I could seriously write so much on this moment alone, but as this is just a moment in time, the comic itself is far more character-driven. Which isn’t a bad thing! But now you gotta read! (Oh no….)
So let’s do a quick thang on the Auld Alliance! The Auld Alliance is the Franco-Scottish alliance officially borne in 1295, on February 23rd, though there was trade and cooperation as early as the 9th century. It was an agreement to help the other against England whenever England decided to act up against one of them. They both certainly helped each other, don’t get me wrong! But it seems like Scotland was always far more ready to help France out, no matter what, whereas France was a little more ~floof~ about it. (Shut up, floof is a word.) I’d continue on, but if you don’t already know about it, you may spoil yourself. ;) So I’ll keep quiet on the rest for right now.
You remember the last comic, right? Mary of Guise fell under attack, and told Scotland to, “Get her out.” (If not, you have to go refresh your memory!) So this comic takes place in Dumbarton, and France has come to pick Mary up from Scotland. (Quick recap: England’s waging war to force Scotland to hand Mary over so she can marry his king, and work towards taking control of Scotland.)
It’s very sad, but has its amusing moments!
So now it’s 28 July, 1548. There were a ton of tears – in the actual event! – between Mary, who was quite loved throughout Scotland as far as I can tell, and her mother. By ‘a ton’ I mean a ton. I may be wrong, but I think I read somewhere that Mary of Guise was crying so hard, they had to pull her back from Mary and take her away. (Can you blame her, though? Mary of Guise was losing her only daughter, after the death of all of her children before Mary.) I think the only thing that really comforted her was that Mary was going to France – Mary of Guise’s home country – and would be watched over by her uncles. (Which is a whole other story on its own.)
But more amusingly, you gotta hand it to little Mary. As a queen (five years old though she may have been), she had her own little group of Ladies in Waiting, right? They were all named Mary: Seton, Beaton, Livingstone, and Fleming. Popular name, huh? (Fun fact: The English ‘Mary’ - French version being ‘Marie’ - actually comes from the Icelandic ‘Maer’ which means virgin or maid.) So she and her Ladies board the ship, but don’t even get to take off right away due to storms. Aside from boredom from being on a ship for a week without going anywhere, Mary was unaffected; according to letters from de Brezé to Mary of Guise, Mary was the only one on the ship who wasn’t sea-sick. In fact, she was running around and making fun of everyone else. Oh, Mary.
Letters from de Brezé to Mary of Guise. It takes a bit of reading/scrolling/hunting, but they’re there!
Scotland’s ‘Auld Alliance’ with France, by Elizabeth Bonner. PDF of the whole book. o_o I think.
Bienvenue, mes amis, à Aubigny-sur-Nère ! THIS PLACE IS SO COOL. I WANNA GO.
I may have mentioned it before, but I also recommend the biography of Mary Stuart by Antonia Fraser!