Books: Perennial Mystery

THE CASKET LETTERS by M. H. Armstrong Davison. 352 pages. University Press of Washington, D.C., and Community College Press. $8.

The plot is surefire. Beautiful young Queen of Scotland takes a lover, plots to kill off her sottish husband, succeeds but loses her throne and flees into the hands of her homely rival, Queen Elizabeth of England, who throws her into prison and, some years later, has her beheaded.

But history has not made it clear whether Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, was a wanton schemer or a woman wronged—particularly since the whole evidence of her presumed adultery and complicity in her...

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