Thursday, June 2, 2011

Queen's Own Fool: A Novel of Mary Queen of Scots

Book Menu for Queen's Own Fool: A Novel of Mary Queen of Scots
by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris

ISBN of the edition I read: 0698119185 (trade paperback)

It's been a number of years since I read this novel but I remember loving every last word. I think I even wrote Jane Yolen a letter about it! This is rich and engaging historical fiction.

Food mentioned in Queen's Own Fool:
Apples, 27
Baguettes and cheese, 96, 241
Tea, 147
Comfits, 170
Caramelled or candied fruit, 200
Soupe de la Reine, 219
Veal Floury, 219
Mutton pies, 219
Raisins, 219
Dates, 219
Almonds, 219
Oatcakes, 286
Pastries, 290
Lorraine Soup, 314

Books/authors mentioned in Queen's Own Fool:
Mary Queen of France (poem),1
Mary Queen of Scots, (poem), 135, 251
L'Orlando Furioso, 33
Italian poems, 117
Pierre de Ronsard (poet), 164, 207

Great vocabulary in Queen's Own Fool:
dappled, 5
ague, 5
glowered, 13
adages, 17
florid, 20
ponderously, 24, 242-243
deftly, 27
puckish, 30
abject, 37
insolence, 38
parsimony, 44
harrumphed, 48
debaucheries, 52
petulantly, 66
   petulance, 208
emblazonment, 66
prattling, 75
pernicious, 83, 100, 105
chided, 91
discomfiture, 92
braying, 98
uproariously, 107, 201
mottled, 116
companionably, 139
perdition, 155
preen, 190
adamant, 198
recompense, 217
misbegotten, 221
abate, 234
dullards, 235
witheringly, 237
swarthy, 265
ostentatious, 268
pelted, 282
idolatrous, 284
awhirl, 302
complicity, 307
assailed, 306
mullioned, 309
sundered, 312
miasma, 315
postulant, 317
pallor, 328
abdicated, 330
chirrupy, 334
slatterns, 347
deferential, 353
peremptorily, 371

Miscellaneous in Queen's Own Fool:
Chess (game), 87-88, 106, 122, 131, 148, 176-177, 229, 337

Book's title mentioned on pages:
44:  "As for your duties--well, there are always fools at court. You will be above them all, of course, as you are to be the queen's own fool.

283: I looked up into the frowning features of John Knox.
       "I remember now," he said. "Yer the queen's own fool."

55, I could only guess that, as the queen's own fool, I was neither one of them nor one of their masters.

Libraries mentioned in Queen's Own Fool:
Page 78: Once I was skilled with my letters, I was determined to find at least one book in the queen's library filled with those sort of tales. And once I knew how to write, I would send word to Pierre about all that had happened since we took leave of one another...

My favorite passage from: Queen's Own Fool:
Page 80: I thought to myself: Once I know how to read, you shall not keep me from reading what I will. No one shall.

Discussion Questions for Queen's Own Fool:
What do you feel were Nicola's and the Queen's toughest decisions?
What, if any, are Nicola's faults?  What is her most important asset?
What lessons does Nicol learn?
What questions were left answered for you after finishing Queen's Own Fool?