Mary, Bloody Mary: A Young Royals Book

Carolyn Meyer, Author Harcourt Children's Books $17 (240p) ISBN 978-0-15-201906-8
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. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1999
Release date: 08/01/1999
Prebound-Glued - 227 pages - 978-0-7569-0514-9
Paperback - 227 pages - 978-0-15-216456-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-21317-2
Prebound-Sewn - 240 pages - 978-0-613-35461-5
Paperback - 237 pages - 978-0-00-715029-8
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