Description : A striking and sympathetic portrait of England's first Queen, Mary I - whose character has been vilified for over 400 years. Instead of the bloodthirsty bigot of Protestant mythology, Mary Tudor emerges from the pages of this deeply-researched biography as a cultured renaissance princess, a courageous survivor of the violent power struggles that characterised the reigns of her father, Henry VIII, and brother Edward VI. The author does not belittle Mary's burning of heretics, which earned her the subriquet 'Bloody Mary', but she also had many endearing personal qualities and talents, not least the courage of leadership she showed in facing down Northumberland's rebellion. A well-balanced and readable biography of Mary I is long overdue.
Description : In this groundbreaking new biography of "Bloody Mary," Linda Porter brings to life a queen best remembered for burning hundreds of Protestant heretics at the stake, but whose passion, will, and sophistication have for centuries been overlooked. Daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, wife of Philip of Spain, and sister of Edward VI, Mary Tudor was a cultured Renaissance princess. A Latin scholar and outstanding musician, her love of fashion was matched only by her zeal for gambling. It is the tragedy of Queen Mary that today, 450 years after her death, she remains the most hated, least understood monarch in English history. Linda Porter's pioneering new biography—based on contemporary documents and drawing from recent scholarship—cuts through the myths to reveal the truth about the first queen to rule England in her own right. Mary learned politics in a hard school, and was cruelly treated by her father and bullied by the strongmen of her brother, Edward VI. An audacious coup brought her to the throne, and she needed all her strong will and courage to keep it. Mary made a grand marriage to Philip of Spain, but her attempts to revitalize England at home and abroad were cut short by her premature death at the age of forty-two. The first popular biography of Mary in thirty years, The First Queen of England offers a fascinating, controversial look at this much-maligned queen.
Description : Making history from the moment of her birth, England's Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was a legend within her own lifetime. To her supporters, Elizabeth I was Gloriana, the Faerie Queene, a dignified and powerful woman who ruled with cunning and skill for forty-four years. To her detractors she was the ruthless supporter of a false religion; the murderer of her cousin Mary Queen of Scots; a wanton woman, herself illegitimate, who sullied the crown with her licentious behavior. The legends that have grown up around Elizabeth are fascinating, but as this book shows, the truth is just as remarkable. In Elizabeth I: Ruler and Legend, Clark Hulse brings Elizabeth to life, combining text and images to tell her story through the objects handed down by history. Commemorating the four hundredth anniversary of Elizabeth's death, this handsome volume contains over one hundred photographs of books, manuscripts, maps, letters, paintings, clothing, furniture, and many more artifacts dating from her reign. Each of these objects tells a story, and Hulse uses them as a starting point for a broad and thorough examination of Elizabeth and the society in which she lived. Beginning with an analysis of the political events surrounding her birth, the book describes Elizabeth's relationship with her father, Henry VIII, and the maneuvering that led to her eventual coronation upon the death of her half-sister Mary Tudor in 1558. As queen, Elizabeth oversaw a period of breathtaking cultural achievement. She kept England from being torn apart by the religious wars raging across Europe, and she withstood both an assassination plot and the massive military threat of the Spanish Armada. This book addresses all these major events, as well as a whole host of lesser-known aspects of Elizabeth's reign. Hulse includes discussions of topics such as the education of Tudor women; markers of identity; portraits of Elizabeth; the queen's speaking style; her interest in America; music at the Tudor court; and literary depictions of Elizabeth by Shakespeare, Spenser, and other poets.