This week on Royal Reviews is anything goes week. Each of our Royal Reviewers will be featuring a book of their choice. Who knows what you will discover this week.
Title- Her Mother’s Daughter, A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
Author- Julianne Lee
Her name was Mary Tudor. First of the Tudor queens, she has gone down in history as Bloody Mary. But does she deserve her vicious reputation?
She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, and half-sister to Edward VI and Elizabeth I. Mary Tudor's life began as the sweetly innocent, pampered princess of Wales - until the age of eleven when the father she adored cast aside the mother she worshipped and declared Mary a bastard. Only after years of exile did Mary finally rise to the throne alongside the man who, aside from her father, was her greatest love - and her greatest betrayer.
Told by Mary herself and the people around her, this grand-scale novel takes us back to the glittering court of sixteenth-century England, and tells the tragic story of a fascinating, largely misunderstood woman who withstood the treachery and passion around her only to become one of England's most vilified queens.
(from the back cover)
Mary Tudor, has for been vilified for centuries, now thanks to a group of young girls curious about the folklore of Bloody Mary, her true story is revealed. The only daughter of King Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, Mary was once loved and adored by not only her parents but by the whole realm, she was the pearl of her fathers world, although fate is a fickle mistress. Soon Mary finds that her father is seeking to divorce her mother, and now the Princess is stripped of everything she is has ever known, no longer is her fathers pride and joy, she is outcast torn away from her mother, never to see her again. Years later she is to serve as a lady-in-waiting in to the Princess Elizabeth, although in Mary’s eyes she is no Princess and Anne is no Queen, they are usurpers in her and her mothers life. Failing not to recognized the legitimacy of her fathers marriage to Anne as well as her father being Supreme Head of the Church of England, Mary is now fearful for her life, and forced to endure things that are below the station in-which she was born. Finally after Anne’s death, Mary slowly regains a bit of favour in the eyes of her father, although throughout the remainder of Henrys life Mary is used as a Political pawn, betrothed to numerous men who at the moment had something to offer her father. After Henry’s death, her fate has changed little although her she fears her life is in more danger than ever before, failing to reason with those who control her brother, Mary once again finds that she has been stripped of the privileges she was granted by her father. With the death of her brother, Mary rallies to regain the throne, finally she is England’s rightful Queen. Mary begins her reign on a shaky foundation, one that has been through a war of religions, and now she is determined to set right the Catholic faith. Marrying the handsome Spaniard Philip, she not only pushes the Catholic faith forward, she reunites England with Spain, which would have delighted her mother. Although as mush as I would love to say that Mary and Phillip had a joyous life together, I cannot, while the two seemed genuinely happy in the fist few months of their marriage, the honeymoon period ended. Philip soon grew tired of the older and apparently barren Mary, and retuned to Spain, only returning to England for brief period of time before Mary’s death. Mary was deeply heartbroken and never truly recovered.
Mary’s life was very turbulent, she was once the most radiant jewel in the court of Henry VIII, and his actions left irrevocable damages upon Mary. Author, Julianne Lee, makes Mary’s story come alive, and for once we see who she might have truly been. Each page is an emotional outpouring that opens up your mind to the cruelty she must have endured during her lifetime. I also enjoyed the way the Julianne opens the story with the legend of Bloody Mary, it makes for an intriguing beginning, so much in fact that I picked up the book to have a quick glance at then I found that I could not put it down.
I have read many biographies on Mary, and I believe that she is often vilified by those who seek to glorify Elizabeth, I felt that as though she was discarded as though she was a piece of furniture throughout her life. Once she became queen, she finally was able to find a husband of her own choosing, I am sure that she believed that with all her heart Philip would be true and faithful, and once he proved false, she crumbled and was unable to regain her direction. When I think of her marriage to Philip and the disaster that followed, I think of the similarity between their marriage and that of Henry and Katherine, I guess its true what they say, history does repeat itself.
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