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Mary Tudor

Mary Tudor [Kindle Edition]

David Loades
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'Neither Starkey nor Weir has the assurance and command of Loades' SIMON HEFFER, LITERARY REVIEW 'David Loades Tudor biographies are both highly enjoyable and instructive, the perfect combination' ANTONIA FRASER --Antonia Fraser

Product Description

'Neither Starkey nor Weir has the assurance and command of Loades' SIMON HEFFER, LITERARY REVIEW 'David Loades Tudor biographies are both highly enjoyable and instructive, the perfect combination' ANTONIA FRASER --Antonia Fraser

Daughter of Henry VIII, half-sister to the future Elizabeth I, the dramatic story of the first woman to rule England - and the cruel fate of those who opposed her iron will. Mary Tudor was the first female English sovereign - a ruling queen who was not simply the consort of the king. Yet little is known about this complex woman, whose reputation for ruthlessness belied her emotional fragility and who, like her half-sister Elizabeth, had to survive from childhood in the turbulent Tudor court. David Loades explores the twisting path whereby Princess Mary, daughter of a rejected wife, Catherine of Aragon, and a capricious father - Henry VIII - endured disfavour, personal crisis and house arrest to emerge as Queen of England with huge popular support. The high promise of her reign contrasts with the personal tragedies and disappointments that followed, from the Smithfield burnings and the loss of Calais to her doomed, loveless marriage to Philip of Spain. Loades' probing yet sympathetic account reveals an intriguing personality, impelled by deep-set beliefs and principles yet uncertain how to behave in a 'man's' role.

The Kindle Edition of "Mary Tudor" by David Loades includes 40 black and white and 40 colour illustrations

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3063 KB
  • Print Length: 431 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing (19 Jan 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00700BODK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #249,550 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Three things attracted me to this book; Mary herself (her tragic early life and controversial reign make her, together with Richard III, the most interesting monarch to read about in my opinion), an update of David Loades's earlier Marian offerings, and the fact that David Loades is a man.

The last point is important to me because as of late the history book shelves have become saturated with female writers who offer a different yet still valid voice to the traditionally dominant male one.

A book written on a woman by a man therefore seems like a breath of fresh air and the differences between David Loades' style and the most recent female writers on Mary, Linda Porter and Anne Whitelock, are obvious.

Loades is very precise and concise in his writing. He gets to the point. He also does not get bogged down in depicting Mary's early life and 'pregnancies' as tragic. Facts are stated. We are left to make up our own minds.

Certain things were emphasised which have not been emphasised in more recent books on Mary; the movement in the late 1530s to make Mary heir to the thrown instead of her half-brother Prince Edward, her belief in the return to the Henrician religious settlement only and not Roman Catholicism during Edward VI's reign, while her husband Philip II of Spain is given importance throughout the marriage and not just during the marriage negiations or Mary's 'pregnancies'.

Most interestingly is the suggestion that Mary and Philip secretly financed Henry Dudley's rebellion against them in 1557, purely to attract support for a war against France, the supposed backers of the very rebellion; a conspiracy theory that sits alongside current ones of the 21st century!

The book does tend to fall apart at the end.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just the stereotypical view of Mary's reign! 16 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I much enjoy David Loades's style which is relaxed yet assured. It provides for easy reading whilst the narrative is not simplistic or vague and one gains the impression that he writes with some authority.

However, the overall impression I was left with, on this book, was a reinforcement of the stereotypical view of Mary's place in history - a failed, brutal reign followed by a long successful Elizabethan era. I expected more and I thought we had moved on.

I would still recommend this book provided those wanting to know more about Mary's life, and her reign, also looked elsewhere for a little more balance. After a while I found the numerous unsympathetic asides and negative spin rather irritating; an adverb here, an adjective there, sometimes a phrase, all derogatory or pejorative: disingenuous, excessive devotion, ostentatious, an affliction to herself, agitation bordering on hysteria, apparently convinced herself, [they] thought they were dealing with a madwoman, etc. are various examples. There are many more.

I was particular frustrated by the utter lack of empathy over the first, and most convincing, phantom pregnancy which Loades obviously considers to have been nothing more than a personal delusion on Mary's part. From what I have read elsewhere, the signs were such that this must have been more than a mere delusion.

Also, there was a distinct tendency to measure events in terms of today's morals and thinking - a common fault in numerous history books that I have read. Justifying the burnings is impossible of course, but explaining them is not and this Loades wholly fails to do. Thus is occasioned a reinforcement of the legacy that Mary is seen to have left British history - the inevitable picture of bloody Mary.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable read 28 Sep 2011
By Daniel Putman - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
David Loades knows how to tell a great historical tale without skimping on full and complete documentation. This most recent and updated of Loades's books on Mary is one of the best Tudor biographies out there. Loades is a first class scholar with impeccable Tudor credentials. One of the many enjoyable aspects of this book is his inclusion at relevant points of the actual documents - letters, state papers, ambassador's reports, sections of first hand accounts of what was seen. These are never intrusive and they never substitute for the story. Sometimes he keeps the Tudor English, which is never that hard to follow, and sometimes he updates the English or provides a translation when the author was not English. I liked the connection to the actual words of the time. The biography is fair to Mary; the persecutions are not downplayed at all but are put into perspective. Her relationship with Philip and his influence, both personal and political, are well-developed. The reader comes away with a sense of the terrible background Mary had to overcome as Henry's daughter and how that influenced her. Yet the author clearly notes in places how many of her most important decisions were ultimately her own. For anyone interested in Tudor or English history, this is a first rate biography that is hard to put down.
5.0 out of 5 stars God live the Queen 22 April 2014
By Janet - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mary Tudor is a fascinating woman. Loades takes a great deal of time to develop her as a sensitive, brilliant but damaged girl/woman. Mary is truly a tragic figure who tried to do everything for everyone yet failed more often than not. Its astounding that she was able to survive the psychological devastation of her teens, cope with the threats to her life, etc. Its also sadly frustrating how she could not let go of outmoded thoughts or beliefs even when confronted with the reality of her marriage--poor Mary is so pathetic in this "relationship". I think she had the brains to be a good queen and a good leader but she didn't believe in herself enough. She allowed herself to believe she was a weak woman. She was brave but often foolish. She was smart but not intellectually gifted like Elizabeth so was often either too stubborn or realized thing too late. I wondered if the psychological trauma of her younger years so blighted her that she lost skills or abilities she might have had. Again, an insightful read of this much maligned queen--well worth reading for anyone who enjoys Tudor history.
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent authoritative biography of "Bloody Mary" 10 April 2014
By Audrey from Philly - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are interested in the Tudors, this will enhance your understanding. You probably don't "like" Mary, but that won't keep you from enjoying the book.
The author, David Loades, nicely blends the early life of Mary into the story of Henry XVIII and blends the end of her life into the story of Elizabeth, clarifying the continuity of history and the causes and consequences of Mary's actions as queen. He does not attempt any fancy psychological analysis and appears to be neutral in his evaluation of Mary's persecution of protestants.
I wished there had been more medical insight (from contemporary, that is, today's knowledge) into Mary's pregnancy problems. Everyone speculates about them, but I think Loades would be a good person to try to unravel the truth.
A time line of wars and other major political events would have helped me keep things straight — no doubt others are better versed in European history.
"Mary Tudor" is very readable. It is not novelistic but so full of factual materials and so smoothly constructed that it is a pleasure to read.
Loades uses an interesting structure in which he ends each chapter with a quote from a contemporaneous document that illustrates the points he has made. These documents are strikingly vivid and present real events in the real voice of a person who knew (or believe he/she knew) what happened.
Every point Loades makes is referenced to a source and he debunks some commonly repeated errors (that Ann Boleyn hated Mary, for example, and that Catherine, Mary's mother, was forced to live in poverty and denied proper medical care.)
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Tudor 28 Jan 2014
By midge - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had never read a book just on Mary Tudor, and this was extremely well written, and tried to steer clear of the Bloody Mary theme. Just the facts, and contemporary sources. Great read.
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice to meet you, Mary Tudor. 12 Aug 2013
By Tokugawa - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. History hasn't been very kind to Mary Tudor but thanks to this biography you get an idea of what she might have been like and understand better some of the decisions she made as a monarch. I missed some details about the court and how it functioned although there are plenty of books about the period and not many about Mary herself. Definitely a book I'd recommend.
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