I'm not a lover of biographies but I have to say that this book by Zweig has literally bewitched me. It offers a pleasant and dense reading in which the author discusses with the reader without letting go to prejudices and stereotypical historical notions. It is a fluent biography without frills, rich but never heavy. The most positive aspect is that the author, who is obviously "on the side" of the protagonist, does not let himself go blindly but critically reasons everything, without sparing his heroine critiques and convictions when objectively unavoidable. Stefan Zweig paints a complete picture of Mary and her life. He makes you feel like you actually know her, and understand what she was thinking and feeling. I love to read, but rarely find a book that I absolutely can't put down, and this was one of them.
I feel that she wasn't prepared to deal with such a harsh and divided nation as Scotland, or with her treacherous and brutal nobles. I also believe that she was completely wronged by her cousin Elizabeth, who imprisoned her illegally and without reason for a good portion of her life. I don't know whether or not the casket letters were real, or if Mary truly desired the death of her cousin, I do however believe that Mary would do anything to be free, and for that, I can't blame her.