December 9, 2008
I Am Mary Tudor
This is the story of Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's first daughter that was born to Catherine of Aragon. It tells her story from her point of view and follows her through her birth, her mother's divorce, Anne Boleyn's rise and her fall, Jane Seymour's untimely death, Anne of Cleves's short marriage and continued friendship, Katherine Howard's scandalous fall from the throne, Katherine Parr's heretic ways, the death of her brother Edward, Jane Grey usurping her throne, and finally to her coronation. Yes, Hilda Lewis managed to get all of that into one book. It's a lot of information, but it's good information. It addresses almost every rumor that was present at court. For example, Mary expresses her feeling about the rumors that Anne Boleyn had a sixth finger and a mark on her neck that signified the devil. Lewis introduced many of the most important players in her life and in Henry's too for that matter.
This book was really interesting. While Mary is not necessarily my favorite of Henry's children, or my favorite English monarch, it was good fun to read a story that expresses what her point of view may have been about her father's marriages. It allowed me to get inside of Mary's head in a way that I had never been able to before. Hilda Lewis is a great historian and writes with great detail. Her novels are a bit epic, so be sure you have time to devote to finishing the book before picking it up. It's heavy and there's a lot going on within. If you like Tudor history as I do, you'll enjoy this novel about Henry's first daughter.
Up next? I need a Tudor break... so I will be starting another young adult novel called A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Hopefully it will be fun and quick, which is exactly what I need after this heavy historical novel. I've heard good things, so we shall see. Hopefully my reading will pick up a little bit and I'll have more book reviews a little more often. I'll do my best!