Courtship, Slander, and Treason:

FREEMAN Arthur &; FREEMAN Janet Ing (2019)


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Studies of Mary, Queen of Scots, Thomas Howard, the Fourth Duke of Norfolk, and a few of the contemporaries 1568-87.


Royal octavo (234 x 156mm), x, 401 pp., 7 black and white illustrations. 300 copies published September 2019; hardbound.


London: Distributed by Maggs Bros Ltd, 48 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DR

Courtship, Slander, and Treason presents two independent but complementary studies of episodes in the career of Mary Queen of Scots after her flight to England in 1568: her ‘forbidden match’ with the ranking English peer Thomas Howard, fourth Duke of Norfolk, in 1568-72, and her own trial, execution, and funeral in 1586-87. Not primarily intended as a retelling or latter-day reinterpretation of the fatal events - Norfolk’s execution in 1572 extinguishing the last dukedom of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, and Mary’s the stuff of romance, remonstrance, and furious debate over more than four centuries–these essays are essentially historiographical, for the first time closely examining a range of contemporary printed and manuscript material.


ISBN 9780993376221 / 978-0-9933762-2-1


Some twenty-five texts are discussed in the first study; full bibliographical and contextual descriptions of the sixteen most significant are provided, incorporating corrections of traditional errors of attribution and dating, some of which have seriously distorted Marian scholarship. For the second study, more than sixty contemporary manuscript accounts of the events of 1586-87 were examined and analysed, with the aim of establishing proper family relationships amongst them and showing how later writers have used these sources. Four textual appendices add full transcriptions of hitherto unpublished manuscript material, which may prove useful, or even essential to future Marian scholarship.


Arthur Freeman is the author of a critical biography of the playwright Thomas Kyd, other studies of Elizabethan drama, poetry, and popular prose, short lives of Tudor and Stuart ‘eccentrics, exploiters, rogues, and failures’, and historical and descriptive accounts of literary forgery, as well as one pseudonymous biblio-romance, nine collections of verse, and some eighty critical and bibliographical articles. Janet Ing Freeman has written on Johann Gutenberg, the Chiswick Press, and other bibliographical and historical topics, and is the author of The Postmaster of Ipswich (on the nineteenth-century collector, entrepreneur, and book thief William Stevenson Fitch) and The Epicure’s Almanack, an annotated edition of Ralph Rylance’s pioneering 1815 guidebook to dining and drinking in Regency London. Together the Freemans have published Anatomy of an Auction (1990, a study of the Foley library of rare books, dispersed in 1919) and a two-volume biography and bibliography of John Payne Collier, the pre-eminent English Shakespearean scholar-forger of Shakespeare (2004, co-winner of the ILAB Bibliography Prize for 2003-06).

Stock Code: 233399

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