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Mary, Bloody Mary Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2001
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Teen fans of the movie Elizabeth will be fascinated with the pomp and sinister intrigue of Mary, Bloody Mary, an engrossing story about the teen years of Mary Tudor, half sister to Queen Elizabeth and daughter to Henry VIII. As a baby, Mary was adored by her father, who carried her around on his shoulder and displayed her for the court to admire. But as his marriage with her mother, Catherine of Aragon, waned for lack of a male heir, Henry began an affair with the beautiful Anne Boleyn. Mary was convinced that Anne was a witch. Didn't everyone know she had a sixth finger? And wasn't it Anne who persuaded Henry to declare his first marriage invalid (rendering Mary a bastard)? As the king grows ever colder, Mary is banished to a distant house, forbidden from seeing her mother, left to wear rags, and finally--at Anne's bidding--summoned back to court to be a servant to her baby half sister Elizabeth. Once there, Mary lives in constant dread that she will be poisoned or sent to the executioner's block in one of her father's rages. By the time Anne Boleyn herself is beheaded, Henry's first daughter has become the bitter and angry woman who was to be known as Bloody Queen Mary for her savage religious genocide. Carolyn Meyer, long acclaimed for her teen fiction (Drummers of Jericho), accurately captures the glitter and grandeur as well as the brutality of this fascinating period in history. (Ages 10 to 16) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
This riveting slice of fictional royal history paints a sympathetic portrait of Henry VIII's oldest daughter, before she earns the title Bloody Mary. Trained not to weep in public, the young princess puts on a steely front but lives in constant fear of her father's tyranny. The novel begins in 1527 when 11-year-old Mary learns that she has been betrothed to the middle-aged king of France. The accessible first-person narrative chronicles Mary's dramatic change in status from riches to rags when her father attempts to annul his marriage to Catherine, Mary's mother, and conveys how Mary's (and the nation's) fate is affected by her father's obsession with "bewitching" Anne Boleyn, his excessive spending and his execution sprees. The novel ends in 1536, just after Henry VIII takes his third wife, Jane Seymour, and things begin to look a bit more optimistic for Mary. While the pacing is at times uneven, Meyer's (Gideon's People) account convincingly sets the stage for Mary's own sprees of persecution (mentioned in a thorough afterword) and provides an excellent introduction to pre-Renaissance customs, fashions and morals. The author's characterization of the Catholic queen demonstrates there was much more to Mary than the deeds that earned her a sanguinary nickname. Ages 11-up.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I adore history, both ficttion and non-fiction. Mary Tudor and the events of her life are a period I find fascinating. I have to say, therefore, that I was quite disappointed with Carolyn Meyer's novelised version of Mary's life as a young Princess. I bought this not aware that it had been written for a teenage audience.
Firstly, the title is not really appropriate. "Bloody Mary" was a sobriquet she was given only after the burnings of the Protestants she authorised as Queen of England. Since this is a story set many years previously, it is pointless; if only to inform someone unfamiliar with history that the woman who eventually became known as "Bloody Mary" is the protagonist of the novel.
Secondly, when writing a historical novel, any changes made have to be subtle, not glaring. Anne Boleyn did not always ONLY wear blacck with a white trim. She was very fashionable and as Queen, would have had an extensive wardrobe. Garbing her always in black, in order to further demonise her is unrealistic.
Nor is there ever a Sir Francis Peacham accused of adultery with Anne Boleyn. Sir Francis Weston is the man accused, along with the other four, who are executed for adultery with the Queen.
Thirdly, the characters are archetypal and one-dimensional. I do admire Meyer's attempt to explain Mary's actions when on the throne as a cause and effect of her early life, but it doesn't really work. She spends so much time casting Mary as the hapless victim and listing her grievances, that the opposing characters in the story; such as King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell, among others; are really CARICATURES.
King Henry goes from golden prince to bloated tyrant far too quickly, while Anne is always the evil witch dressed in black. Cromwell is referred to as "the toad". Never do we really hear the viewpoints of the other characters, except to cement Mary as the victim.
That said, there is no denying that her father, stepmother and many others at the royal behest treated Mary appallingly. However, the audience does not need this constantly reiterated. Overall, I found the novel inaccurate and monotonous.
For those who want a more sophisticated version of historical fiction, I suggest reading the works of Jean Plaidy.
Once you read this book you can tell why Mary became who she did in her later life. Plus this book made this bit of history very interesting!
This was a great book, and I'd recommend it for ages 12 and up. If you liked this, you'd probably like to read "Elizabeth, Red Rose of the House of Tudor" a Royal Diary that tells about Mary's half sister.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I haven't found one of them I don't like.
I adore Carolyn Meyer as an author and recommend her entire Young Royals series. However, I didn't like how the book ended.Read more