Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bloody Mary

Meyer, Carolyn. 1999. Mary, Bloody, Mary.

Ever wondered what it was like to grow up as a princess? Have you always thought that princesses always get their own way and never have any problems? Meet Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII, and realize that royal blood isn’t always a blessing. This novel based on the terrifying true story presents perhaps one of the most dysfunctional families in history.

Imagine if you will that your father has fallen out of love with your mother and is cheating on her with all the ladies in the neighborhood. Imagine that your father increasingly ignores you and sends you away and doesn’t write for years on end. Then imagine that you’re the first child at least on English soil whose parents have ever divorced. Rejected by the king, forbidden to see her mother, and hated by her stepmother, Mary’s problems are only beginning. Will her father really carry through on his threats to proclaim you a bastard, disinherit you, and leave you penniless? Or worse will he kill you if you don’t agree with his decisions and acknowledge your unworthiness to exist?

Carolyn Meyer’s unique perspective on Mary, often portrayed in textbooks as a bitter, resentful queen bent on murdering all who disagreed with her, offers the reader a chance to sympathize with a princess down on her luck.

Tomorrow I'll be reviewing Beware, Princess Elizabeth. And Saturday I hope to review Doomed Queen Anne.

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