Mary Stuart Queen of Scots, Queen of France and a claimant to the throne of England, was condemned for treason and executed at the age of forty-four. A potential threat to the stability of the English Crown, she was held captive for twenty years by her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England. From the moment of her birth until her execution, her life was spent embroiled in the power struggles that shook the foundations of Renaissance Europe.
It has taken the free spirit and the immense talent of Stefan Zweig to justly reconstruct events in the life of a woman who was so cruelly united with destiny. With all the rigor of a scientist and the passion of an artist, Zweig has skillfully reconstituted the character of Mary Stuart and the turmoil that was her fate.