“The Little Book of Mary, Queen of Scots” by Mickey Mayhew

mary_mayhewI have a confession to make. It could be considered so heinous a crime in some quarters, such a heresy that a stake and faggots could quite likely be prepared for me in the most convenient public place and someone get in a stock of Bryant and Mays. The nature of the confession? Mary Queen of Scots does nothing for me. Her links with the ancient masonry of Manor Lodge and Sheffield Castle rivet me not.

Afraid not – despite her being here in Sheffield for the best part of fourteen long years – her only surviving artefacts being two letters written at Sheffield Castle to a Scottish sympathiser – the Laird of Barnbarroch – in Spring 1571.No the stones and mystery of the two former medieval buildings have their own allure. Would that my enthusiasm be shared by others concerned with the archaeology of Sheffield and South Yorkshire. However a recent publication on the ‘Captive Queen’ has aroused my interest and widened my knowledge.

“The Little Book of Mary, Queen of Scots” by Mickey Mayhew – Published 2015 by the History Press – ISBN 978 07509 6151 6 – is anything but little.

It’s a handsome hard back decorated in blue and gold like a page from a medieval Psalter. It’s a veritable A-Z of every aspect of Mary’s life – her men, her maids and her manors and much else including some interesting and informative topic boxes.

A snip at £9.99 extensively illustrated with line drawings – its well worth picking up – even if you a just a Sheffielder for its reflections on the Sheffield connection and its acknowledgements to the work of the Friends of Sheffield Castle and the Friends of Sheffield Manor Lodge.

Ron Clayton

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