The editors of Clare Hunter’s new book, due out in the spring, say it will unlock myths about the iconic monarch and retrieve his story from “male columnists.”
Hunter, from Stirlingshire, who has been a banner maker, community textile artist and textile curator for over 20 years, aims to trace Mary’s life through textiles.
The new book – Embroidering Her Truth – was purchased by Scepter, publisher of Hunter’s previous book, Threads of Life, which was named Scotland’s best “first book” at the Saltire Literary Awards. He told the stories of men and women who have used the language of tailoring to make their voices heard over the centuries and across continents.
Her new book will be a reminder of how Mary used textiles to “advance her political agenda and her faith, assert her royal lineage and tell her own story.”
Born in 1542 as the only daughter of the late James V of the reigning Stewart dynasty, Mary was crowned Queen of Scots when she was only nine months old, and had married, had been crowned Queen Consort of France and was widowed by the time she was 18.
Mary reigned as Queen of Scots until her forced abdication in 1567. After 19 years as a prisoner of her cousin, Elizabeth I of England, Mary was executed on February 8, 1587.
The synopsis of Broder son verité states: “In 16th century Europe, women’s voices were suppressed and silenced.
“Even for a queen like Mary, her first duty was to have sons. At a time when textiles expressed power, Mary exploited them to showcase her free will.
From the lavishly embroidered dresses worn when she was the future wife of the French dolphin to the fashion dolls she used to encourage a Marian fashion style at the Scottish court and the subversive messages she embroidered in captivity for her followers, Mary used textiles to advance his political agenda and his faith, assert his royal lineage and tell his own story.
Hunter said: “When I was doing the research for the previous book, I became fascinated by the amount of material on textiles that was on Mary, Queen of Scots that didn’t seem to be mentioned in any other book.
“I felt there was a story to be told by tracing her life through textiles and I went to Stirling University to do a Masters in Historical Research because I didn’t want to be laughed at by historians .
“It was really interesting trying to match what she was doing with textiles with what was going on in her life.
“Mary was portrayed through the lens of the beholder. His early biographers were mostly Protestants, mostly male, and mostly wanted to tell a story that reinforced their treatment of Mary, which of course was despicable.
Juliet Brooke, associate editor at Scepter, said: “For centuries Mary’s story has been told by male columnists and the drama of her life – three marriages, rape, kidnapping, imprisonment and execution – has eclipsed its own. political agency.
“Embroidering her truth is an eloquent biography that deciphers the myths to tell us Mary’s own story. “