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1 Beaverton Children's- Historical Fiction

Mary, Bloody Mary


Mary, Bloody Mary Cover

ISBN13: 9780152164560
ISBN10: 0152164561
Condition: Standard
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Only 1 left in stock at $2.95!




Chapter 1

<b>King Francis</b>

I inherited King Henry's fiery temper-no one would deny that! And so, on the day I learned that he had betrothed me to the king of France, I exploded.


"I cannot believe that my father would pledge me to that disgusting old man!" I raged, and hurled the bed pillows onto the floor of my chamber. "I shall not, not, NOT marry him!"


I was but ten years old and had yet to master my anger nor learn its use as a weapon. I shouted and stamped my feet until at last my fury subsided in gusts of tears. Between sobs I stole glances at my governess, the long-nosed Lady Margaret, countess of Salisbury. She stitched on her needlework as though nothing were happening. <p>

"Come now," the countess soothed, her needle flicking in and out, in and out, "it is only a betrothal, and that-as you well know-is quite a long way from marriage. Besides, madam, the king wishes it." <p>

Her calm made me even angrier. "I don't care what he wishes! My father pays so little attention to me that I doubt he even remembers who I am!"


A thin smile creased Salisbury's face, and she set down her embroidery hoop and dabbed at my cheeks with a fine linen handkerchief. "He knows, dear Mary, he knows. You grow more like him every day-his fair skin, his lively blue eyes, his shining red-gold hair." She tucked the handkerchief into the sleeve of her kirtle and sighed. "And, unfortunately, his temper as well."


Suddenly exhausted, I flung myself onto my great bed. "When is it to be, Salisbury?" I murmured.


"King Francis and his court intend to arrive in April for the Feast of Saint George. We have three months to prepare. The royal dressmaker will soon begin work on your new gown. Your mother, the queen, sent word that she favors green trimmed with white for you. You're to have a cloak made of cloth of gold."


"I hate green," I grumbled. Perhaps this was a battle I could win, although my gentle, patient mother matched my father in stubbornness. "And I absolutely do not care if green and white are our royal colors!"


"It seems that today madam dislikes nearly everything," Salisbury said. "Perhaps in the morning the world will look better."


"It will not."


"Nevertheless, madam, it is time for prayers."


I slid down from my lofty mattress and knelt on the cold stone floor beside the governess, as I did every night and every morning, and together we recited our prayers.


That finished, two of the serving maids came to remove my kirtle and dress me in my silk sleeping shirt. They snuffed out the candles until only one still burned. I climbed back onto my high bedstead and, propped on one elbow, watched my governess stretch out carefully on the narrow trundle next to my bed and draw up the satin coverlet. Salisbury was tall, and the coverlet was short. When she pulled the coverlet up to her sharp chin, her feet stuck out. This was the first all day that I had felt the least bit like laughing.


Soon after my eleventh birthday in the spring of 1527, I, Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII, king of England, and his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, teetered on a stool. The royal dressmaker and her assistants pulled and pushed at my betrothal gown, pinning and tucking the heavy green silk. Would they never be done with it? My head ached, and my stomach felt queasy.


"Come, madam," the dressmaker coaxed. "You want to please your bridegroom, do you not?"


"No, I do not," I snapped. From everything I had overheard from the gossiping ladies of the household, Francis, king of France, was extremely ugly and repulsive, a lecherous old man afflicted with warts and pockmarks and foul breath.


"But your father, the king, wishes it," the dressmaker reminded me.


I sighed and stood straight and motionless. Your father, the king, wishes it. How I had come to dread those words! Soon the French king and his court would arrive, and I, obeying my father's wishes, would place my little hand in the grisly paw of the horrible Francis and promise to be his bride.


Finally the gown was ready, the preparations finished, and my trunks packed for the journey to London from my palace in Ludlow, near the Welsh border. Traveling with my entourage of courtiers and ladies-in-waiting, Salisbury and I were carried in the royal litter, which was lined with padded silk and plump velvet cushions and borne between two white horses. After almost two weeks of bumping over washed-out roads, we arrived, muddy and bedraggled, at Greenwich Palace on the River Thames, five miles east of London.


As I ran through the palace to find my mother, I found myself surrounded by commotion. New tapestries had been hung along the walls in the Great Hall. The royal musicians and costumers bustled about arranging masques and other entertainments. Carts delivered provisions for the banquets to the palace kitchens.


Despite the excitement, or perhaps because of it, I felt unwell. As the arrival of the French king neared, I suffered headaches and a queasiness of the stomach. My physician treated them with doses of evil-tasting potions, but they did no good.


Then word came that the ships carrying King Francis and his attendants had been delayed by storms. My bridegroom would not arrive until the weather cleared. An idea occurred to me: Maybe his ship will be lost. Maybe he will drown and I won't ever have to marry him. Almost as soon as the thought crossed my mind, I regretted it. As I had been instructed since early childhood, I would have to admit these wicked thoughts to my confessor, do penance, and receive absolution.


But as long as I had committed such a sin-a rather small one, in my opinion-I decided that I might as well try to turn it to my advantage. Kneeling on the hard stone floor, my spine straight as a lance, my hands clasped beneath my chin, my eyes turned toward Heaven, I prayed: Dear God, if it be thy will to take King Francis, please send a good husband in his stead!


I was not sure what a good husband was. For that I put my trust in God.


For nearly three weeks the storms raged and then suddenly abated. Toward mid-April King Francis and his huge retinue of courtiers and servants landed in Dover. They made their way to Greenwich, escorted by my father's knights and henchmen.


"Perhaps he won't find me to his satisfaction after all," I said hopefully to Salisbury.


"Perhaps, but that is improbable, madam," said Salisbury. Her face, plain as a plank, was as serene as ever. "The French king requested a portrait, which your father sent him, nicely presented in an ivory box with the Tudor rose carved upon the cover. King Francis much liked the sweet countenance he saw therein."


How infuriating! "Salisbury, why must it be this way? If I had asked for his portrait, to see if he pleased me, would I have gotten it?" <p>

Copyright &copy; 1999 by Carolyn Meyer, published by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

VMC, March 14, 2013 (view all comments by VMC)
This book was realistic, honest and amazingly written. The book was thrilling, sad, and at some points humorous. It was hard not to read it all at one time; I could barely tear myself away for even a minute. It is a great book to use for a book group, or to read alone. Mary, Bloody Mary is a great book that I would reccomend to almost anyone. This might be a better book for girls, but only because the main character is one. If you are interested in historical fiction, this is the book for you.
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(5 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
abx, February 26, 2009 (view all comments by abx)
Boringest book ever
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(5 of 33 readers found this comment helpful)
jumpergirl3005, December 21, 2008 (view all comments by jumpergirl3005)
A wonderful book that lets you see the trials of a young princess cast away by her father, alone and scared and how she became one of England's many feared royal Queens. The author has done a wonderful job of keeping it believable and historical. Even though you know the outcome the book is still thrilling to read.
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(12 of 18 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Meyer, Carolyn
Gulliver Books
Meyer, Carolyn
Baratz-Logsted, Lauren
San Diego, Calif.
Great britain
Royalty (kings queens princes princesses knights etc.)
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - History
Historical - Europe
Biographical - European
Kings, queens, rulers, etc.
Great Britain History Mary I, 1553-1558.
Love & Romance
Children s Young Adult-Biography
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Young Royals Book
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 7 to 12
6.88 x 4.19 in 0.3 lb
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction
Children's » Historical Fiction » Europe
Children's » Historical Fiction » General
Young Adult » General
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Biographies

Mary, Bloody Mary Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$2.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Gulliver Books Paperbacks - English 9780152164560 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Meyer...presents the youth of Mary Tudor, oldest daughter of Henry VIII, as a bitter tale of mistreatment, political machination, and battling wills....It's an absorbing story, compellingly told, and if Mary doesn't come off as the religious fanatic she evidently was, her later brutality is not soft-pedaled in the appended historical note."
"Review" by , "Riveting."
"Review" by , "Meyer writes powerfully and sympathetically, mixing the grim details of life in the 1500s with glamorous, fascinating descriptions of life in the court of Henry VIII."
"Review" by , "This interesting and well-researched fictional biography brings a bit of history vividly and compellingly to life."
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