Lady Arbella Stuart (1575-1615) was a claimant to the English throne whose more than one hundred letters to relatives, her husband, the royal family, court officials, and friends reveal a powerful personal and public drama. Stuart's royal birth and demand for independence twice placed her indirect conflict with Queen Elizabeth and King James over an unauthorized marriage, once in 1603 when she attempted to marry clandestinely and again in 1610 when she did marry, then escaped from her subsequent confinement and was recaptured. In her letters, Stuart applies her considerable rhetoricalskills to justify her actions, to express her anger, to create a fictional lover, to advance her family at court, and, after marriage, to seek her freedom. Her revisions in the letters, included here, offer readers unusual access to the thinking and strategies of a talented Renaissance writer. SaraJayne Steen has transcribed, ordered, dated, and annotated the letters and drafts. A biographical and critical introduction draws on newly rediscovered papers to reassess Stuart's life and writing.