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Mary Queen of Scots, Sinner and Saint


Mary Queen of Scots makes a terrific villain in the current film Elizabeth: The Golden Age, but the truth is that Mary Stuart ascended to the Scottish throne when she was less than a year old, and spent the last 19 years of her life in prison before being beheaded, in 1587 at the age of 44, in the Great Hall of Fotheringhay Castle. In between, she was part of what John Knox called “the monstrous regiment of women” who ruled Europe, womenfolk who were supposedly “weak, frail, impatient, feeble and foolish.”

Mary Stuart was six feet tall, went into the field (though not battle) with her armies, and traveled extensively in her kingdom, hunting, hawking and golfing. She has been known both as a woman of “uncertain reputation” and a Catholic martyr. She was a queen of France by marriage, and she might have been queen of England by inheritance, had she been able to prevail against her cousin, Elizabeth I.

Patrick Collinson, Regius Professor of Modern History, Emeritus, at the University of Cambridge, will peel the onion of Mary Queen of Scots’ life at a lecture at Fordham on Monday, October 22 (details below), to be streamed live on the Web. A fellow of the British Academy and Trinity College, Professor Collinson has taught on four continents, and is the author of over a dozen books that are standards in the fields of history and religion, including The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (Oxford University Press, New Edition 1990).

Mary Queen of Scots: Sinner And Saint
Monday October 22, 2007 at 4 p.m.
Flom Auditorium, William D. Walsh Family Library
Rose Hill Campus, Fordham University
441 East Fordham Road, Bronx, N.Y.


The St. Robert Southwell, S.J. Lecture Series at Fordham University is devoted to the history and theology of the Christian church in the early modern period. It focuses on the scholarship of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, in Europe and the Americas, from 1500 to 1750. One lecture is delivered in the series each semester during the academic year.


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