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The Forgotten Tudor Royal (Hardback)

Margaret Douglas, Grandmother to King James VI & I

P&S History > British History > Tudors & Stuarts P&S History > By Century > 16th Century P&S History > Royal History Women of History

By Beverley Adams
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 21 mono
ISBN: 9781399085908
Published: 30th August 2023


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As the daughter and cousin of queens and the granddaughter and niece of kings, Lady Margaret Douglas was an integral part of the Tudor royal dynasty. A favourite of her uncle King Henry VIII and a close friend of Queen Mary I she courted scandal which saw her imprisoned in the Tower of London on more than one occasion. Against the orders of Queen Elizabeth I she plotted the marriage of her eldest son Lord Darnley to Mary, Queen of Scots with disastrous consequences.

She came as close to the executioners block as she did to the throne of England, with some believing she had a right to be queen. A devout Catholic all her life, she lived at a time when religious division split the country in half yet she remained steadfast in her beliefs. A respected and revered lady on both sides of the border, Lady Margaret Douglas, later Countess of Lennox through her marriage, suffered much heartbreak and loss. Her husband and son were both murdered at the hands of the Scots and she outlived all her children.

Despite these tragedies she never gave up on her dream of uniting the thrones of England and Scotland which was realised through her grandson King James VI/I.

The story of her life is a remarkable tale of intrigue and survival and deserves to be more widely told.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love everything Tudor so was thrilled to be able to read this.

It was wonderful to read about a lesser Tudor - I felt that I learned loads.

Wonderfully researched and written.

NetGalley, Maria Martignetti

I very much enjoyed this look into Margaret Douglas's life. In all of the things that I have read and heard about the Tudors, Margaret has always been sort of a foot note. So it is very refreshing to see that her story is getting the attention that she deserves.

NetGalley, Megan Dean

As featured in

Lancashire and North West Magazine

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

As niece and cousin of Tudor monarchs, Lady Margaret Douglas held an influential position. Yet her proximity to power also exposed her to scandal. Despite imprisonments in the Tower of London, she held fast to her belief in her own right to rule. Defying Queen Elizabeth, she arranged her son Lord Darnley’s fateful marriage to Mary, Queen of Scots. Margaret endured profound losses, including husband and children, yet clung to her vision of uniting England and Scotland under her grandson, King James VI & I.

This engrossing and readable book fills in many of the blanks in the popular depictions of the Tudors. Margaret Douglas led a fascinating life and courted danger in pursuit of her ambitions. The book is well-researched and enjoyable.

NetGalley, Andrea Romance

This is a fantastic book for any Tudor or Stuart history lover. I think that it adds to the understanding of Margaret by highlighting aspects of the historical record that may allow us to better comprehend Margaret the woman, rather than simply Margaret the historical figure. Highly recommend.

NetGalley, Shana Needham

It was refreshing to read about Margaret. She has always been seen as a background character on many of the books about the Tudor period. The book is easy to read, plenty of evidence presented which builds up an interesting portrait of an influential woman. Respected on both sides of the border, England and Scotland she was influential on the history of both kingdoms. Margaret remained a devoted Catholic all her life. Much loved by both her Uncle, Henry VIII and Queen Mary but fell found of Elizabeth 1. She was the mother of Lord Darnley who later married Mary Queen of Scots with disastrous consequences. It was this marriage that produced a son who would go on to become James 1 of England and James VI of Scotland, realising her dream of uniting both nations. Margaret outlived all of her children and was clearly no stranger to heartbreak and loss. She was passionate, clever, resourceful and diplomatic woman who helped shape the times in which she lived.

NetGalley, Carol Standish-Leigh

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

What an absolutely fantastic read, I was totally engrossed from the first page until the last.

I knew very little of Margaret Douglas apart from her parentage, being the niece of Henry VIII & mother of Darnley; my eyes have been opened to what an astounding woman she truly was!

Her veins were filled with royal blood of England & Scotland, she lived through out the most turbulent times in English / Scottish history.

She negotiated life through out the reign of four Tudor monarchs and relatives, sometimes in favour and sometimes not, depending who was ruling.

Margaret lived her life to the full, she did not do things by halves, she fully committed - she was either riding high, powerful and wealthy or incarcerated in the tower at her monarchs pleasure, lands and properties seized.

What a fantastic biography of the 'forgotten Tudor'.

Headstrong, politically astute, intelligent, charming, independent and courageous.

I cannot recommend this book enough.

NetGalley, Clare Willmott

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a PHENOMENAL biography! Every time I picked up "The Forgotten Tudor Royal", I was whisked back in time, and learned something new about Margaret Douglas, and the times in which she lives.

The Tudor Era is one of my absolute favorite time periods in history to read and learn about! As soon as I heard about this book, I just knew I needed to read it. I wasn't as familiar with Margaret Douglas' story, and can't wait to do more research on my own time about her as well.

Beverley Adams brings history to life in such a vivid, detailed, gripping, and intriguing way. I can only imagine the amount of research Ms. Adams must have done, as each aspect of this novel is so thorough , and I felt so immersed in the world from the first page to the last. This book reads like a novel at times, and I truly learned so much.

This biography tells the story of Margaret Douglas, who lived from 1515-1578. This book delves into her beliefs, actions, and so much more. The author also explores many events from the time, and how Margaret plays an important part in so many of them. She was an incredibly strong woman who stayed true to her beliefs, and was extremely intelligent, driven, and strong-willed.

If you enjoy anything related to the Tudors, I highly recommend this non-fiction book!

NetGalley, Ashley Maimes

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Beverly Adams brings Lady Margaret Douglas, niece of Henry VIII and cousin to Mary I and Elizabeth I, to life in the most recent biography of this sixteenth-century Scottish princess. Margaret Douglas is born the half-sister and daughter to kings of Scotland and the granddaughter, niece, and cousin to kings of England, eventually becoming the mother-in-law to the famous Mary Queen of Scots. Adams, throughout this biography, weaves the larger political situations preceding and following Margaret Douglas’s birth into the narrower narrative centered on Margaret Douglas. This additional context places Margaret Douglas’s life in reference to the rest of the Tudor dynasty and English and Scottish sixteenth-century politics in a way that allows readers to better understand Adams’s work without having to seek out another book. Adams presents the information incredibly well and creates a strong narrative, using her expertise on the topic and her strong writing skills to do so. Adams has successfully created a strong, detailed, and immersive biography of Lady Margaret Douglas that engages readers with the topic, and this book further adds to the larger Tudor historical narrative via the different perspective of a relatively forgotten Scottish princess.

NetGalley, Lily Amidon

As a woman close to the crown, Margaret Douglas lived a turbulent life. Often times among Tudor enthusiasts she takes a back seat to her daughter-in-law, Mary Queen of Scots, and others. However, it does not make her less interesting.

Beverly Adams writes a biography of Margaret's life in her book "The Forgotten Tudor Royal: Margaret Douglas Grandmother to King James VI and I." It goes in chronological order, documenting the many events of Margaret's life from birth to death.

I did not know much more about Margaret aside from she was Henry Darnley's mother, making her the mother-in-law to Mary Queen of Scots, and grandmother of King James I and that she was granddaughter of Henry VII.

I noticed throughout Margaret's life she ended up in the Tower of London a few times. Perhaps this was because she followed her heart, not thinking or caring what the current King or Queen thought of her. She was released and escaped execution.

Although she probably knew she was never expected to become a Queen, she made sure her oldest surviving offspring would be on the throne. This diplomatic woman never gave up on uniting the thrones of Scotland and England, which was realized through her grandson, James VI/I. Her descendants still remain on the throne today.

Although her life was tragic, losing her husband and multiple children, was heartbreaking to her, she was successful in her mission and lived more than most people of the period, dying at aged 62.

I overall enjoyed the book. It was well-written and I learned a lot about the subject. I think more people should make an effort to learn about this Tudor Royal.

4.5/5 stars.

NetGalley, Traci Hoffman

I adored this. It's clearly explained and written, and it has awakened a need of researching more about Margaret Tudor and Margaret Douglas, as well as Mary, Queen of Scots.
Loved the bond between Margaret and Henry VIII.

NetGalley, Sira Barbeito

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Very interesting look at a woman who's descendants changed English history. The writing was smooth and engaging and kept you interested to the end.

NetGalley, Heather Bennett

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

‘Margaret must have been an enchanting baby to behold, she captured her uncle’s heart.’

I found this to be a really interesting and engaging read about Margaret (niece to Henry VIII)

I actually hadn’t heard of her before so it was a nice surprise to learn about her existence and like her as a person.

Another amazing Tudor read!

‘She had loved and lost countless times in her life, suffered years of imprisonment and had sunk to depths of poverty that a lady of her station should not have reached’

NetGalley, Georgi Lvs Books

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The title is so perfect. In all my obsessive reading on the Tudors Margaret Douglas has been a side player. She is always eclipsed by Henry VIII, his wives, Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scotts. I strangely have never fully focused my brain on her and her role in all of their lives. What an absolutely remarkable woman whose connection to, influence on and relationship with every person whose stories you've heard a million times is stunning. I'm so glad that Beverley Adams has focused the spotlight squarely on Margaret and her dramatic life. I throughly enjoyed this book and now feel like I have a deeper understanding of not only Margaret Douglas, but her Tudor family as well. I highly recommend this book to anyone who, like me, has a deep love for British history. Especially the Tudor era.

NetGalley, Susan Hurwitz Arneson

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

While so much tends to be written about King Henry, Jane Seymour, or Anne Boleyn, it was a nice change to see the approach to this time in Tudor history going further in understanding the influences on King Henry, the royalty of the time, and especially the politics. The Forgotten Tudor Royal was eye-catching because while most works tend to be more focused on the "known players" of this time period, learning more about Lady Margaret Douglas helps serve as a reminder of the role family, friends, and advisors play with the royal court, and in the future of the monarchy.

The primary and secondary sources made available at the end of the book are helpful for scholars, writers, and those interested in the Tudor period, and especially in cross-referencing, it helped to see several books repeatedly showing up, and in validating their importance in understanding and appreciating Tudor history.

The overall narrative of the book is smooth and keeps the readers invested in learning not only about Lady Margaret Douglas but also isn't presented in a way that is either dry or invalidating of those who are familiar with the Tudor time period.

Along with the balanced use of references, portraits, and the presentation of the research material, the book opens up to many of the forgotten or overlooked "players" of the Tudor time period and lends insight into both the political and religious intrigue which dominated this time, influenced in many ways King Henry, and is a reminder how complicated the overlap of personal and political life had for the royal court.

As a reference source, the book plays an essential part for any historian, scholar, or writer's bookshelf, and simply for the general public, the book is well-written history for those who are still fascinated by the Tudor royal court.

NetGalley, Vida Clark

This tale of an ambitious Tudor woman, the niece of Henry VIII, read like a novel. What a life Margaret Lennox had! Raised in England, she fell into unsuitable love affairs twice, and found herself in the Tower. Luckily, Henry VIII had great affection for her, or she may have suffered worse punishment. She had a very happy marriage with the handsome soldier Lennox, but lost most of her children, and the couple also had money problems because of Lennox's falling out with the Scots, and taking England's side in the many fights between the two countries.

A strong Catholic, Margaret fared well under the reign of her friend, Queen Mary 1. However, when Elizabeth 1 came to the throne it would be a different story. Margaret and her husband had overwhelming ambitions for their handsome and charming son Lord Darnley, wanting him to marry Mary, Queen of Scots. They also wanted to see England and Scotland united. This didn't go over well with Queen Elizabeth, and Margaret was forced to endure years of imprisonment once again. She also had to face the death of one of her sons, and eventually her husband.

She was reckless, but Margaret was an intelligent woman who managed to negotiate the machinations of the times pretty well, and she stuck to her beliefs in the face of great danger.

I enjoyed this well-researched biography, and recommend it for history-lovers.

NetGalley, Lisa Sanderson

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Forgotten Tudor Royal by Beverley Adams is a detailed account of the life of Margaret Douglas, grandmother of King James VI/I.

Despite playing a major role in Tudor events, her story is less well-known than that of other key players of the period. This book fills a gap in Tudor history.

The book is very well-written and reads like a novel. The Tudor Timeline of events at the beginning of the book is a useful guide to the period and the bibliography and list of online resources at the end of the book give suggestions for further reading.

Highly recommended for readers who have an interest in Tudor history.

NetGalley, Shirley Sinha

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It really is unfair she doesn't get more credit for how much work and sacrifice she put in to making the unification of the two countries happen. She deserved to be more than a brief footnote in history, and am so glad Adams wrote this book as a way to help get the word out how amazing Margaret Douglas was.

NetGalley, Kara Race-Moore

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The intrigue and high drama of the lives of the Tudors definitely makes for incredible television series'! I cannot get enough of the history of the Tudors! Beverley Adams has followed the path of Margaret Douglas to a T...It's all quite confusing, following the bloodline, but oh so well worth it! She was one of the heroes, strong and ambitious. This is a powerful and well written book. The research alone must has been overwhelming! Pen and Sword publish the most interesting and amazing books, and this is certainly one of them! Thank you to NetGalley and Pen and Sword Publishing for the ARC in exchange for this very honest review! MORE PLEASE!!!!!

NetGalley, Ellie Potts Barrett

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Beverley Adams does a great job in introducing us to Margaret Douglas. It was written well and had everything that I was hoping for. It was written well and I could tell it was researched well.

NetGalley, Kathryn McLeer

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Of all the series I have watched regarding the Tudors, Margaret Douglas always comes off as a power hungry unlikeable woman. This book does a wonderful job of researching Margaret's life from her very beginning to her sad ending. Yes, she was ambitious and her infamous son Lord Darnley was, I believe, a product of her upbringing - but having 8-9 children with only two surviving certainly had to have an impact on her child rearing. You will come to better understand Margaret and maybe, just maybe, appreciate her and her struggles. Comes with pictures - which is always a huge plus for me!

NetGalley, Christine Cazeneuve

About Beverley Adams

Beverley Adams was born and raised in Preston, Lancashire. She gained her MA in English in 2018 and her first book, The Rebel Suffragette: The Life of Edith Rigby, was published in September 2021. She is passionate about bringing the lives of inspirational women back to life. Her interests include history, in particular local history, reading and travel.

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