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Mary Stuart [Format Kindle]

Stefan Zweig , Eden and Cedar Paul , Eden Paul , Cedar Paul

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Revue de presse

“What did Zweig have that brought him the fanatical devotion of millions of readers, the admiration of Herman Hesse, the invitation to give the eulogy at the funeral of Sigmund Freud? To learn that, we would have to have a biography that illuminated all aspects of his work, that read all of his books, and that challenged, rather than accepted, the apparent modesty of his statements about his life and work.” – Benjamin Moser, Bookforum

"Touching and delightful. Those adjectives are not meant as faint praise. Zweig may be especially appealing now because rather than being a progenitor of big ideas, he was a serious entertainer, and an ardent and careful observer of habits, foibles, passions and mistakes." — A.O. Scott, The New York Times 

"Zweig’s readability made him one of the most popular writers of the early twentieth century all over the world, with translations into thirty languages. His lives of Mary Stuart and Marie Antoinette were international bestsellers." — Julie Kavanagh, The Economist Intelligent Life

"Zweig’s accumulated historical and cultural studies, whether in essay or monograph form, remain a body of achievement almost too impressive to take in... Full-sized books on Marie-Antoinette, Mary Stuart, and Magellan were international best sellers." — Clive James, Cultural Amnesia

"Stefan Zweig cherished the everyday imperfections and frustrated aspirations of the men and women he analysed with such affection and understanding." — Paul Bailey, Times Literary Supplement

"To read Zweig is to be in the presence of a properly mature writer, for all that his characters are often in the grip of highly inappropriate desires." — Guardian

"Zweig is the most adult of writers; civilised, urbane, but never jaded or cynical; a realist who none the less believed in the possibility - the necessity - of empathy." — Independent

"Zweig’s genius as a storyteller encompasses the brainy as well as those of average intelligence, the very rich and the desperately poor. He deserves to be famous again, and for good'." — Times Literary Supplement

Présentation de l'éditeur

Mary Stuart was condemned for high treason and executed at the age of forty-four. Held captive for twenty years by England's Elizabeth I–Mary Queen of Scots, Queen of France and a claimant to the throne of England was embroiled in the power struggles that shook the foundations of Renaissance Europe from the moment of her birth to her death. With all the rigour of a scientist and the passion of an artist, Zweig has skillfully sketched a period full of political turmoil, as well as the fascinating character of Mary Stuart.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.7 étoiles sur 5  7 commentaires
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 superb biography 1 mars 2013
Par Susan Gerstein - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Stefan Zweig writes biographies like the novelist he is: with great psychological insight. Though it is well documented and recounts historical facts with great precision, it is the motivation of the protagonists that really interests him. The translation from German is not flawless, but it works and gives you the essence of this terrific work.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Nice book 14 novembre 2011
Par johnnie walker - Publié sur
It is a very interesting story, told by a real writer. It makes you fall in love with Mary. Well done, Mr.Zweig.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 a tale of two queens 2 octobre 2014
Par lilly - Publié sur
We will never know the full story of Mary Queen of Scots and even today the facts of her life are in contention. While Zweig's biography is interesting, his analysis is at times flawed and refutable. The problem is that this book was written in the 1930's and attitudes about women have thankfully evolved since then.
He proposes that the contentious relationship between Mary and Elizabeth was mostly due to the fact that they were women and were ruled by their emotions. He even states at one point that if Mary and Elizabeth were men their problem would have been easily rectified because they just would have gone to war. Although Mary made no bones about the fact that she felt she was the rightful heir to the English throne, she constantly reassured Elizabeth that what she actually wanted from her was a declaration that she was to succeed Elizabeth upon her death. Elizabeth on the other hand always was insecure about the validity of her claim to being the rightful heir and felt great unease at the very existence of Mary. She was of the opinion, and probably rightfully so, that putting Mary's request in writing would be tantamount to signing her own death warrant. Mary's claim was based not on emotion but law and Elizabeth's reaction was not without grounds especially in 16th century Europe. Both opinions were well reasoned given the facts of the situation and neither queen felt the need to relinquish her position.
A pivotal part of Mary's life and subsequent execution is her alleged involvement in her second husband's--Lord Darnley-- murder. Zweig attaches great importance to Mary's lack of reaction to his death. Depending on which historian you read Mary is anything from an innocent dupe to a cold blooded murderer (Antonia Fraser makes a good case in her book for her innocence). He feels that you can surmise her guilt by the fact that Mary did not grieve in the same fashion as she did for her first husband Francis II of France. He fails to take into account that the grieving ritual in Catholic France which required 45 days of confinement to a room hung in black was quite different than in Protestant Scotland. Mourning a French king was a well prescribed tradition. Interestingly, at the end of the 45 days Mary went on a tour of France visiting friends and family and sending emissaries to the various royal houses to advise them she was eligible for marriage. One can argue that her grieving for Francis met only the minimal expectations. Perhaps she was just not much of a public mourner. Her cold reaction to Darnley's death may have had more to do with the fact that she no longer loved or even liked Darnley; however, that is hardly proof of murder.
When Mary makes the error of seeking refuge in England after being essentially dethroned Elizabeth has her imprisoned. Mary's claims to the throne while ensconced in Scotland did not hold as much gravity as when she was actually present on English soil. Thus begins the nineteen year odyssey of Mary's illegal imprisonment by Elizabeth. When Elizabeth finally agrees to have Mary's case heard regarding her involvement in the murder the famous casket letters come to light. Zweig who quotes many of these letters in his book is of the opinion that they were all written by Mary and further implicate her. Yet none of the originals were ever produced just copies (Mary demanded the originals be presented at her "trial" to no avail). He makes the argument that the letters had to be written by Mary because they were written in French and almost no one in backward Scotland would have spoken French so forgery was unlikely. Yet Mary had a court of many French speakers. Mary actually stated that she thought her secretary who spoke and wrote French forged many of the documents because he had intimate knowledge of her handwriting. Elizabeth herself did not feel the letters held much weight. Even today no one knows what the actual truth is.
Ironically, I think this book is well worth the read. It offers an in depth look into Mary's life. Zweig actually feels that Mary was wronged by Elizabeth and that her execution was unwarranted and presaged the executions of Charles I and Marie Antoinette. However, his perspective that Mary's problems were due to her emotional makeup seems way off the mark and antiquated. This is a woman who when her lords first rebelled against her she packed on her pistols, got her army together and personally brought them to heel. She was intelligent, clever and brave but she was also ill prepared to be queen of a protestant country that she left when only five years old and needless to say she totally misread the type of person and ruler Elizabeth actually was. Mary Queen of Scots always will remain one of the most enigmatic characters in history and probably no two biographers will ever agree totally on what motivated her.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Incredible writing. Zweig truly understands Mary, and presents her as so. 10 mars 2015
Par Terry West - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I have read pretty much every biography on Mary, Queen of Scots that there is. I am somewhat obsessed with her life and her as a person, so I have yet to find any of the current biographies boring. However, there are some that are more dry than others. This is not one of those biographies. Stefan Zweig paints a complete picture of Mary and her life. He makes you feel like you actually know her, and understand what she was thinking and feeling. I love to read, but rarely find a book that I absolutely can't put down, and this was one of them. I obviously view Mary in a sympathetic way. I feel that she wasn't prepared to deal with such a harsh and divided nation as Scotland, or with her treacherous and brutal nobles. I also believe that she was completely wronged by her cousin Elizabeth, who imprisoned her illegally and without reason for a good portion of her life. I don't know whether or not the casket letters were real, or if Mary truly desired the death of her cousin. I do, however believe that Mary would do anything to be free, and for that I can't blame her. Stefan definitely takes a sympathetic view of Mary as well, but not as much as other authors have. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in Mary. There is also a French movie based on this biography that is wonderful as well.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Head-to-Head for Power in Violent Times 17 octobre 2014
Par Judith K. Binney - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This is the fascinating story of feminine psychology in an historic battle, as interpreted by Stefan Zweig. Although this book was written only three years after Zweig's masterful "Marie Antoinette", I feel this translation lacked the literary polish of the first book. Nonetheless the characters of the two women are detailed and fatal -- impulsive, stubborn Mary Stuart vs. her arch rival Elizabeth Tudor, manipulative and fragile. All in the context of the rough, violent times they lived in.
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