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King James VI of Scotland & I of England

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Prince James, only son of Mary Queen of Scots and her consort Lord Darnley, passed the first 12 years of his dramatic life at historic Stirling Castle. After his mother was forced to abdicate her throne, James was crowned King of Scotland when scarcely 13 months old at Stirling. Studious and witty, James was educated by his tutors and became a brilliant Latin scholar, but his lonley boyhood and his friendship with a succession of attractive favourites was to influence his later life. Dominated by ruthless and ambitious Scottish nobles, James was often wretchedly unhappy. His enigmatic and controversial relations with his ill-fated mother are fully discussed. James's marriage to a Danish Princess Anne was at first loving but deteriorated over the years. He was the author of many original books, and became an expert on witchcraft, so important in late sixteenth century Scotland. After reigning 36 years, he finally became a successful King of Scotland, despite antagonims of the Kirk and many of the nobility. Obsessed with his lifelong with to be acknowledged as Queen Elizabeth's successor, his relations with the powerful Robert Cecil, her chief minister in the 1590s, to whom he largely owed his peaceful accession to the English throne, are deeply interesting. In England his reign of 22 years was marked by his love of peace and hatred of war. It was his initiative that inspired the translation of the authorized version of the Bible and his far-seeing advocacy that encouraged the intimate union of his native country with England. This new portrait by Bryan Bevan concentrates on James the man as well as King. His principal defect was his too great dependence on unworthy favourites who acquired complete ascendancy over him in his final declining years. Hide synopsis

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