Mary Tudor: The First Queen
Linda Porter

Mary Tudor: The First Queen

Mary Tudor, the most recent life of Mary I (Mary Tudor), the eldest of Henry VIII’s three children

The terrible epithet, “Bloody Mary” is all that remains in the popular mind of the first woman to rule England in her own right. The judgement of history has been so relentlessly harsh on this gentle, devout woman that her life has been all but obliterated from national memory. The real Mary, who longed to be loved and to do what was right, deserves better.

This is a personal history of Mary, set in the violent and colourful context of mid-Tudor England. It is a compelling story with disturbing echoes for our own times; parental abuse, sibling rivalry, a disastrous marriage, all figure prominently in Mary’s life. And the religious terrorism that is Mary’s best-known legacy would be perfectly comprehensible to 21st century extremists.

Mary was a touchingly feminine woman in a man’s world. Her love of the latest French fashions and jewelry, the fears of an old maid about to be married to a handsome Spanish prince, her seething jealousy of her younger, more attractive sister Elizabeth, add the human dimension to her sad life. And her vision of a Catholic England restored to its rightful place at the heart of Europe was a noble one. She bequeathed to the sister she so detested a realm that she did not understand, but which, in her courage and determination, she had worked hard to rule and to make a better place.

Book Details:

  • Author: Linda Porter
  • Published Year: 2007
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Piatkus
    • US: St Martin's Press
    • Estonia: Kunst
    • Astra: Poland

Linda Porter

Dr Linda Porter has a B.A. and a D.Phil from the University of York, where she studied under the direction of two inspirational professors, Gerald Aylmer and Gwyn A. Williams. She spent nearly ten years lecturing in New York, at Fordham and City Universities among others, before returning with her American husband and daughter to England, where she embarked on a complete change of career. For more than twenty years she worked as a senior public relations practitioner in BT, introducing a ground-breaking international public relations programme during the years of BT’s international e...
More about Linda Porter

Book Reviews

  • "A sense of Mary as an individual emerges most strongly from Linda Porter's beautifully written and consistently engrossing study ... Porter writes unashamedly in the genre of popular history, and in places paints with a broad brush, but her book is notably insightful on politics, and bears the marks of thorough research.."
    Times Literary Supplment
  • "[An] intelligent, engrossing biography."
    Publishers Weekly
  • "Porter brings clarity to complex issues and paints a vivid portrait of Tudor court life."
    Associated Press (UK)
  • "This well-researched biography about “Bloody” Mary is fascinating. I loved the way the author shattered the misconceptions we have of her."
    Women’s Own
  • "...a richly researched, marvellously realised historical biography..."
    Daily Telegraph
  • "Brisk, learned reassessment of Mary Tudor…"
    Kirkus