Although a large body of needlework has always been attributed to Mary Queen of Scots, little attempt was made to authenticate these pieces or to explain how so energetic and impetuous a woman could have found pleasure in the meticulous craft of embroidery. This is the first comprehensive study of the Queen as a needlewoman describing all the works associated with her. For the first time every piece marked by her cipher or monogram is illustrated in full. A biographical outline provides the framework for understanding her work by setting it in the context of her unsettled and stormy life. It recounts the influence of her formative years in France and her absorption in needlework during the years of imprisonment. Many of the embroideries can be seen in British country houses and in Scottish collections. A significant work in the history of costume and textiles and sheds a new light on those little known aspects of Mary Queen of Scot's life. The first comprehensive study of the Queen of Scots as a needlewoman and how such an energetic and impetuous woman could have found pleasure in the meticulous craft of embroidery. Illustrated in full with 12 colour, 70 black & white photographs and 20 illustrations. Margaret Swain is an expert on the history of costume and textiles and was awarded an MBE for her work on embroidery and tapestries.