Friday, 26 August 2011

Lord James by Catherine Hermany-Vielle

I have just been reading an article in this week’s ‘Southern Reporter’ regarding a  book launch in Melrose.

This is Catherine Hermany-Vielle’s  book “Lord James”, a best seller in France now translated into English. The English version was actually launched at several venues last autumn but the Scottish Borders launch which was to have taken place at Abbotsford House had to be postponed because of bad weather.

The author who is French was the winner of the Prix Femina in 1981 for her book’ Le Grand Vizir de la nuit’ and is a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur. She now resides in Virginia, United States.

The novelised history which was launched by Burt’s Hotel in Melrose in association with Mason’s Bookshop Melrose deals with life of James Hepburn the 1V Earl of Bothwell, Mary’s third husband.

It is fair to say the book takes a much more favourable view of Bothwell and his motives than most accredited histories stressing how he alone of the nobles  remained completely loyal to the Queen at all times.
It is unfortunate though to see history twisted in the newspaper report which states “When a month after their marriage Mary was imprisoned by Elizabeth 1, Bothwell fled to Bergen now in  Norway, then part of Denmark before being arrested as a pirate and jailed”

This is course to completely overlook Mary’s period of imprisonment in Lochleven  and while it is true that Bothwell was originally arrested as a suspected pirate his continued detention had perhaps, more to do with Anna Thronsden his common law wife and his value to the Danish King, Frederick 11 in negotiations both with Moray and his successors as Regents of Scotland as well as with Elizabeth.

Below a photograph from the ‘Southern Reporter’ of the launch. This shows Tracy Mason of Mason’s Bookshop, Catherine Hermary-Veille and Society members Sir Alistair Buchan-Hepburn a direct descendent of the 4th. Earl.

Sir Alistair has been campaigning for six years now to have his ancestors remains currently in Farevejle Kirk  in Denmark returned to Scotland for appropriate and proper burial.

In the article Sir Alistair states, all his efforts notwithstanding, that the Danish authorities claim they have had no representations at all from Holyrood for return of the remains and that there can be no progress without such a request. However Sir Alistair also states that he is meeting with the new Chief Executive of Historic Scotland in October to discuss the matter. We can only await further developments.

Ronald Morrison.

Hardcover: 416 pages
Luath Press Ltd
ISBN-10: 1906817545
ISBN-13: 978-1906817541
Size: 23.6 x 15.2 x 4.6 cm

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