Click to subscribe to nigel-tranter-books

Cover painting detail. Tantallan Castle with the Bass Rock by Alexander Nasmyth (1758 - 1840)
Reproduced by courtesy of the National Gallery of Scotland.


Nigel Tranter, Published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1997,
ISBN 0 340 65998 X

The following details of the story are taken from the book jacket.

The action of this book is set Circa 1437 to Circa 1460.

The brutal murder of James the First, King of Scots, at Perth in 1430, left his seven year old son to rule over an unruly and divided kingdom. Power hungry Lords, particularly those of Crichton and Livingston, seized their chance to gain control over the boy King, James the Second and his realm.

When the younger Alexander Lyon son of the fame of the Thane of Glamis (and ancestor of the present day Queen Mother, Elizabeth), fell in love with and married Agnes, the daughter of Sir William Crichton, little did he realise that his affair of the heart would drag him into the wider affairs of the nation. For Alec Lyon was to become a close attendant and friend of the young monarch at a time when James was in sore need of protection.

In due course, Alec was one of those selected to travel to the Low Countries to fetch the chosen bride for the King: Mary of Gueldres, who was to become a notable power for good in Scotland. Alex's wife, Agnes, became her Lady in waiting.

And that was how Alec Lyon and Agnes Crichton helped to shape, however unintentionally, the story of Scotland - and that of England, too. For this was a period of the Wars of the Roses - and the northern kingdom was not to remain unaffected.