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Dear America Wiki

"She did not even greet me at all. So I drew myself up and said exactly who I was, "Madame Queen, do you know that you are in the presence of a queen? I am the Queen of Scots." Catherine countered by asking whether I realized that I was in the presence of the Queen of France. The fact is, there is simply is not room for two queens in one country, let alone in one palace."
Mary, Queen of Scots recalls her first encounter with Catherine de Medici[2]

Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country is the tenth book in The Royal Diaries. It was written by Kathryn Lasky and was her third book for the series. The book was published in April 2002 by Scholastic. It was also republished in My Royal Story, a spin-off of My Story, and translated into French for Mon Histoire. The book was followed by Sŏndŏk: Princess of the Moon and Stars.

The story follows a year in the life of Mary, Queen of Scots during her childhood at the French court.

Book description[]

"July 12, 1554
I think hawking is one of things that Francis and I do so well together. Our instincts combined with those of the birds seem to fit perfectly when we are in the field. We speak very little to one another but silently give the calls to the birds and perform our hand signals. This afternoon the two of us went out with only Robin McClean as our guard. And I thought as I took a rest on the ridge of a hill that there was something of perfect harmony amongst the three of us and the birds we had brought to fly. If only all of life could be kept in the company of such good souls.

"It's 1553. Crowned Queen of Scotland before she could walk. Mary has lived at the French court since she was five. Now betrothed to Francis, the Dauphin, she will become Queen of France in due course–if she can survive in a court rife with spies and intrigue, mysterious prophecies and rumours of poisoning."

"Partage le journal intime de Marie, et vis avec elle le destin exceptionnel d'une jeune reine à la cour de France.
Janvier 1554. Catherine de Médicis a beau etre la mère de mon futur epoux elle me montre bien peu de considération. Quand je suis arrivée ici, à la cour de France, elle ne m'a mème pas saluée. Alors je me suis levee et, en français, je me suis présentée: "Madame, savez-vous que vous êtes en présence d'une reine? Je suis la reine d'Écosse." Catherine de Médicis m'a traitée de petite insolente avant de me demander si j'avais conscience de me trouver en présence de la souveraine des Français. Le fait est qu'il n'y a pas assez de place pour deux reines dans un mem pays, sans parler d'un palais.


Mary, Queen of Scots became the Queen of Scotland as a baby after the death of her father, King James V. At age four, Mary was engaged to Francis whom will rule France one day. In December 1553, the now eleven-year-old Mary has lived at the French court since she was five. She receives a diary for her birthday from her mother, Mary de Guise, whom she has not seen since her visit a couple of years ago. Mary longs for her homeland and mother, despite being surrounded by loved ones in France. Her dearest friends are Mary Beaton, Mary Fleming, Mary Seton, and Mary Livingston, whom came from Scotland with her and she affectionately calls them the Four Marys.

Before Christmas, Mary and the other children visit Diane de Poitiers at the Château d'Anet. Diane is the royal mistress of King Henry of France. King Henry's Queen Catherine de Medici is jealous of Diane, which Mary finds understandable though she still prefers and loves Diane like a mother. The children rejoin the court at Blois for Christmas, before heading to Louvre Palace after New Years'. There Mary meets Queen Catherine's latest astrologer, Nostradamus, whom the Four Marys overhear make a troubling prediction about Mary and blood. Mary disguises herself with her housemaid Minette's clothing to visit Nostradamus during the night. She hears the full prediction and learns that it has "no precise meaning."

In February 1554, Mary accompanies the court to Chenonceau, where the children enjoy ice skating. Unfortunately, Mary Beaton falls into the water while trying to save Mary's dog Puff. Mary Beaton thankfully recovers. Later, Father Mamerot advices Mary to "examine [her] conscious" about her feelings towards Queen Catherine. While traveling with Diane, Mary talks to her about Catherine which helps her feel some sympathy for her. They reach Meudon a few days later to visit Mary's grandmother, Antoinette de Bourbon, and her uncles. There she dismisses her former regent Lord Arran from his post. Mary's mother now rules as regent. After Mary's aunt gives birth to a boy, she returns to the court at Louvre.

At Fontainebleau, a new music teacher, Lorenzo Marcellini, arrives. Mary Fleming soon starts acting strangely. On Midsummer Night two months later in Anet, Mary Fleming's plight comes to light when she admits that Signore Marcellini has been harassing her. Meanwhile, Mary notices that her things have been snooped through. She and the Marys begin plotting a trap for both issues. The spy turns out to be Marcellini, acting on Queen Catherine's orders. His harassment towards Mary Fleming is exposed as well and he is dismissed. In October, Mary's grandmother suffers a stroke. She stays with her until her recovery. Now, ready for her First Communion, Mary decides that it is time for her to forgive Catherine.


On April 24, 1558, Mary married Francis in an elaborate ceremony at Notre Dame Cathedral. During the banquet, Mary's neck began to ache from the weight her crown and King Henry had it removed. This was seen as "omen" for Mary's future. In November 1558, Elizabeth I became queen after the death of her elder sister. Some thought she was not a legitimate heir since her father's divorce to first wife was never recognized by the Catholic Church and therefore his marriage to Elizabeth's mother was considered invalid. Mary's father-in-law declared that she was the Queen of England, a move that "hardly endeared Mary to Elizabeth and the people of England."

Historical Note[]

The historical note begins by addressing the "powerful influences" of the sixteenth century, namely the Renaissance and the Reformation. The Renaissance led to a flourishment of the arts as well as "new ways of thinking and new standards of thought." The Reformation came about as a result of the weakening of the Catholic Church. By 1534, the people of France had become "dissatisfied" with the Catholic Church. Many French Protestants followed the teachings of John Calvin and were known as Huguenots. Eventually, a civil war broke out in France after a massacre of Huguenots.

In Scotland, John Knox led the Scottish Reformation. Mary, Queen of Scots was a Catholic, but like her mother before her, practiced religious tolerance. She attempted to come to some sort of agreement with John Knox and his followers. The historical includes Mary's family tree, which includes her ancestors, her three husbands, and her son James VI and I. Fourteen photos of figures and places featured in the book are included along with a map of England and France.


Main article: List of Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country characters
  • Mary, Queen of Scots, the Queen of Scotland and the fiancée of the future King of France, Francis. She has lived at the French court since she was five-years-old.
  • Catherine de Medici, the current Queen of France and wife of King Henry, with whom she has several children. Catherine and Mary mutually dislike each other.
  • Diane de Poitiers, King Henry's mistress and a mother figure to Mary. Despite being jealous of her, Catherine listens to her opinions because Diane genuinely loves Henry and their children.


Main article: Kathryn Lasky

Kathryn Lasky is an American children's author whom has written over one hundred books. She is best known for the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. Lasky wrote five books in The Royal Diaries, including Elizabeth I, Marie Antoinette, Jahanara, and Kazunomiya. She is also the author of four books in Dear America, three in My America, and one in My Name Is America. In the "About the Author" section, Lasky wrote about the first time she saw a picture of Mary, saying "There was something incredibly arresting about her appearance — tall, narrow face, tilted eyes, and from beneath her headpiece the hint of fiery red hair. She was beautiful. She was my ideal of a perfect princess."



  • The cover of the first edition was illustrated by American artist Tim O'Brien.
  • The My Story edition of Mary, Queen of Scots was illustrated by Richard Jones.


See also[]

My Story

The Hunger | Voyage on the Great Titanic | The Crystal Palace | Blitz | My Tudor Queen | Twentieth-Century Girl
The Great Plague | The '45 Rising | Civil War | Trafalgar | The Trenches | Battle of Britain | Mill Girl | Transported
Armada | Crimea | Bloody Tower | Indian Mutiny | Zulu War | Mayflower | Agincourt | Suffragette | Waterloo | Slave Girl
Flying Ace | Anne Boleyn and Me | D-Day | Victorian Workhouse | Spy Smuggler | Desert Danger | War Nurse
U-Boat Hunter | The Queen's Spies

1st relaunch

Princess of Egypt | Pompeii | Road to War | Roman Invasion | Viking Blood | Highway Girl | Sophie's Secret War
The Storm to Come | The Sweep's Boy | The Fall of the Blade | Pyramid of Secrets | Factory Girl | Dodger!
No Way Back | Wartime Princess | London Stories | Berlin Olympics | Lady Jane Grey | Nowhere to Run

2nd relaunch

Codename Céline

3rd relaunch

Noor-un-Nissa Inayat Khan | Ignatius Sancho | Princess Sophia Duleep Singh | Mary Prince

My Royal Story

Victoria | Anastasia | Cleopatra | Marie Antoinette | Elizabeth | Mary, Queen of Scots | Henry VIII's Wives

My True Story

What If They Find Us? | Hero at Dunkirk | Standing Alone | Give Us the Vote!

My Royal Story navigation
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Bloody Tower Marie Antoinette

External links[]