HERS is one of the most famous stories in Scottish history.

Now a chapter from the life of Mary, Queen of Scots has been rewritten to help the youngest readers learn about the country’s past.

The illustrated title, published on Thursday, focuses on the monarch’s imprisonment and escape from Lochleven Castle 450 years ago.

The picture book, written by celebrated children’s author Theresa Breslin, sets this in the context of her life as a whole, from her Linlithgow Palace birth to her Fotheringhay Castle execution.

It begins: “On a tiny island in the middle of Loch Leven there is a castle.

“The only way to reach the castle is by boat.

“Many years ago, in that castle on the island, a beautiful young queen was held prisoner.

“Her name was Mary, Queen of Scots.”

The title is part of the new Traditional Scottish Tales series by Edinburgh-based Floris Books imprint Kelpies.

The book firm’s editorial director Eleanor Collins said the result, which includes the character of pageboy Will, is a “new take” on the past and will help parents put history into context for their children.

She commented: “Days out in Scotland so often take families to a location with a plaque saying ‘Mary Queen of Scots slept here’.

“But there are very few ways for children to understand who Mary was and why she still matters.

“Picture books are a great first introduction to historical characters, and we wanted a story that would involve children.

“Theresa chose a wonderful, emblematic episode from Mary’s life, with an isolated castle, a bold, brave escape and a young, dynamic hero alongside Mary.

“So next time families visit a castle and learn that Mary visited, they’ll think, ‘wow, she slept here’.”