Category Archives: Uncategorized

Historia fait une place à Marie de Lorraine dans l’histoire de France

Marie de Guise-Lorraine 1515-2015

N’en déplaise à ceux (et peut-être celles) qui pensent que les femmes puissantes de la Renaissance étaient soit des manipulatrices (Diane de Poitiers), soit des veuves noires (Catherine de Médicis), soit encore des Reines Sanglantes (Mary Tudor) – la réalité historique était toute autre. Au Seizième siècle, une constellation inédite dans l’histoire de l’Europe a vu de nombreuses femmes à la tête des plusieurs gouvernements : les Pays-Bas, la France, l’Angleterre et l’Écosse, pour en parler que des royaumes. Ces femmes de pouvoir ont été détestées, parfois admirées, mais certaines ont été simplement oubliées par l’histoire de France.

C’est une première depuis 1560 : la presse spécialisée française consacre enfin un article de deux pages à Marie de Lorraine-Guise. Contemporaine de Catherine de Médicis ou encore d’Élisabeth Ier d’Angleterre, Marie de Lorraine a toujours été éclipsée par sa célèbre fille Marie Stuart, reine des Écossais. Même si le…

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(Review) The Second Blast of the Trumpet, Book Two in the Knox Trilogy by Marie Macpherson

Review of ‘The Second Blast of the Trumpet’ by Impressions in Ink

Impressions In Ink


Publisher and Publication Date: Knox Publishing. August 15, 2017.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Pages: Ebook. 305 pages.
Source: Free ebook copy from Marie Macpherson
Rating: Very good.


About the author:
Hailing from the historic honest Town of Musselburgh, six miles from Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, Marie Macpherson (née Gilroy) developed a love for literature and languages from an early age. Brought up on the site of the Battle of Pinkie and within sight of Fa’side Castle, she was haunted by tales and legends from the past. Though she has travelled widely, teaching languages and literature across Europe from Madrid to Moscow, she has never lost her passion for the rich history and culture of her native Scotland.​
For more information please visit Marie’s website. You can also connect with her on FacebookGoodreads, and Twitter.


“The Second Blast of the Trumpet” is the second…

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‘And Yet It Stands’. Mary of Guise’s emblem pictured by Scottish artist Iona Leishman

Marie de Guise’s personal emblem

Marie de Guise-Lorraine 1515-2015

ADHUC STAT – ‘And yet it stands’ – was the motto of Marie de Guise‘s personal emblem, accompanied by the pictura or image representing, according to French historian Gabriel de Pimodan, a crown set above a rock beaten by winds and waves. It is also the title of this summer’s exhibition of new paintings from Iona Leishman, Historic Scotland’s first artist in residence at Stirling Castle.

Leishman’s fascination with Marie de Guise was awakened during her residency at Stirling Castle from 2011-12 when she connected with this woman’s story of bravery in the face of overwhelming odds. She writes about Marie:

Clever, beautiful and determined, Marie de Guise’ courage was formidable. Widowed days after she gave birth to James V’s daughter Mary in 1542, Marie faced a dangerous power vacuum in which the Scots lords struggled for power.  Refusing to countenance returning to France and her…

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#Bookreview The Queen’s Mary by @sarahgristwood Mary Queen of Scots #Histfic

The unmarried Queen’s Marie, Mary Seton.

Rosie Amber

The Queen's Mary: In the Shadows of Power...The Queen’s Mary: In the Shadows of Power… by Sarah Gristwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three point five stars.

The Queen’s Mary is a historical novel about the life of Mary Queen of Scots told from the point of view of one of her close companions. Mary Seton was one of four Marys who served the queen, first as a childhood companion and later as a lady-in-waiting.

The girls joined Queen Mary just before she was sent to France by her mother. The four Marys spent time in a convent while Queen Mary was brought up in the royal nursery. Later they re-joined the queen at court.

Seton outlived Queen Mary by a quarter of a century, ending her days back in France. This story is told from several different points in her life, often using flashbacks from her memory.

The idea of using a minor figure to…

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Marie Macpherson #AuthorInTheSpotlight @MGMacpherson

Spotlight on Portobello Book Blog

Portobello Book Blog

Marie Macpherson

I’m very pleased to welcome Marie MacPherson as my Author in the Spotlight today. The second in her Knox Blast of the Trumpet trilogy was published in September 2015. You can order a copy online here.  Marie has very kindly offered a signed copy of the book as a giveaway for a UK reader so look for the entry link at the bottom of the page.

First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?

I’m an Honest Toun lass, born in Musselburgh and raised on the site of the Battle of Pinkie  – which may explain my passion for 16th century Scottish history. But after seeing the film, Dr Zhivago, I chose to study Russian at Strathclyde University and spent a year in the Soviet Union to research my PhD on the writer Lermontov, said to be descended from Thomas the Rhymer.

What inspired you…

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That weird head-hopping stuff.

Ar you a head hopper?


Writing a book is about establishing a connection between the reader and the character in the book. No matter how excellent the historical details, how correct the description of everything from how to dismantle a gun to how to perform emergency surgery in the wild, unless the reader is invested in the characters, the read will leave them at most lukewarm. Unless, of course, they read the book precisely to find out how to dismantle a gun, but generally expectations on a work of fiction are somewhat higher than that.

To establish that connection, the writer has at their disposal person and POV – point of view. Person is usually a choice between first person and third person. I once attended a very interesting lecture about using second person, i.e. “you” throughout a book and came away with the conclusion that this  a) was difficult to pull off without sounding…

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