Tudor England: Marjorie Bowes, the daughter of a rich and powerful family, grows up in a time of civil turmoil caused by the religious reforms of King Henry VIII. She meets John Knox, a renegade Scottish preacher in exile from his own country, who has been appointed one of the chaplains of the boy King Edward VI. They fall in love, to the consternation of her family. When Mary Tudor becomes queen and vows to rid England of Protestants, Knox flees for his life. Marjorie has to choose between loyalty to her family and her love for Knox. But Knox’s native Scotland too is in turmoil. With Mary Queen of Scots married to the Dauphin, the French hold the wealth and the power. When the people of Scotland appeal to Knox to return home and lead the fight for freedom, Marjorie once more finds herself in the midst of a civil war.
ISBN 978 1 78407 597 2Â
Janet Walkinshaw benefitted from an upsurge of interest in Scottish writing in the 1980s when her short stories began to be published in various anthologies. Since then her short stories and plays have also been broadcast on Radio Scotland and Radio 4. These were gathered together in her collection Long Road to Iona & Other Stories. When preparing the book for publication she was surprised to find how many of the stories are about running away, and she wonders whether this is the human condition. She has been able to indulge a lifelong obsession with history and in particular with the Reformation in her novel Knox’s Wife, in which she recounts the events of the Scottish Reformation through the eyes of the wife of the principal mover and shaker. This was meant to be a one-off, but she became so deeply engrossed in the 16th century and the people of the time that she has now published The Five Year Queen, a novel about Mary of Guise and her marriage to James V. Janet has now begun work on a third novel set in the same period. Janet considers herself fortunate to be living in Wigtown, Scotland’s national book town. ‘Everybody is an avid reader, and every second person you meet is a writer, so we are surrounded by congenial and like-minded people,’ she says.