Reviews for Mary Tudor: England’s First Queen

Mary Tudor England's First QueenMary Tudor Princess Bastard QueenAnna Whitelock - Mary Tudor - Book Stack

The dramatic story of the life and reign of England’s First crowned Queen.

‘Anna Whitelock’s greatest achievement is her portrait of Mary as a woman as well as Queen – sketching her private tragedies, rejections and physical illnesses – but she always retains the context in which these personal struggles unfolded: the 16th-century struggle for power in Europe….In a complex, compelling character study we see Mary’s determination to regain her rights as Queen.’
(Independent on Sunday)

The Sunday Times

‘Whitelock blazes through the Protestant burnings that earned her the name “Bloody Mary” and excels in her timely portrait of a religious fanatic.’
(Frances Wilson, The Sunday Times Best Biographies of 2009)

‘Anna Whitelock’s biography is a valuable corrective’

The Mail on Sunday

‘This rollercoaster of a story is told by Whitelock with great verve and pace…It is good to find this book saluted as ‘an impressive and powerful debut’ by David Starkey: he has recently been quoted denouncing the feminisation of history by women biographers. Clearly he is able to lay aside such sentiments when faced with a proper historical work. Quite right too.’ (Antonia Fraser, Mail on Sunday)

Financial Times

‘Anna Whitelock’s impressive biography stresses Mary’s significance as “England’s first queen”. This book is a resurrection….a brilliant account’ (Jenny Uglow)

‘Whitelock offers an unforgettable picture of Mary.’
(Diane Purkiss, Financial Times)

The Telegraph

‘Whitelock’s fine new biography tells story of Mary from cradle to throne.’
(Noel Malcolm, The Telegraph)

Daily Express

‘The book paints a sympathetic portrait of a Queen whose talents have been largely undervalued.’
(Christine Williams, Daily Express)

The Times Literary Supplement

‘Whitelock’s provocative assessment of the scale of Mary’s achievements – a trail-blazing queen regnant who seized the throne through decisive action, who held it firm against determined rebels, who contracted a spectacular marriage, and sponsored thoughtful rather than merely reactionary religious policies – is persuasive on a historical as well as rhetorical level.’
(Peter Marshall, Times Literary Supplement)

History Today

‘A sympathetic though far from hagiographic account of one of English history’s most neglected figures, thorough in its research and very well written.’
(History Today)

US Reviews

‘Whitelock seeks to rehabilitate Henry VIII’s daughter Bloody Mary (1516-1558), “one of the most reviled women in English history,” and to establish her as “a political pioneer who redefined the English monarchy … this is a perceptive portrait of a zealous queen and the larger-than-life parents and tumultuous times that shaped her.’
(Publishers Weekly)

‘Queen Mary Tudor of England will forever live in history as “Bloody Mary,” for the number of Protestants put to the flames during the reign of this unbendingly Catholic monarch. In this inviting biography, British historian Whitelock presents a more favorable queen… The author sees survivalism in her subject, where other historians have seen only inflexibility and self-righteousness.’

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