After a general move away from the ‘Bloody Mary’ stereotype in recent biographies, I must admit that my heart sank when I read the title. However, I was pleased to see that although the book focuses on the Marian persecutions, it also explores the reasons behind the burnings, Mary’s character, the roles played by her advisors and her husband and looks at why the burnings failed to achieve their aim.
While not absolving Mary of the blame, Carradice does not exclude the positive achievements of her short reign. For those wanting an introduction to Queen Mary and to the religious burnings, this is a good place to start.
Thank you to Pen & Sword Books for my review copy.