Synopses & Reviews
"Whitelock seeks to rehabilitate Henry VIII's daughter Bloody Mary (1516 1558), 'one of the most reviled women in English history,' and to establish her as 'a political pioneer who redefined the English monarchy.' University of London history lecturer Whitelock asserts that Mary Tudor's relationship with her defiant, courageous mother, Katherine of Aragon, was crucial. Mary fought hard for her crown in the only successful revolt against central government in 16th-century England. And a year later, as rebels threatened London, Mary refused to flee, rallying Londoners to her defense. A hardworking queen closely involved in policy making, Mary demonstrated that a female monarch could conduct ceremonies, such as healing rituals, performed previously only by a divinely appointed king. Several elements continue to defy Whitelock's attempts to burnish her memory: the burning alive of Protestants by the Catholic queen's orders, her phantom pregnancies, and her submission to the will of her husband, Philip II of Spain, which led England into an unpopular war with France. Readers may wish for a more detailed account of the day-to-day workings of Mary's reign in addition to her personal travails. Still, this is a perceptive portrait of a zealous queen and the larger-than-life parents and tumultuous times that shaped her. 8 pages of color photos. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
In this impassioned and absorbing debut, historian Whitelock offers a modern perspective on Mary Tudor and sets the record straight for one and for all on one of history's most compelling and maligned rulers.
About the Author
Anna Whitelock has a Ph.D. in history from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University. Her articles and book reviews on various aspects of Tudor history have appeared in publications including the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, and BBC History. Mary Tudor, her first book, was one of five shortlisted titles for Britain’s prestigious annual The First Biography Prize. She was also the winner of the Arts Club Emerging Writer Award in 2010. She has taught at Cambridge and is now a lecturer in early modern history at the University of London.