The French Reactions to the Rough Wooings of Mary Queen of Scots


  • Elizabeth Bonner


I realise that it is somewhat unorthodox to publish the bulk of one's Ph.D. thesis in two volumes of a history society journal, but for reasons of a purely geographical and financial nature it appeared to be the only option available to me. Without the support of a major Postdoctoral Research Fellowship it is simply too far and too expensive to stay abroad in order to complete the further research necessary to render my thesis into an acceptable commercial form of publication; for which I need to spend lengthy periods of time in the European archives and libraries. Even before I had completed my Ph.D. I had, and have, been given a great deal of academic approbation and support for my research. I have had many invitations to present papers at leading UK universities and later I have been given the opportunity to publish these papers in the most highly esteemed journals in the discipline of history. My research was further rewarded by prestigious Visiting Fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Edinburgh, and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, during 1994 and 1995. These Non-Stipendiary Fellowships were supported by the Eleanor Sophia Woods Travelling Fellowship from Sydney University and a Bicentennial Fellowship from the Australian Vice Chancellors' Committee, but I was awarded only one third of the former and one half of the latter which meant that my European research was reduced by two thirds, viz: by two years. Whilst I was in the UK, I applied for every and any Postdoctoral Fellowship or Research Grant for which I am qualified, but my problem is that my academic age does not accord with my chronological age and therefore I fall into an impossible gap where I was too old for the junior UK research fellowships for which I was well qualified and I had insufficient publications and experience at the time for senior research funding. I realise this age discrimination does not apply in Australia, nevertheless I have been frequently short-listed from hundreds of international applications for University-based postdoctoral fellowships and for Australian Research Council Grants, but thus far I have been unsuccessful in attracting substantial funding for my research. This has always been difficult to obtain and I would like to acknowledge, as I did in the preface of my Ph. D. thesis, the many debts I have incurred over the years. In 1992 I noted that,


this thesis has had a long gestation period due in no small regard to the difficulty of researching and writing it, separated from the archival sources by 12,000 miles. In all there have been four research trips, three of twelve to sixteen weeks duration and an extended one of sixteen months in 1985-86. The sheer logistics of moving trunks and boxes of books and papers, not to mention clothes for all seasons, from place to place during my long research would have been well nigh impossible without the kind and generous support of old friends. Therefore, in the process, and at times laboured progress of my thesis, I have incurred many debts of both a personal and professional nature, at home as well as abroad.