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In Search of the Ladies-in-Waiting and Maids of Honour of Mary, Queen of Scots: A Prosoprographical Analysis of the Female Household

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Chapter Summary

Mary, Queen of Scots is the best-known monarch in Scottish history, the dramatic events of her life told and re-told many times, in religious polemic, biography, theatrical performance and opera. The duties of French ladies-in-waiting in general ranged from the ceremonial to the very personal. In 1573, a roll of the servants in Queen Mary's household was drawn up. The violent and disruptive events of Mary's personal reign in Scotland meant that all too many of her writings and those of her allies were destroyed, and of course any secret alliances and private plotting carried on by the ladies remains hidden, not least because such matters would not have been committed to paper. The Queen of Scots could no longer demonstrate her status with a flock of aristocratic ladies, but the devotion of these last servants clearly bore witness to her famous kindness and generosity to those who served her.

Keywords: ladies-in-waiting; Queen Mary's household; Scotland



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