Sarah Bryson’s biography of Mary Tudor (youngest sister of Henry VIII) goes a long way towards restoring this Tudor princess to the spotlight she once enjoyed.
Although once described as one of the most beautiful women in Christendom, Mary’s death at the age of 37 was barely noted in diplomatic circles. From the potential bride of Charles V, to her brief reign as Queen Consort of France, Mary’s life was decided by the whims of European politics.
Ruled first by her father, Henry VII, then by her brother, Mary defied Henry VIII by marring a second time, for love. Through this marriage to Charles Brandon, she became the grandmother of Lady Jane Grey.
Bryson’s full use of Mary’s letters, allows Mary’ personality to emerge and we can see how she used letter writing as one of the few political tools at her disposal.
Thank you to Amberley Publishing for my review copy