A cryptanalysis team deciphered Mary Stuart’s secret letters written from prison


Cryptoanalytically, the team decrypted Marie Stuart's secret letters written from prison

Illustrative photo – The picture shows two portraits of Queen Mary of Scots before and after the adjustment. On the right is the original.

London – Secret letters written by Mary Queen of Scots from prison have been deciphered by an international cryptanalytic team. This was reported by the server of the Sky News station. The correspondence from 1578 to 1584 was long thought to be lost. The discovery and subsequent deciphering of the letters was described as the most fundamental discovery about Stuart’s life in the last 100 years by the author of her biography, John Guy.

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“This discovery is a historical and literary sensation,” Guy said of deciphering the contents of the letters.

“The cipher is quite sophisticated, and it took us a while to crack it,” explained George Lasry, a computer scientist and cryptanalyst who worked on the matter with music professor Norbert Biermann and physicist Satoshi Tomokiyo.

On 57 letters stumbled upon in the digital archives of the French National Library, which passed them off as 16th-century Italian materials.

“After a while we began to notice that large sections of the texts were actually written in French. It appeared that they were written by a woman who was imprisoned and had a son, which could correspond to Mary Stuart,” said Lasry.

Most of the letters were addressed to the French ambassador in England, Michel de Castelnau de Mauvissiere, who supported the Stuart claim to the throne. In them she complained, among other things, about her poor health, the conditions in which she was imprisoned, and also expressed her dismay at the kidnapping of her son James, the future king, in August 1582.

In addition to trying to negotiate her release, Mary In many letters, the Queen also mentioned her contempt for Sir Francis Walsinghan, one of Elizabeth I’s most important advisers, which eventually became one of the main clues for cryptanalysts.

Mary Stuart was beheaded 436 years ago. Until then, she had spent 19 years, almost half her life, in prison in various castles in Scotland and England.

Elizabeth I, her cousin and Queen of England and Ireland, had her imprisoned because of a threat to her own power. Catholics considered Mary Stuart, the first in the line of succession, to be the legitimate monarch.


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