2022 is the Year of Stories, a year dedicated to Scotland's stories through the themes of Iconic Stories and Storytellers, New Stories, Scotland's People and Places, Local Tales and Legends and Inspired by Nature. We carry on our 2022 celebration with the BooksfromScotland March Issue, The Bold and the Brave, where we highlight books - both fiction and non-fiction - on Scotland's past. We also shine a light on on thought-provoking and adventurous children's books, and exciting debuts and new voices that can point to Scotland's future.

Mary Queen of Scots is one of the most documented women in Scotland’s history, and yet there is still much to know and learn. Clare Hunter talks to BooksfromScotland about her new biography Embroidering Her Truth, blending history, politics and memoir to tell the story of a queen in her own voice.


Embroidering Her Truth: Mary, Queen of Scots and the Language of Power By Clare Hunter Published by Sceptre


Could you tell us a little of what to expect from the book? 

I hope that, despite all the many books written about Mary, Queen of Scots, the book can still surprise and offer new insights into Mary’s life and reign. Focussing on the Scottish queen’s material world allowed me to delve further into the sixteenth century culture that both shaped and restrained her: the glory of the late French Renaissance where textiles harboured the spirit of the age and declared status and ambition; the stern aesthetic of the Calvinist Scotland Mary returned to in 1561 where the decorative arts were increasingly viewed with suspicion and the embrace of embroidery amongst elite women as a potent form of self-expression and female influence. The book follows a chronological path as a material biography of Mary, but it is peppered with personal anecdotes that connect us, and me, to her experiences as a woman and as an embroiderer. 


It’s such a unique lens to view power and history, where we usually hear about war and battles. Can you tell us a little more about how women exercised different forms of power through the...


Scotland’s Year of Stories sees many books being released that finds more ways to tell the story of Mary, Queen of Scots. Jennifer Morag Henderson’s Daughters of the North looks at Mary’s relationship with Jean Gordon – the Earl of Bothwell’s first wife – as well as exploring the political machinations and bloody events in the Highlands during her reign.


Daughters of the North: Jean Gordon and Mary, Queen of Scots By Jennifer Morag Henderson Published by Sandstone Press


The Downfall of the House of Huntly: 1562–1564 

The prophecy of Lady Huntly’s tame witches had been fulfilled: Huntly ...



Hex click


‘There is only one kind of weather in here – freezing cold and cloaked in darkness. The air is stagnant. I must wait a minute. Make sure the guard does not wake’


I Am Not Your Eve: A Q and A with Devika Ponnambalam click

I Am Not Your Eve: A Q and A with Devika Ponnambalam

‘The book gives a voice to a girl forgotten by history’


Creative Response: Heather Parry on Where Decay Sleeps click

Creative Response: Heather Parry on Where Decay Sleeps

‘The physicality of the gothic is an inextricable, tantalising part of it, one that all readers – and writers – of dark literature love to explore’


Blood Salt Spring click

Blood Salt Spring

‘Yesterday he joined me, bouncing in, as I readied myself for escape, his small hand in mine’


Article: Olga Wojtas on Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Weird Sisters click

Article: Olga Wojtas on Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Weird Sisters

‘Now, for the very first time, we have the true story of Macbeth, Gruoch and the Weird Sisters, witnessed personally by the most reliable witness you could find’


David Robinson Reviews: The Instant click

David Robinson Reviews: The Instant

‘Intense, multi-layered story of love, loss and loneliness in Berlin’


The Book… According to T. L. Huchu click

The Book… According to T. L. Huchu

‘I have fond memories of my childhood, tucked in bed with my mother reading A Kiss For Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik or The Bike Lesson by the Berenstains. Those two books still represent to m …


Article: Ryan O’Connor on The Voids click

Article: Ryan O’Connor on The Voids

‘It was a space. A liminal world in which I could disappear and confront my past. One I emerged from after two years with the idea for my debut novel, The Voids’


Article: Lindsay Littleson on The Rewilders click

Article: Lindsay Littleson on The Rewilders

‘My hope is that young people read The Rewilders and are inspired to discover more about rewilding’


All the Way Home click

All the Way Home

‘I wis jist aboot awa when sumbdy I didnae ken flopped doun aside me in the daurk, and I woke up again’


Velda the Awesomest Viking and the Ginormous Frost Giants click

Velda the Awesomest Viking and the Ginormous Frost Giants

“The Vikings were a funny lot. They believed the earth was flat. They believed that if you died with a sword in your hand you’d be carried off to Viking heaven, known as Valhalla, and if you stuff a s …


William Burrell: A Collector’s Life click

William Burrell: A Collector’s Life

‘Burrell had a deep sense of public duty, serving for long periods as a local councillor and as a trustee of national institutions in England and Scotland, and wished to use his art collection for pub …


Limbic click


“I want to talk I want to pretend that Acute tolerance to living With the undesired and irreversible Can be deciduous”


Barossa Street click

Barossa Street

‘The Conoboys and Bob and Annie looked at one another in silence. Change was coming. The world was turning’