The Resource Mary, Bloody Mary, Carolyn Meyer

Mary, Bloody Mary, Carolyn Meyer

Mary, Bloody Mary
Mary, Bloody Mary
Statement of responsibility
Carolyn Meyer
Mary Tudor, who would reign briefly as Queen of England during the mid sixteenth century, tells the story of her troubled childhood as daughter of King Henry VIII
Mary, bloody Mary
Mary Tudor, who would reign briefly as Queen of England during the mid sixteenth century, tells the story of her troubled childhood as daughter of King Henry VIII
Member of
  • Books for Youth, Older Readers: Gr. 6-9. England's Queen Mary I has been known throughout history as Bloody Mary for the burning of some 300 Protestants considered heretics. This novel, written from Mary's point of view, covers Mary's life from age 10 to 20, when she fell from her position as cherished Princess of Wales to "bastard" daughter of King Henry VIII and his cast-off queen, Catherine of Aragon. Meyer underplays Mary's religious perspective, focusing more on her emotions--fear, abandonment, and, most of all, hatred for Henry's new love, Anne Boleyn, mother of Elizabeth I. Forced to wait on the baby Elizabeth, and scolded abusively, Mary nonetheless formed a strong affection for her half sister, one that is not reflected in Kathryn Lasky's book about Elizabeth, reviewed elsewhere in this issue. 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. This fine novel includes an eye-catching jacket and concludes with a historical note recounting the sad ending to Mary's life. ((Reviewed September 15, 1999)) -- Susan Dove Lempke
  • Gr 6 Up-Utilizing a first-person narrative, Meyer delivers a compelling account of Mary Tudor, who literally went from princess to servant. Henry VIII's oldest daughter lives the privileged life of royalty until her father becomes obsessed with producing a male heir. His realization that Mary's mother will never give him a son coincides with his infamous affair with Anne Boleyn, whom he ultimately marries. This marriage changes not only the course of history, but gravely affects Mary's life as well. She once expected to inherit the throne; now she merely hopes to survive her father's violent reign. After years of banishment, separated from her family and friends, Mary is summoned back to court so that she may act as her half-sister's (the future Elizabeth I) servant. The novel ends with Anne's death and the spurned princess's tenuous readmittance into court. Meyer deftly handles the intricacies of court intrigue and Henry's descent into madness while focusing on how these events shaped Mary's life and personality. The excellent characterization brings these historic figures to life. Perhaps the novel's only flaw is its failure to emphasize Mary's early religiosity that led to her eventual zealotry. The author's note discusses Henry's virtual parade of marriages as well as Mary's "reign of terror." This book will inspire readers to further investigate the fascinating Tudor monarchy.-Laura Glaser, Euless Junior High School, TX Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
  • /* Starred Review */ Meyer (Gideon's People, 1996, etc.) presents the youth of Mary Tudor, oldest daughter of Henry VIII, as a bitter tale of mistreatment, political machination, and battling wills. From the outset, Mary blames the witch, Anne Boleyn, for separating her and her mother, Catherine of Aragon, then depriving them of wealth and security; for persuading the king to declare Mary illegitimate; for forcing her at last into the role of scorned servant, charged with changing the infant Elizabeth's nappies. Certain that she will one day be queen, Mary fights back in the only ways she can, by becoming an accomplished spy, holding in her anger, and refusing for years to sign the acknowledgement of her illegitimacy. Meyer gives Mary, Henry, and Anne strong, distinct personalities and motives, enlivens historical events with closely observed details of dress and ceremony, and drives it all forward with engrossing emotional intensity--climaxed by an eyewitness's lingering account of Anne Boleyn's beheading: " 'We heard the dreadful sound--there is none like it in all this world.' "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. Follow this up with Rosalind Miles's equally powerful I, Elizabeth (1994). (Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 1999)
Young Reader's Choice Award (Pacific Northwest), Intermediate, 2002.
Cataloging source
no index present
Literary form
  • 6
  • 12
Series statement
Young royals
Series volume
Target audience
Carolyn Meyer
Mary, Bloody Mary, Carolyn Meyer
"Gulliver books."
Control code
1st ed.
227 p. 22 cm.

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