Lady Magdalen tells the story of Magdalen Carnegie, a daughter in a powerful 17th century Scottish family. It opens just before she is married to James Graham, who becomes the Marquis of Montrose, considered one of the most charismatic men in Scottish history. The events and the details depicted follow what history knows about Montrose, but it looks at them from the view point of his wife from her young adulthood until her death.
Magdalen is a serious and religously devout woman, who looks plain on the outside but many see an inner strength in her. Montrose is ambitious and during the era of civil war under Charles I, he acts unethically to gain the most power. In contrast, Magdalen lives by principles trying in her domestic sphere to do good and is unable to convince her husband to also live by principles instead of seeking glory. The contrast between her home and family life and his political and military life provide a rich portrait of 17th century Scotland.
This report prepared by L. Watson