My review of ‘Mary and Philip: The marriage of Tudor England and Habsburg Spain’ by Alexander Samson

(c) Manchester University Press

Despite the valiant attempts of recent biographers of Mary I to present a balanced view of our first Queen regnant, public opinion has been slow to change. The process started by Linda Porter, Anna Whitelock and John Edwards amongst others, continues apace with Alexander Samson’s excellent new book.

Focusing on the marriage between Tudor England and Hapsburg Spain, Samson revisits the sources and looks at the ‘political prelude’ to the marriage, treaty negotiations, anti-Spanish feelings at the time and finally the co-monarchy itself. The investigation of the co-monarchs reveals a different view of Phillip and his role as King of England.

While not ignoring the negative events of Mary’s short reign, by thoroughly re-examining the evidence Samson highlights Mary’s positive achievements and the influence of her marriage on these.

This is a must read for those interested in this period and takes another large step towards the rehabilitation of Mary I.

Thank you to Manchester University Press for my review copy.

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