Reviews of Crown of Thistles:

The Times - Saturday, 10 August 2013 - Melanie Reid - "Whoring, killing and plotting: why we all love the Tudors.

A racy tale of Mary, Elizabeth and the dawn of a dynasty grips Melanie Reid

Into all this power and war steps the historian Linda Porter, coolly crafting the authentic story of how Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I came to be, rather than simply who they were. This is Porter's unique selling point in a crowded field. She looks at the Tudors and Stewarts from the period of the queens' great-grandfathers: two dynasties, English and Scottish, fighting like vicious neighbours over a Leylandii hedge, yet ultimately converging within the Union of the Crowns under James I & VI in 1603."

LITERARY REVIEW August 2013 - John Guy -"Crown of Thistles is to be applauded as a highly courageous, pioneering attempt to brush the cobwebs off the existing national histories." "Always professional in conception and dispassionate in style, her book deserves a wide readership."

The New Statesman Friday 9, August 2013 - Michael Prodger "Mary Stuart's "fatal inheritance" was the long-standing power struggle between the English and Scottish royal families. Her fatal tussle with her cousin Elizabeth I was just one stage in a battle for supremacy that had started with their grandfathers and would not be resolved untio Mary's son, James VI of Scotland, became James I of England. Mary's life was reich in incident and Linda Porter recounts it with judiciousness and verve."

The Herald 10 August 2013- Jonathan Wright - "The book is elegantly written, decently researched and, crucially, it will alert a new readership to a neglected subject."