(44) Goodall advanced the argument that the French copies of the casket letters had been translated from the Scots versions of the poems printed in Ane Detectioun, and as Scots was not the language in which Mary wrote, she could not have been their author; his thesis was attacked by David Hume and Thomas Robertson, continuing to assert Mary's authorship, but was supported by Tytler, Whitaker, and Crawford.
(53) He considers the casket letters and sonnets 'the grossest forgerys', as their content clearly disturbs an idealized construction of Mary; the similar exclusion of the casket sonnets in the early anthologies of Ballard, Ritson, and Dyce is continued in later anthologies, despite a renewed interest in the casket sonnets in other studies of Mary Stuart in the nineteenth century.
(70) This is not to suggest, however, that the long tradition of considering the sonnets at the margin of the casket letters, and in a primarily historical context, is easily escaped.
The early twentieth-century response to Mary Stuart builds upon this emergence of Mary's discrete poetic voice from the casket letter controversy.
The book is broken into two sections, the first dealing with crisis of 1567-68 and the second offering a detailed examination of the casket letters
, their discovery, disclosure, and content.
Most twentieth-century historians have recognized the unsatisfactory nature of the Casket Letters
. Antonia Fraser found them to be "highly dubious" and Gordon Donaldson considered them to have been manipulated, if not forged.
After the Casket Letters were revealed, the English commissioners suspended the conference for three days and consulted with Elizabeth.
Another possibility is that, having forced the English peers to face the truth about the Queen of Scots (with the revelation of the Casket Letters), Elizabeth might have assumed that they would be forced to withdraw their countenance from her.