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Authors: Dorothy Dunnett

Queens' Play

BOOK: Queens' Play
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A
CCLAIM FOR
Dorothy Dunnett’s
LYMOND CHRONICLES

“Dorothy Dunnett is one of the greatest talespinners since Dumas … breathlessly exciting.”

—Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Dunnett is a name to conjure with. Her work exemplifies the best the genre can offer. It combines the accuracy of exhaustive historical research with a gripping story to give the reader a visceral as well as cerebral understanding of an epoch.”

—Christian Science Monitor

“Dunnett evokes the sixteenth century with an amazing richness of allusion and scholarship, while keeping a firm control on an intricately twisting narrative. She has another more unusual quality … an ability to check her imagination with irony, to mix high romance with wit.”

—Sunday Times
(London)

“Expert entertainment.… Dunnett can describe a duel more convincingly than Dumas.”

—The New York Times

“A very stylish blend of high romance and high camp. Her hero, the enigmatic Lymond, [is] Byron crossed with Lawrence of Arabia.… He moves in an aura of intrigue, hidden menace and sheer physical daring.”

—Times Literary Supplement
(London)

“A masterpiece of historical fiction, a pyrotechnic blend of passionate scholarship and high-speed storytelling soaked with the scents and colors and sounds and combustible emotions of 16th-century feudal Scotland.”

—Washington Post Book World

“With shrewd psychological insight and a rare gift of narrative and descriptive power, Dorothy Dunnett reveals the color, wit, lushness … and turbulent intensity of one of Europe’s greatest eras.”

—Raleigh News and Observer

“Splendidly colored scenes … always exciting, dangerous, fascinating.”

—Boston Globe

“Detailed research, baroque imagination, staggering dramatic twists, multilingual literary allusion and scenes that can be very funny.”

—The Times
(London)

“Ingenious and exceptional … its effect brilliant, its pace swift and colorful and its multi-linear plot spirited and absorbing.”

—Boston Herald

F
IRST
V
INTAGE
B
OOKS
E
DITION
, M
AY
1997

Copyright © 1964 by Dorothy Dunnett
Copyright renewed 1992 by Dorothy Dunnett

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. Originally published in hardcover in Great Britain by Cassell & Company Ltd., London, and in the United States by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, in 1964.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Dunnett, Dorothy.
Queens’ play / Dorothy Dunnett. — 1st Vintage Books ed.
p. cm.
Second novel in Dunnett’s Lymond saga.
eISBN: 978-0-307-76237-5
1. Mary, Queen of Scots, 1542-1567—Childhood and youth—Fiction.
2. Scotland—History—Mary Stuart, 1542-1567—Fiction. 3. France—History—
Henry II, 1547-1559—Fiction. 4. Queens—Scotland—Fiction.
I. Title.
PR6054.U56Q4 1997
823’.914—dc21 96-46882

Random House Web address:
http://www.randomhouse.com/

v3.1_r1

Dedicated, for their passing entertainment,
to the Dunnetts,
who are stuck with reading it, anyway

G
EORGE
S
INCLAIR
D
UNNETT
A
LASTAIR
M
ACTAVISH
D
UNNETT
D
ORIS
M
ACNICOL
D
UNNETT
P
ATERSON

THE LYMOND CHRONICLES
F
OREWORD BY
Dorothy Dunnett

When, a generation ago, I sat down before an old Olivetti typewriter, ran through a sheet of paper, and typed a title,
The Game of Kings
, I had no notion of changing the course of my life. I wished to explore, within several books, the nature and experiences of a classical hero: a gifted leader whose star-crossed career, disturbing, hilarious, dangerous, I could follow in finest detail for ten years. And I wished to set him in the age of the Renaissance.

Francis Crawford of Lymond in reality did not exist, and his family, his enemies and his lovers are merely fictitious. The countries in which he practices his arts, and for whom he fights, are, however, real enough. In pursuit of a personal quest, he finds his way—or is driven—across the known world, from the palaces of the Tudor kings and queens of England to the brilliant court of Henry II and Catherine de Medici in France.

His home, however, is Scotland, where Mary Queen of Scots is a vulnerable child in a country ruled by her mother. It becomes apparent in the course of the story that Lymond, the most articulate and charismatic of men, is vulnerable too, not least because of his feeling for Scotland, and for his estranged family.

The Game of Kings
was my first novel. As Lymond developed in wisdom, so did I. We introduced one another to the world of sixteenth-century Europe, and while he cannot change history, the wars and events which embroil him are real. After the last book of the six had been published, it was hard to accept that nothing more about Francis Crawford could be written, without disturbing the shape and theme of his story. But there Was, as it happened, something that could be done: a little manicuring to repair the defects of the original edition as it was rushed out on both sides of the Atlantic. And so here is Lymond returned, in a freshened text which presents him as I first envisaged him, to a different world.

CHARACTERS

These, by birth or marriage, are some of the Scots in the story:

M
ARY OF
G
UISE
, Queen Mother of Scotland, and widow of King James V

M
ARY
Q
UEEN OF
S
COTS
, aged seven, her daughter

F
RANCIS
C
RAWFORD OF
L
YMOND
, Master of Culter

R
ICHARD
C
RAWFORD
, third Baron Culter, his brother

T
HOMAS
E
RSKINE
, Master of Erskine, Chief Privy Councillor and Special Ambassador

M
ARGARET
E
RSKINE,
née
Fleming, his wife

J
ENNY
, L
ADY
F
LEMING
, mother to Margaret Erskine and illegitimate daughter of King James IV of Scotland; governess to Queen Mary

L
ORD
F
LEMING
, Jenny’s son, and brother to Margaret Erskine

M
ARY
and A
GNES
F
LEMING
, his sisters, maids of honour to Queen Mary

A
RTHUR
E
RSKINE
, one of Thomas Erskine’s brothers

S
IR
G
EORGE
D
OUGLAS,
brother of the Earl of Angus and uncle to Lady Lennox

S
IR
J
AMES
D
OUGLAS OF
D
RUMLANRIG
, his brother-in-law

M
ICHEL
H
ÉRISSON
, a Scots sculptor resident in Rouen

B
RICE
H
ARISSON
, his brother, in the service of the Protector Somerset in London

These are the Irish and their adherents:

P
HELIM
O’L
IAM
R
OE
, Prince of Barrow and feudal lord of the Slieve Bloom

T
HADY
B
OY
B
ALLAGH
, his ollave

P
IEDAR
D
OOLY
, his servant

T
HERESA
B
OYLE
, an Irish widow resident at Neuvy

O
ONAGH
O’D
WYER
, her niece

H
ÉLIE
and A
NNE
M
OÛTIER
, relatives of Oonagh resident in Blois

C
ORMAC
O’C
ONNOR
, heir to Brian Faly O’Connor, captain of Offaly

G
EORGE
P
ARIS
, an agent

These, by birth, service or adoption, are the French:

H
ENRI
II, K
ING OF
F
RANCE

C
ATHERINE DE
M
ÉDICIS
, his Queen

D
IANE DE
P
OITIERS
, Duchess de Valentinois, his mistress

F
RANCIS
, Dauphin of France, his heir, affianced to Mary Queen of Scots

E
LIZABETH
and C
LAUDE
, his young daughters

M
ARGUERITE OF
F
RANCE
, his sister

A
NNE DE
M
ONTMORENCY
, Marshal, Grand Master, and Constable of France

F
RANÇOIS
, second Duke de Guise, brother to the Queen Mother of Scotland

C
HARLES DE
G
UISE
, second Cardinal of Lorraine, his brother

C
LAUDE DE
G
UISE
, Duke d’Aumale, his brother

D
UKE DE
L
ONGUEVILLE
, French-born son of Mary of Guise’s first marriage

J
OHN
S
TEWART
, Lord d’Aubigny, former captain of the Royal Guard of Scottish Archers in France, and brother to the Earl of Lennox

R
OBIN
S
TEWART
members of the Royal Guard of Scottish Archers
L
AURENS DE
G
ENSTAN
J
ACQUES
D’A
LBON
, Marshal de St. André
Courtiers
L
OUIS
DE
B
OURBON
, first Prince of Condé
J
EAN DE
B
OURBON
, Sieur d’Enghien, his brother
F
RANÇOIS DE
V
ENDÔME
, Vidame de Chartres
A
RCHEMBAULT
A
BERNACI
Keepers of the Royal Menageries of France
P
IERRE
D
ESTAIZ

F
LORIMUND
P
ELLAQUIN

T
HOMAS
O
USCHART
(Tosh), a funambulist M
AÎTRE

G
EORGES
G
AULTIER
, a usurer of Blois

T
HE
D
AME DE
D
OUBTANCE
, astrologer, of Blois

R
AOUL DE
C
HÉMAULT
, French Ambassador in London

J
EHANNE DE
C
HÉMAULT
, his wife

And these, by birth, marriage or adoption, are the English:

J
OHN
D
UDLEY
, Earl of Warwick, Earl Marshal of England

M
ATTHEW
S
TEWART
, Earl of Lennox, brother to Lord d’Aubigny

M
ARGARET
L
ENNOX,
née
Douglas, his wife, and niece to the late King Henry VIII and to Sir George Douglas

W
ILLIAM
P
ARR OF
K
ENDALL
, Marquis of Northampton, Lord Great Chamberlain of England and leader of the English Mission to France

T
HOMAS
B
UTLER
, Earl of Ormond, an Irishman resident in England, also of the Mission

S
IR
G
ILBERT
D
ETHICK
, Garter King of Arms

S
IR
J
OHN
P
ERROT
, illegitimate son of the late King Henry VIII

S
IR
J
AMES
M
ASON
, retiring English Ambassador in France

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