The Queen's Lender by Jean Findlay (Scotland Street Press, 2021)
The Queen’s Lender by Jean Findlay (ISBN: 9781910895559). Set a generation after Rizzio, the story again starts with a pregnant queen, this time, Queen Anna (later to be called Anne), wife of Queen Mary’s son, James VI, who within a few years will make good on his mother’s ambition to sit on the English throne. George Herriot, the king’s jeweller and favourite of the queen, provides a window to the intrigues of court, though it is George’s own life that provides much of the domestic poignancy, with its loves and hopes, gains and losses. In the background of this story, are references to William Shakespeare’s plays – contemporary at the time. A master of kingship in his histories, but also of the madness it can bring and the tragedy that comes from blind ambition and betrayal. Might be worth dusting off your Complete Works of Shakespeare if you haven’t done so for a while, or even better, heading out to see a performance.