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© Nigel Tranter
Published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1986 ,
ISBN 0-340-39930-9
The action of this book is set Circa 1536 to Circa 1548

The text of this synopsis is from the bookjacket.

The Royal House of Stewart produced some oddities for the throne of Scotland and James the Fifth, father of Mary Queen of Scots and nephew of England's Henry the Eighth was far from being the least peculiar. Deliberately corrupted in his youth by his stepfather, Earl of Angus, his interest in the rule of his country were largely concentrated on its women. His appetites embraced all ranks - until young Oliver Sinclair came along to create change and a new sort of chaos. And all the time Uncle Henry, in London, was seeking by fair means and foul, to get both nephew and kingdom into his power, and emplying the useful stirrings of the Reformation period to help achieve both.

In this situation, the two Davids, poet Sir David Lindsay, Lord Lyon King of Arms, and the devious, ambitious Abbot David Beaton, Lord Privy Seal and much else, battled, sometimes with each other, sometimes in co-operation, to keep Scotland and their monarch on some sort of even keel. It was no easy task, Beaton used the fullest authority of Rome and the cleverest wits in the land, David Lindsay an uncompromising honesty and his talents as a poet and playwright. That this last activity could affect the stormy and often savage politics and behaviour of the mid - sixteenth century was proved by the impact then of his famous Satire of the Three Estates, an impact still evident four centuries later when it was performed at succeeding Edinburgh International Festivals.

Rough Wooing ranges far from Scotland to the courts of Europe and as far as the Adriatic islands of Dalmatia. Nor is it all war and intrigue, manoeuvre and treachery; there is love and trust, concern and devotion, in this third of a trilogy which leads up to the dramatic reign of Mary Queen of Scots.