The Tower

The Tower


'Richly detailed' THE NEW YORKER

'Carr has taken an often overly romanticised historical figure and given her new life and originality.' THE TIMES

'A vivid, visceral read' TRACY CHEVALIER

'Bold and immediate' TLS


They are imprisoned, but not contained.

Three women cross a loch. It is 1567, one of them is pregnant, two of them fretful. The boat takes them to Lochleven castle in the middle of the water. Awaiting them are courtiers braying for blood, hellbent on keeping one of them under lock and key: Mary Queen of Scots.

In the tower, Mary's maids Frenchwoman, Cuckoo and watchful Scot, Jane are her only allies, and the chamber their entire world. A new reality sets in where they are at the mercy of not only their keepers, but of raging Scotland itself.

In the outside world, Mary's kin, Queen Elizabeth claims she can do little but write. Downstairs, the shrewd jailor-courtier Margaret Erskine places her daughter-in-law Agnes in the chamber as her pair of eyes. Hope seems futile until the bewitching Lady Seton arrives. Seton's power shifts everything in the tower and soon a plan is hatched.

But which of them will risk it all to save their mistress? Which woman loves her queen best? The Tower is a triumphant story of desire, grit, God-given power and wiles from a striking new voice in historical fiction.


  • Many authors have produced fictional portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots, but none has been quite like that provided by Flora Carr in her debut novel . . . Carr has taken an often overly romanticised historical figure and given her new life and originality.
    The Times

About the author

Flora Carr

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