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Bloody Mary (ePub)

Tudor Terror, 1553–1558

Military P&S History > British History > Tudors & Stuarts P&S History > Social History

By Phil Carradice
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: History of Terror
File Size: 14.0 MB (.epub)
Pages: 128
Illustrations: 80
ISBN: 9781526728661
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.

This would be a great starting point for someone who is not familiar with the reign of Mary, it has a lot of interesting facts and pictures throughout the whole book.

Read the full review via Instagram

Instagram, thetudorlaura

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.

Read the full review here

Amazon Customer

Great book. Easy to read and very informative.

Amazon Customer, Anne Haley

Wonderful cover, really grabs your attention. Mary is not nearly so often written about as he sister Elizabeth but this volume doe her (and her short reign) total justice.

Amazon Customer, Pip

The author of the book Phil Carradice books writes a very well written book that seems very well researched... I thoroughly enjoyed taking in all the facts in what turned out to be a very bloody reign.

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UK Historian

If you're after a book on the Tudors that's a little bit different, you'll enjoy this!

Watch the full video review here

Lil's Vintage World

I think it is overall well-written and interesting to read. It’s not dry or over-complicated, and I think if students read this it might encourage them to research further, because it makes this period of history seem less complicated than other accounts I’ve read, which is definitely a bonus, as the reigns of Edward VI and Mary I are some of the most complicated of this period.

Read the full review here

Tudor Blogger

One of many books on Bloody Mary, this version by Phil Carradice is short and thorough. He has captured the main details in a historically accurate and easily read book covering Mary Tudor's five year reign.

NetGalley, reviewed by Rose Beauvais

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book is well written and researched and a must read for anyone who wants to get off the usual train of the immediate royal family.

NetGalley, reviewed by Lili Freeman

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A detailed biography of the oldest daughter of Henry VII. Clegg does a fine job of describing her early years, which I found to be the most fascinating reading.

NetGalley, reviewed by Janilyn Kocher

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a very enjoyable book and I would recommend it to anyone interested in this period of history.

NetGalley, reviewed by Jen Lynch

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The book is very well written and very easy to read.

I liked the fact that the author introduced us in the context in which Queen Mary came to the throne. I found lots of new information about her life, her views and purposes.

I would recommend this book to those who love history and want to find out more about Queen Mary's life and the consequences of her fathers choices.

NetGalley, reviewed by Terezia Crisan

The descriptive text is supported by many images through the body of the text. The author has described the Roman Catholic terror visited on England by Henry VIII's eldest daughter - Highly Recommended

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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 well-known writer and historian with over 60 books to his credit. A poet, story teller and broadcaster, his most recent books are The Cuban Missile Crisis (Pen and Sword), The Call Up (Fonthill) and the novel Stargazers for Accent Press. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio and TV, presents the BBC Wales History programme 'The Past Master' and is widely regarded as one of the finest creative writing tutors in Wales.

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