Friday, January 16, 2015

The Mid-Wife's Secret - The Hidden Princess

The Midwife’s Secret – The Mystery of the Hidden Princess


Linda Root

I have read many historical fiction accounts of the royal houses of Europe during the reign of the King Henry the V
III and Queen Elizabeth I.  The royal house of Mary Queen of Scotland is the subject of this fascinating historical account written by Linda Root.  Much of the general historical content of the novel has been put forth before, but that is not what this deliciously tantalizing tale is about.  This story is about one of the rumors of the era that has followed Queen Mary down through history.  Linda Root has taken the time to trace back every source possible and told the story of the survival of a secret twin female child heir to the Throne of England, and a child of Mary Queen of Scotland.  I had never heard of this little known rumor and found the story fascinating.
From the time Mary Queen of Scots first realized she was pregnant, while imprisoned at the Douglass fortress in Scotland, to the very end where the inscriptions on the tombstones in the graveyard adjacent to the nunnery in France are spoken of, the story of Marguerite de’  Kirkcaldie is explored from every direction.  All family connections, the possible trail of how and where the mystery princess went and lived out her life, and the study of any royal and papal emissary hints that might have shown who might have been in the “know” about this greatest of all political secrets.   
Even though written in a novel format, in many ways it was more investigative in nature.  Each chapter was another key and link into locating and discovering the truth of whether or not Marguerite was the heir to the British Throne.  It is a treatise that encourages you to know and understand the names and intricacies of the familial structure of the European Monarchy and the major Papal powers of the time. 
Linda Root has written two other books about this period of time, in which Marguerite is mentioned, The Other Daughter, and 1603: The Queen’s Revenge.  The second book about this subject, Shadow of the Gallows, is currently in progress.  I look forward to checking them out at a future date.
For the historical fiction aficionado, this is a fantastic find and a wonderful read.  For the Saturday afternoon historical “romance” reader, I would advise a pass, as you will be lost three chapters in.  You really need to know your history to keep up and fully enjoy the complexity and intrigue of this novel.  With this codicil in mind.  I rate this novel a good Four Stars for the serious historical reader.