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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not bad
half way through this book and so far i am enjoying it i really enjoy history especially the tudors, so, so far so good.
Published 14 months ago by T.REDMAN

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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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise but bogged down in sensationalism, 29 Jun 2011
By 
Isis (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, 4 Mar 2012
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate and sensationalist, 22 Sep 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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9 of 10 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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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
4.0 out of 5 stars not bad, 12 May 2013
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This review is from: Mary & Elizabeth (Kindle Edition)
half way through this book and so far i am enjoying it i really enjoy history especially the tudors, so, so far so good.
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1 of 1 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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nevertheless all bad reviews here I've really enjoyed it!, 23 Nov 2011
By 
This review is from: Mary & Elizabeth (Paperback)
I tremendously enjoyed reading this book and I would definitely recommend everyone to read it! Probably it is not a 100% accurate historical report (though most of the facts were true), but it's definitely an involving, captivating and exciting novel! Five stars from me!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Holiday read, 13 July 2014
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This review is from: Mary & Elizabeth (Kindle Edition)
A bit of a fanciful account of this relationship and period in our history but I still enjoyed it. !
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Mary & Elizabeth
Mary & Elizabeth by Emily Purdy (Paperback - 9 Jun 2011)
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