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Bloody Mary (Paperback)

Tudor Terror, 1553–1558

British History Social History Tudors & Stuarts Tudors and Stuarts

By Phil Carradice
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: History of Terror
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781526728654
Published: 6th June 2018

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When Mary Tudor, eldest daughter of Henry VIII, succeeded to the throne of England in 1553 it was with wild rejoicing and a degree of popularity rarely seen on the accession of a British monarch. Yet at her death five years later she was almost universally reviled and hated by her people so much so that she was posthumously awarded the sobriquet Bloody Mary.

Mary’s revenge on the church and on a religion she hated was swift and total. Noblemen like the Duke of Northumberland, would-be queens like Lady Jane Grey, churchmen like Thomas Cranmer and bishops Latimer and Ridley, Mary’s fires or the executioner’s axe ended the lives of all of them.

During her brief reign she restored the Catholic faith to England and had over 280 Protestant martyrs burned at the stake. For a reign that looked so promising Mary’s brief period in power brought the greatest officially sanctioned religious bloodletting the country had ever seen. And at the end, the stench of the execution fires and the grey smoke that settled like a pall across the country seemed to epitomize the reactionary forces that had assumed control.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Although this book is short at only 128 pages, I found it very interesting and informative, while not telling me anything I didn't already know about Mary, I learnt a lot about the people that died in the burning's. Some books like this can be a bit heavy go but this was really easy to read.

NetGalley, reviewed by Heather Temple

Article: 'Story of the Cardiff fisherman who was burned at the stake for heresy' as featured by

South Wales Echo, 3rd August 2018 - words by Brian Lee

I enjoyed reading Bloody Mary, it was extremely informative and well written. It covered a time of history that I am interested in and it didn't dim that interest.

NetGalley, reviewed by Mary Miron

After a general move away from the ‘Bloody Mary’ stereotype in recent biographies, I must admit that my heart sank when I read the title. However, I was pleased to see that although the book focuses on the Marian persecutions, it also explores the reasons behind the burnings, Mary’s character, the roles played by her advisors and her husband and looks at why the burnings failed to achieve their aim.

While not absolving Mary of the blame, Carradice does not exclude the positive achievements of her short reign. For those wanting an introduction to Queen Mary and to the religious burnings, this is a good place to start.

See the review online here.

Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide

Article: 'Vale author's new books' as featured by

Barry Gem, Llantwit Major Gem, Bridgend & Porthcawl Gem and Cowbridge Gem, 5th July 2018 - words by Brian Lee

If you have an interest in this period of history then this is, I believe, a good basic introduction that you can subsequently build upon.

NetGalley, reviewed by G Heard

Very exciting and easily accessible piece of English history. With beautiful contemporary images. A lot of information you might not know in this country.

NetGalley, reviewed by Nureeni Lem

I thought it was a very well executed biography which leaves nothing unexplained, while being readable for readers who are perhaps not used to reading history.

NetGalley, reviewed by Camille Brown

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

As an overview of this piece of history it's a fascinating book and really makes you want to delve deeper and look more into the life of this time period.

NetGalley, reviewed by Kirsty White

If you or someone you buy gifts for likes English history, is interested in Bloody Mary or possibly even studies religion, give this book a read.

NetGalley, reviewed by Jeffrey Wells

This was definitely an easy read. It did not seem dense at all and I flew through it. This would be a great book to pick up if you are interested in Tudor History.

NetGalley, reviewed by Deirdre Metcalf

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed this factual tale about the reign of Mary I. Bloody Mary is a fair description of the terror she wrought on Protestants in England and the way in which they were persecuted. The story also depicted the often proud way in which those that were burnt at the steak died for their beliefs. I know I wouldn’t have wanted to end my days that way!

NetGalley, reviewed by Samantha Morgan-Hewitt

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It was interesting to read about Bloody Mary. The book was well written and informative. The research was solid. I would highly recommend this book to all history buffs out there. You will not be disappointed.

NetGalley, reviewed by Jane Guilfoyle

Really well written and a very informative book on Mary Tudor. It was like being transported back in time and watching her life unfold before your eyes.

Definitely well worth a read.

NetGalley, reviewed by Sue Blanchard

About Phil Carradice

Phil Carradice is a poet, novelist and historian. He has written over fifty books, the most recent being The Call-up: A Study of Peacetime Conscription in Britain and Napoleon in Defeat and Captivity. He presents the BBC Wales history programme The Past Master and is a regular broadcaster on both TV and radio. A native of Pembroke Dock, he now lives in the Vale of Glamorgan but travels extensively in the course of his work. Educated at Cardiff University and at Cardiff College of Education, Phil Carradice is a former head teacher but now lives as a full-time writer.

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