & Co Ltd 1970, 276pp, h/c, dj, b&w photos/maps/genealogical tables.

Ex library copy with usual marks/markings. Tanning/light soiling to text block with the odd spot to several pages. A reasonably tidy copy overall.

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  • Seller location: Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, NZ

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