Mary Queen of Scots: The First Biography

With the Life and Times of Its Author, George Con


In Mary Queen of Scots: The First Biography, Ronald Santangeli has recovered a long-forgotten document of great historiographical, literary and cultural importance. Written in 1624 in Neo-Latin by George Con, a young expatriate Scot in Rome, the Vita Mariae Stuartae is worthy of study, both for its content and its literary dimension. The fully recensed Latin text is presented with a meticulous translation into English and a fully-annotated commentary. The image Con creates of the Scottish Queen has prevailed in European cultural representations from poetry and drama to novels, paintings and opera, while Con's own meteoric career highlights the impact on seventeenth-century Catholic Europe by members of the Scottish diaspora. A significant addition to Marian and Scottish Neo-Latin studies.

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Ronald Santangeli, M.A. (Hons) in Classics (Latin and Greek), University of Glasgow 1967. He is retired Head of Classics, St. Aloysius' College, Glasgow and former Principal Examiner for Scotland in classical languages.
List of Figures

Part 1 A Brief Life: George Con (c. 1598–1640)

1 Two Baroque Tombs

2 From Douai to Bologna

3 The Nexus of Patronage

4 The Young Diplomat

5 London and the Court of Queen Henrietta

6 Return to Rome


Part 2 Con and the Counter-Reformation

7 Con versus Buchanan

8 Con’s Account of the Execution of Mary

9 Stands Scotland Where It Did?

Part 3 Vita Mariae Stuartae

10 The Biography and Con’s Sources

11 Con’s Latin

12 The Speeches

Note on Latin Text
 The Latin Transcription

Note on Translation and Commentary

Part 4 Vita Mariae Stuartae / The Life of Mary Stuart

Dedicatory Preface

The Life of MARY STUART Queen of Scotland, Dowager Queen of France, Heir to the Throne of England and of Ireland

Appendix 1: The Latin Epitaphs of Thomas Chambers to George Con
Appendix 2: The Diamond Poem
Appendix 3: The Bastard’s Visit to Mary in France: Lesley’s Account
Appendix 4: The Mission of Nicholas de Gouda
Appendix 5: George Con’s account of the Battle of Glenlivet
Appendix 6: The Enforced Abdication of Mary: Blackwood’s Account
Appendix 7: Bassiano Gatti’s Poema Heroico Maria Regina di Scozia

An academic and wide non-academic readership interested in the story of Mary Queen of Scots, the history of Catholics in Britain and the relations between the Stuarts and the papacy.
Keywords: Neo-Latin, Glenlivet/Balrinnes, Counter-Reformation, Covenanters, tower-houses, Henrietta Maria, Charles I, Elizabeth I, Buchanan, Moray, Urban VIII, Francesco Barberini, Blackwood, Ciampoli, Fotheringhay.
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