The First Blast of the Trumpet: Marie Macpherson

The Idle Woman

John Knox made a brief cameo appearance in my GCSE History course, mainly to demonstrate that many people in the 16th century thought female monarchs were A Bad Thing. As part of a monstrous regiment of my own, in my girls’ school, I never had the chance to learn much more about him than the title of his most famous work, which naturally made me regard him with slight disapproval; and now, fifteen years later, it’s time to finally redress the balance. Marie Macpherson’s novel – the first in a proposed trilogy – turns him from merely a name on a history syllabus into a much more rounded and appealing figure, set firmly in his time.

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