After, she had to walk a tight rope of faith while Edward was on the throne, and then there was the whole Lady Jane Grey affair. Add to that, Elizabeth was causing her problems as well. Once she became queen, it all went downhill from there, most notably once she married Prince Philip of Spain (eventually King Philip II of Spain).
I actually pity her. Had she grown up in a stable loving household, she might have been a very good ruler. But during those formative years when the rug was yanked out beneath her, all her promise for the future all but evaporated.
One reason I think Elizabeth was able to rise above a similar situation is that she surrounded herself with trusted advisers and confidantes from the start.
When I was growing up, all I ever heard about was "Bloody Mary" and thought that she must be just horrible. But after learning a little more about her, I feel really sorry for Mary. If The Queen's Fool is correct, Elizabeth was quite a handful and her husband made a complete fool of her.
But The Queen's Fool still a good book that I think gets to the heart of Mary's issues as a woman, if not a ruler. I also really enjoyed the added texture of the fool's life and John Dee's role in the period.
On a broader note, I remember reading an article where she said that in preparing for a book, she mapped out the characters' real lives and cross referenced them with events of the day, even weather. I thought that The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool really benefited from that level of effort in their detail and the way that she was able to surmise her characters' motivations and emotions in context. After that, I feel that she stopped putting in the time so that she could churn out more books on publishers' deadlines and fulfill her increasingly busy calendar. I haven't read the new one set during the War of the Roses, so am not sure if she's started again with her research or is still riding on her popularity to sell books.
Last edited by Jenny; 06-14-2010 at 09:51 PM.
I read the Queen's Fool also, very enjoyable.
In all the things I have read, I always felt Mary Tudor was in a strange predicament. Raised to be in a beneficial marriage to England, but at many times probably was not seen as beneficial to potential suitor, with her being not being in the line to the throne part of the time. Just such an odd situation.
But I think the last few episodes are showing how Mary went from being a kindhearted, doting sister to burning Protestants. Interestingly enough, that Reginald Pole whom Francis Bryan and Thomas Seymour were trying to kill last season became an influential adviser to Mary and shared responsibility in the persecution of Protestants.
Have you read The Other Queen? Her non-fandom of Elizabeth continues in that one, as well.
Yes, The Other Queen is another. I found that book particularly repetitive and the three main characters to be one-dimensional. After that I read a very good biography of Bess of Hardwick (by Mary Lovell), and there's SOOO much material there, it's a shame the book didn't have more depth.
For the Princes in the Tower, I don't mind if Gregory has an opinion and goes with it, because after all it is fiction and at this point, no one knows the truth. In The Other Boleyn Girl, she says that she made certain decisions, including birth order of the Boleyn siblings, and her relationship with her brother. I'm cool with that if it's based on research, she's formed and opinion and goes with it for a fictional story. What I don't like is just plain sloppy research that accepts someone else's theory without question.
Bess of Hardwick was a far more interesting character than Gregory wrote her as and I was really disappointed in that book.
I found I did enjoy The White Queen though, I don`t know much about that particular time in history as I was more into the earlier Plantagenet`s.
I do want to read a couple more of Gregory`s books though... The Queen`s Fool being one and The Virgin Queen
~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)
The Virgin Queen was awful. I was really struck by her hatred of Elizabeth.
I didn't like The White Queen either. It seemed like she just churned it out in a few hours.
I got bored and started a Tudor-era novel. No one will ever read it, but it's fun to write!
Loved 'Bess of Hardwick' by Lovell. Such an interesting lady, plus after I read the book in 08, and then was in England and saw her houses (Hardwick Hall & Chatsworth). Hard to believe her ascent in that time, but so intriguing
Also enjoyed The Sisters by Lovell - about the Mitford sisters, very crazy story, yet true story set in the first half of the 20th C England. One of the sisters married the Duke of Devonshire, in which Chatsworth is its base, same girl was first married to a Guinness heir, another sister knew Hitler and so on.
Gregory is not the best, but for quick reads, I enjoy them. I was picking the Other Boleyn apart on the birth order. I think I liked The Constant Princess (about Katharine of Aragon) and The Queen's Fool best.
Henry Cavill can sit on my bed anytime!
Without fear you cannot find courage
Just a quick question, because this week's ep left me feeling like I'd missed something. I thought there was no Memorial Day weekend episode, and the last one I remember, Henry collapsed standing at a table at the end of it. Then this week he's aged significantly with no explanation of what happened? Or am I remembering wrong?
I particularly recommend the latter two as very well researched, well written, highly entertaining and simply fascinating biographies that also take you to all kinds of interesting places.