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Daughters of the North: Jean Gordon and Mary, Queen of Scots

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Mary, Queen of Scots’ marriage to the Earl of Bothwell is notorious. Less known is Bothwell’s first wife, Jean Gordon, who extricated herself from their marriage and survived the intrigue of the Queen’s court. Daughters of the North reframes this turbulent period in history by focusing on Jean, who became Countess of Sutherland. Follow her from the intrigues of Mary’s court Mary, Queen of Scots’ marriage to the Earl of Bothwell is notorious. Less known is Bothwell’s first wife, Jean Gordon, who extricated herself from their marriage and survived the intrigue of the Queen’s court. Daughters of the North reframes this turbulent period in history by focusing on Jean, who became Countess of Sutherland. Follow her from the intrigues of Mary’s court to the blood feuds and clan battles of the Far North of Scotland, from her place as the daughter of the ‘King of the North’ to her disastrous union with the infamous Earl of Bothwell – and her lasting legacy to the Earldom of Sutherland.


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Mary, Queen of Scots’ marriage to the Earl of Bothwell is notorious. Less known is Bothwell’s first wife, Jean Gordon, who extricated herself from their marriage and survived the intrigue of the Queen’s court. Daughters of the North reframes this turbulent period in history by focusing on Jean, who became Countess of Sutherland. Follow her from the intrigues of Mary’s court Mary, Queen of Scots’ marriage to the Earl of Bothwell is notorious. Less known is Bothwell’s first wife, Jean Gordon, who extricated herself from their marriage and survived the intrigue of the Queen’s court. Daughters of the North reframes this turbulent period in history by focusing on Jean, who became Countess of Sutherland. Follow her from the intrigues of Mary’s court to the blood feuds and clan battles of the Far North of Scotland, from her place as the daughter of the ‘King of the North’ to her disastrous union with the infamous Earl of Bothwell – and her lasting legacy to the Earldom of Sutherland.

39 review for Daughters of the North: Jean Gordon and Mary, Queen of Scots

  1. 4 out of 5

    Beata

    To write a fascinating book on Mary, the Queen of Scotts, is not an easy task as this is one of the most popular historic figures who appears both in fiction and scholarly studies. Ms Henderson's idea was to get us closer another woman whose life was closely interwoven with that of the Queen's, Jean Gordon, of one of the most powerful Scottish families, married to the Earl of Bothwell. Jean Gordon's life was as fascinating as the Queen's and both women were bound by a man who never compromised an To write a fascinating book on Mary, the Queen of Scotts, is not an easy task as this is one of the most popular historic figures who appears both in fiction and scholarly studies. Ms Henderson's idea was to get us closer another woman whose life was closely interwoven with that of the Queen's, Jean Gordon, of one of the most powerful Scottish families, married to the Earl of Bothwell. Jean Gordon's life was as fascinating as the Queen's and both women were bound by a man who never compromised and was brutal in many ways. Having read several books on Mary the Queen, I was again captivated by this tragic figure and it was all due to great writing and a lot of insight and information that I seemed to have missed in other books. Jean Gordon was very near the Queen, though not her ally or confidante and she appears as strong-headed and with good survival instincts in the complicated world of Scottish politics in the 16th century. The book is worth all the time it takes to read it and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject. A big thank-you to Jennifer Morag Henderson, Sandstone Press, and NetGalley for arc in exchange for my honest review.*

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Daughters of the North by Jennifer Morag Henderson is a great nonfiction that gives us an in-depth portrait of Jean Gordon, the Earl of Bothwell’s first wife. Just fascinating! I have read so much about Mary Queen of Scots and her ill-fated marriage to the Earl of Bothwell has always been shrouded in question for me. But the focus of this book is his first wife, who definitely seemed to escape the downward spiral of a hot mess that was to become his future. I loved learning more about this formid Daughters of the North by Jennifer Morag Henderson is a great nonfiction that gives us an in-depth portrait of Jean Gordon, the Earl of Bothwell’s first wife. Just fascinating! I have read so much about Mary Queen of Scots and her ill-fated marriage to the Earl of Bothwell has always been shrouded in question for me. But the focus of this book is his first wife, who definitely seemed to escape the downward spiral of a hot mess that was to become his future. I loved learning more about this formidable woman who later became the Countess of Sutherland within her second marriage and then finally being reunited with the love of her life for her third. But her life isn’t just fascinating because of her marriages. The Gordon family has plenty of power, activity, action, and drama that adds so many facets to the story. Finding out all of the connections between this family and the Regency was impressive. Jean was a woman of intelligence, passion, loyalty, wit, and made smart personal and professional decisions that helped raise and secure her own family and offspring for generations to come. When so many associated with the throne were imprisoned, exiled, murdered, and fell upon hard times, Jean and her children were able to come out alright. Through this stunning book, with a beyond impressive amount of research submitted, I was able to learn so much more regarding Scotland in the 16th century. 5/5 stars enthusiastically Thank you NG and Sandstone Press for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 5/17/22.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    A non-fiction book that gives us a fascinating in-depth portrait of Jean Gordon, the first wife of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell. Often overlooked and consigned to the footnotes of history books, Henderson brings Jean to the forefront and gives her the recognition she deserves. Drawing on meticulous research, we are given a rich tapestry of Jean story and that of the powerful Gordon family during the unpredictable political climate of 16th century Scotland. A great read for those who want to kn A non-fiction book that gives us a fascinating in-depth portrait of Jean Gordon, the first wife of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell. Often overlooked and consigned to the footnotes of history books, Henderson brings Jean to the forefront and gives her the recognition she deserves. Drawing on meticulous research, we are given a rich tapestry of Jean story and that of the powerful Gordon family during the unpredictable political climate of 16th century Scotland. A great read for those who want to know more about this often overlooked Scottish noblewoman. Many thanks to Sandstone press for sending me an ARC to review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melisende

    Jean was rather a unique figure - by the later 16th century, women had begun to have agency within the local economy and were able to wield some influence in their own circles. For Jean - the circle was always the family, and those linked by blood or marriage, were drawn and held tightly within. Even in her 70s, Jean was still seen as a person who had the potential to be influential, someone powerful who needed to be controlled, as she had a strong belief in what was due to her family and active Jean was rather a unique figure - by the later 16th century, women had begun to have agency within the local economy and were able to wield some influence in their own circles. For Jean - the circle was always the family, and those linked by blood or marriage, were drawn and held tightly within. Even in her 70s, Jean was still seen as a person who had the potential to be influential, someone powerful who needed to be controlled, as she had a strong belief in what was due to her family and actively and steadfastly promoted her family interests. Aged in her 80s when she died, Jean had outlived all her brothers and sisters, all three of her husbands, four of her children, two queens, and one king. As matriarch of the Gordon family, she was the glue that held it all together, and on her passing, it collapsed in a heap around the remaining family members. Henderson brings her extensive research to the fore in crafting a highly readable narrative around a woman who lived during a tumultuous time in Scottish history. The reader will be amazed and in awe of this incredible woman, who story was deserving of being told in its own right.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Hicks

    After reading many novels about the main players who dominate this era, it is refreshing to read about some of the more peripheral figures. Very enjoyable!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

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    Lyn

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    Peter Woltemade

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    Kay Wahrsager

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy

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    Helen

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    Megan Amato

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    James Harrison

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    Sophie

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    Christine

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    John

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    Leslie Smith

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    Laura Gill

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    Hailey Beaupre

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa - (Aussie Girl)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kit

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    Gina Griffin

  24. 4 out of 5

    probooknerd

  25. 5 out of 5

    Iris

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    Orsolya

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    Dave

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    Jade Scott

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    Stacey

  38. 4 out of 5

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  39. 5 out of 5

    Evan

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