Saenz-Cambra, Concepcion (Visiting Assistant Professor at Ashland University, New Hampshire)
International Review of Scottish Studies, Vol 30 (2005)
Who can think of the sixteenth century without contemplating James VI of Scotland as one of the central figures around whom all contemporary persons, events, and circumstances tangled? His characteristic virtues and defects, his sympathies and antipathies, his very whims and caprices are writ large across the political history of Scotland and Europe. It is his figure that has made the sixteenth century the period of Scottish annals that has commanded the attention of the world. For over four centuries, historians and researchers from all over the world have tried to study, analyse, explain and understand his character and his fortunes as man and king. Even to this day James still remains one of the most controversial characters in history, admired and reviled in equal measure; but in strictest truth, it may be said that Jamesís rule was one of the most momentous periods in the history of Scotland.
James’s contribution to the shaping of modern political and diplomatic theory and practice has been the subject of scholarly debate throughout the twentieth century. Michael Lynch, Julian Goodare, Pauline Croft, and Maurice Lee, are among many whom have been captivated by the charismatic Scottish sovereign. Although many British historians who have written works on the elations between England and Spain during the last two decades of the sixteenth century have widened their geographical scope to include Jamesís intrigues with Spain, for example, the work of Geoffrey Parker on the army of Flanders and Albert Loomieís study of the English exiles, none have examined specifically