Captive Queen: The Decrypted History of Mary, Queen of Scots
by Jade Scott
For almost two decades before her execution at Fotheringhay Castle in 1587, Mary Queen of Scots was a prisoner. From her chambers, she wrote countless letters, many encrypted using complex ciphers to prevent her communications from being intercepted. In this way, she used language to exert her will and her influence, even while incarcerated.
More than 400 years after her death, fifty-seven of these encoded letters were unearthed in a French archive and decoded, a discovery described by experts as a ‘literary and historical sensation’ and the most important new find on Mary for more than a century.
In Captive Queen: The Decrypted History of Mary, Queen of Scots, Jade Scott, a historian and expert on Mary’s correspondence, draws on these ground-breaking letters to paint a vivid portrait of one of history’s most compelling figures. She interrogates Mary’s complex relationships with friends and enemies throughout her imprisonment, illuminating her strategic expertise and bringing Mary’s captivity to life like never before, in her own words.