Title: The Myth of “Bloody Mary”
Author: Linda Porter
Release Date: July 8, 2008
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography, History
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
When the name Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and sister of Elizabeth I, is mentioned, what immediately comes to mind? A bloodthirsty monarch who burned heretics? A women who was so sure of her own faith that she murdered everyone that didn’t agree with her? According to Linda Porter’s insightful new biography of “Bloody Mary,” that isn’t necessarily the case. Porter draws on an amazing amount of research in order to present a new side of the much maligned Queen.
The Myth of Bloody Mary is an exceptional biography of Mary Tudor. It covers Mary’s entire life, rather than simply focusing on the most “exciting” years. As a result, the reader gets a full and comprehensive view of Mary; Porter makes it clear how events that occur early in Mary’s life influence her later choices.
Porter is a talented writer and manages to make history come alive in The Myth of Bloody Mary. This is difficult to do in the best of historical fiction novels, but in a non-fiction biography? It’s an incredibly impressive feat. Though the book is long, the pages fly by quickly. Porter manages to keep the reader hooked. She makes Mary’s history incredibly interesting; at times, I forgot I was reading non-fiction.
It is clear that Porter spent a long time researching The Myth of Bloody Mary. The sheer amount of effort that must have gone into writing this book is evident. Porter provides meticulous details in order to help the reader picture events in his or her mind. Additionally, according to the publisher, she drew on many unique sources to write this book, sources that other historians haven’t considered. As a result, this is an entirely new look at what really is a tragic life.
While I don’t want to discuss exactly how Porter portrays Mary in The Myth of Bloody Mary, as that would take away part of the incentive to read it, I will say she demonstrates that the Queen has been misunderstood throughout history. She builds her case slowly and methodically over the pages of the novel. It was very compelling and it’s easy to agree with her point of view.
The Myth of Bloody Mary was an amazingly written biography that I highly recommend. It’s a great book that combines a turbulent period in history with the captivating story of a girl who lived her life in sorrow. This is definitely a must read!