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Ritchie, Pamela E. 1971–

Ritchie, Pamela E. 1971–


Born January 11, 1971, in Burlington, Ontario, Canada; daughter of Robert K. (a chemist) and Doreen Ritchie; married Roland J. Tanner (a Scottish medieval historian and cofounder of Tanner-Ritchie Publishing), September 18, 2004. Education: Queens' University, Cambridge, B.A.; St. Andrews University, M.Litt., Ph.D. Hobbies and other interests: Dragon boating, golf, bellydancing, reading, music, and videogames.


Home—Burlington, Ontario, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]


TannerRitchie Publishing, Burlington, Ontario, Canada, cofounder and partner.


Mary of Guise in Scotland, 1548-1560: A Political Career was chosen as one of the Scottish Sunday Times's Books of the Year, 2002.


Mary of Guise in Scotland, 1548-1560: A Political Career, Tuckwell Press (East Linton, Scotland), 2002.

Contributor to The Oxford Companion to British History, edited by J. Cannon, 1997; The History of the Scottish Parliament, Volume 1: Parliament and Politics in Scotland, 1235-1560, edited by K.M. Brown and R.J. Tanner, 2004; The Bibliographical Dictionaryof Scottish Women, edited by E. Ewan, S. Innes, and S. Reynolds, 2006; Women in Medieval Scotland, edited by K. Curran.


Pamela E. Ritchie's book Mary of Guise in Scotland, 1548-1560: A Political Career is one of only three books ever published on the legendary figure in Scottish history—wife of James V of Scotland and the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots. Long overshadowed by her famous daughter, Mary of Guise was a central figure in the political events during her reign as queen of Scotland.

Mary was born into French nobility, married at eighteen, and had two sons before she was widowed at the age of twenty-one. Her second marriage, to James V (also a recent widower), was brokered to strengthen the alliance between Scotland and France; it also displeased England's Henry VIII, whose proposal she had rebuffed. When James V died just days after their daughter's birth, Mary of Guise became regent for the infant Mary, Queen of Scots, thus effectively ruling Scotland until she died in 1560.

During her rule, Mary of Guise's main conflict was with Elizabeth I of England, who secretly supported Protestant uprisings in Catholic Scotland. Ritchie also discusses at length the Anglo-Scottish conflict, Mary I of England (Bloody Mary), and the Reformation rebellion, led by the Lords of the Congregation, and Mary's efforts to secure the English throne for her daughter. Mary of Guise had retained close ties to noble family members in France, and returned to her native country in 1550. The trip figures prominently in Ritchie's book; Ritchie's research of French documents led her to refute the common assumption that the trip was made for Mary to assert her own political will in France.

Mary of Guise in Scotland Mary of Guise in Scotland grew out of Ritchie's doctoral dissertation at St. Andrews University in Scotland and received good reviews. John R. Young wrote in Albion that "a picture emerges of an astute and powerful politician ready and able to work her way through the maze of domestic and international politics." When it comes to religion, Ritchie "characterizes Guise as a woman who was neither a Catholic zealot nor a believer in religious persecution," according to Carole Levin and Christine Couvillon in the Renaissance Quarterly, but rather one whose religious beliefs depended on the political situation. Levin and Couvillon concluded that "Ritchie makes a solid case and her book is well worth reading, providing scholars with valuable information and insight into an important and enigmatic woman of the sixteenth century."



Albion, spring, 2004, John R. Young, review of Mary of Guise in Scotland, 1548-1560: A Political Career, p. 187.

American Historical Review, April, 2004, Stuart Carroll, review of Mary of Guise in Scotland, 1548-1560 p. 606.

Renaissance Quarterly, spring, 2004, Carole Levin and Christine Couvillon, review of Mary of Guise in Scotland, 1548-1560 p. 349.

Sixteenth Century Journal, spring, 2004, Arthur Williamson, review of Mary of Guise in Scotland, 1548-1560 p. 293.

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