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4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most intensely dramatic blood bonds within history, told with such deep poignancy and fever as to be remembered!
Elizabeth and Mary. Both daughters to the greatest monarch who ruled over England, and who became divided by the crown and that impassioned rivalry between them. This spectacular novel re-tells Elizabeth's and Mary's story from the very beginning - from childhood to adulthood, bringing to life those turbulent changeable times. Beautifully written, vivid and dramatic the...
Published on 15 Jan. 2013 by Lucinda

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad.
It shows how desperate I was for anything new to read on the Tudors that I bought this as I still have nightmares over the Tudor Wife.The previous reviewers are spot on with their criticisms about the obsession with sex...and honey...and sex...however I did quite enjoy this. Some of the descriptions are good and I found Mary's appraisal of Elizabeth at the end rather...
Published on 10 Aug. 2011 by N. Bratby


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad., 10 Aug. 2011
By 
This review is from: Mary & Elizabeth (Paperback)
It shows how desperate I was for anything new to read on the Tudors that I bought this as I still have nightmares over the Tudor Wife.The previous reviewers are spot on with their criticisms about the obsession with sex...and honey...and sex...however I did quite enjoy this. Some of the descriptions are good and I found Mary's appraisal of Elizabeth at the end rather moving. I do accept the Seymour episode as it's clear that something occurred which Elizabeth was resourceful enough to survive, though the portrayal of her with Philip of Spain is really hard to believe...I don't think Elizabeth would have been so blatant, she was intent on preserving her life.

If you can suspend some disbelief, it's good enough as a holiday read, it passed a few hours entertainingly.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise but bogged down in sensationalism, 29 Jun. 2011
By 
Iset (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mary & Elizabeth (Paperback)
Before I get into the review proper, for the benefit of of fellow Amazon customers I just want to highlight the fact that this novel is also published under the title The Tudor Throne under the author's real name Brandy Purdy.

I rather felt that "Mary & Elizabeth" had its good points and bad points, and they actually balanced each other out, resulting in a fairly mediocre, middle-of-the-road book. I thought the premise was interesting, the focus on their relationship in the early years up to Elizabeth's accession, and the idea that despite their differing ideological, political and personal backgrounds their dynamic simply as sisters had a significant impact on their other roles to each other. Writing alternate chapters from one sister's point of view and then the other's was an interesting way of exploring these questions, but writing it in first person? The risk in using first person is that historical figures are wonderfully and horribly complex to nail down, and it's a feat rarely pulled off. Mary and Elizabeth in this novel are interesting and entertaining characters, but they're not true to life, in my opinion. I felt that the language and writing skill Purdy displayed was competent, and there were moments in particular that I really enjoyed, such as her description of the masque of flowers and the wares of "the Cakes and Ale Man".

However, for me there were a few negative points as well. Here and there certain sentences, usually describing a character's attire, went on and on and they're rather unwieldy. Also, there were certain words and phrases that were anachronistic. Now, there's a line to be trodden here; no one expects an author to write a story entirely in the language of the times, indeed if they did it could be difficult for readers to understand and potentially limit the author in what they can convey. However, I think it's reasonable to expect that certain watch words and phrases be avoided, for example you wouldn't expect a novel set in ancient Rome to mention the word "electricity", so one has to be careful about certain words and also things like idioms and peculiar sayings.

My big bugbear in this novel however was the sensationalism and the lack of historical accuracy. Elizabeth is titled incorrectly, Anne Boleyn's motto is wrong, and the novel dredges up the old long-disproven rumours of a sixth finger and various poisonings. I know some will raise the familiar calling cry "it's only fiction" in response to this point, but if you ask me, history is interesting enough to stand on its own, it doesn't need to be spiced up, and á la Philippa Gregory's "The Other Boleyn Girl" there comes a point when historical accuracy is so removed from the facts, when the characters are unrecognisable from the historical people, that the author might as well have just written a story about entirely fictitious characters. Also, historical figures were real people and there's a duty to treat them with objectivity, it seems only courteous to mention in an author's note if an author has messed about with the history. To me personally I prefer accuracy and it just seems unnecessary to drag historical figures through the mud by repeating all the lurid unsubstantiated rumours ever spoken about them. I love history, so when I read historical fiction I'm hoping for the story to give me an insight into the real people, and to treat them as human beings with shades of grey. I'm not looking for a Tudor gossip magazine.

Purdy's previous novel attracted a certain amount of criticism for the lurid sex scenes. I didn't feel like there were too many sex scenes in this book, but what sex scenes there were I thought were rather on the lurid side - not intolerable, but definitely lurid.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate and sensationalist, 22 Sept. 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mary & Elizabeth (Paperback)
History is written by the victors as the old saying goes but I'd like to add an extension to this: and historical fiction writers to suit their own purposes. What Elizabeth Purdy creates here is vastly inaccurate, has major problems with its timelines and of course sadly is pure sensationalism with a good smattering of sex included for no real reason but to titillate the reader.

Add to this problems with the perspective of the stories main two protagonists (as it's told from Elizabeth and Mary's first person point of view) and it's sadly something that whilst OK, is not something startling or a title that stands out from the masses of titles out there. Finally add to the mix major problems with what's gone before including lack of research and the story really falls far short of what I was hoping for.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely diabolical., 17 Aug. 2011
By 
Miss C. K. Bartle "Musta Enkeli" (England/Finland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mary & Elizabeth (Paperback)
I had to have this book forcibly removed from my hands because it was enraging me so much.

I would really question whether the author has any historical knowledge at all, especially regarding the customs and etiquette of the Tudor court.

The plot is just one sensational, over-the-top and holy inaccurate event after another.

I think that the most accurate part of the book is the title.

Terribly written and with a complete disregard of any truth. I appreciate that a writer of historical fiction needs to use a little artistic license in order to further a plot, but this is absolutely diabolical and bordering on the ridiculous.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, please no more from this author, 1 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Mary & Elizabeth (Kindle Edition)
I would hesitate before getting any more books by this author, this was completely spoilt by the bodice ripping scenes which other reviewers have described, and also the rendition of Cakes and Ales which was completely unnecessary and put me off reading any more of this dreadful book.

I have to say that I was not expecting this book to be so graphic in its descriptions of sex, I was unprepared for that and did not like it at all in the book.

I also hesitate to wonder whether the author has done any research at all into the Tudor Court, I certainly shall not be keeping this book and will be consigning it to the charity shop this year, there are much better historical fiction books on the market, and I am sorry to say that I became seduced by the cover and failed to look beyond the first few pages.

If I could give no stars to this product I would do, but I give one star reluctantly in this case.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, 4 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mary & Elizabeth (Paperback)
This is basically soft porn with a bit of historical inaccuracy thrown in. Not recommended reading - there are much better historical novels available.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An improvement. But not there yet., 25 Jun. 2011
By 
J. Kemp (Ashford, Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mary & Elizabeth (Paperback)
To be fair, Purdy's novel is certainly better than her last. The use of her language is much improved and it seems to be more historically accurate and better well-researched than the last.

However, Purdy has this ability of making her characters really rather unliked. Mary, I just wanted to slap and there was something unlikeable about Elizabeth that I just couldn't quite put my finger on. One minute, she was this complete innocent who wanted no part in the rebellion, and the next minute she was deliberately seducing her brother-in-law.

Also, is Purdy's obsession with sex. And honey. While Jane Rochard watched Katherine Howard and Anne of Cleaves get it on with a pot of honey behind Katherine Howard's bed curtains, Kat Ashley watched Elizabeth and Thomas Seymour get it on quite regularly. Something which I doubt very much would ever really happen.

Mary's relationship with Phillip also echos Jane Rochford's sickening relationship with George Boleyn. You want to take her and shake her. Mary is also completely irrational and bunny jumps hops from one idea to the other. It makes it sound like Purdy has used this as a clever character device, but I don't think that she has.

Ultimately, if you're interested in the time period, give it a read if you want. But just don't expect too much. Once the author drops her obsession with sex and honey and instead works on her development of her characters, I'm sure that her books will be much improved.

Marie Kemp xx
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful, 6 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mary & Elizabeth (Kindle Edition)
I read lots of historical fiction and also rather enjoyed 'The Tudor Wife' so looked forward to reading this. I can honestly say this is the worst book that I have ever read. From the lurid sex scenes (which are just to far fetched for my imagination) to the rendition every few pages of 'Cakes and Ale' the whole novel was just dreadful. In some sort of perverse self flagellation I persevered until the end of the book but was left with a feeling that I will never get those hours back that I have just wasted. Please don't waste your time. I'm now dreading having to read 'A Court Affair' that I bought at the same time. Spare yourself the pain of reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sexed up and dumbed down., 16 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Mary & Elizabeth (Kindle Edition)
This book was a real let down because it got so wrapped up in 'bodice ripping' that it lost control over the rest of the story. It laboured through the plot with numerous historical inaccuracies and unfortunately entertained many common misconceptions about the Tudor era. It also gave a unrealistic presentation of the characters as Elizabeth was continually the 'golden girl' whilst Mary was degraded as a miserable old woman.

Therefore I would not recommend this book at all as it was not enjoyable and any true fan of the Tudor era would find themselves incredibly disappointed and disheartened by this poor attempt at a historical novel
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most intensely dramatic blood bonds within history, told with such deep poignancy and fever as to be remembered!, 15 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Mary & Elizabeth (Paperback)
Elizabeth and Mary. Both daughters to the greatest monarch who ruled over England, and who became divided by the crown and that impassioned rivalry between them. This spectacular novel re-tells Elizabeth's and Mary's story from the very beginning - from childhood to adulthood, bringing to life those turbulent changeable times. Beautifully written, vivid and dramatic the Tudor's are spectacularly envisaged most realistically and acutely. As an avid reader of historical fiction this book is a delight to behold, and something that is extremely interesting for it professes a most fascinating insight into their relationship.

They shared childhood memories and one grand ambition...

Mary was England's precious jewel, the surviving child of the tumultuous relationship between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. However, when Henry fell passionately in love with the dark-eyed Anne Boleyn, he cast his wife and daughter aside. Henry and Anne's union divides the country and with the birth of Elizabeth, Mary becomes a pariah, stripped of all royal privileges. Yet there is something enchanting about Elizabeth, and Mary grows to love her.
But every Rose has its thorn, and following Anne Boleyn's execution, a rift begins to grow between the sisters. Mary assumes her place as Queen, her reign of terror turning the people's love to hate. Elizabeth, whose true love is her country, must defy her tyrannical sister to make way for a new era...

The death of Mary has to be one of the most marked moments within history, and the blood bond between her and the greatest female monarch to assume the throne is so distinctive. Her time as monarch to her eventual death is something that causes much controversial remarks even today, as the two females were so different in ideals and principles. Elizabeth's forty-five year reign (known as "the Virgin Queen") still remains noteworthy; as she became the greatest monarch England has ever known surpassing the deeds even of her great father. What is ironic is that despite the rift between them, Mary and Elizabeth share the same tomb, which inscribed it reads:

`Consorts in both throne and grave
Here rest we two sisters,
Elizabeth and Mary,
In the hope of one resurrection."

Unable to put this book down for even a moment, I was lost within a past age of love, power and rivalry in which the ambition and the greed, the dominance and unjust times are perfectly captured. The connection between these two sisters is so strong, with the same blood running though their veins as they share similar desires and visions in life. Absolutely stunning, beautifully captured and quite exquisite this stunning historical novel totally blew me away and is something that I shall definitely be re-reading again. I look forward to reading more work by Emily Purdy.
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Mary & Elizabeth
Mary & Elizabeth by Emily Purdy (Paperback - 9 Jun. 2011)
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