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In The Shadow of the Crown: The Story of…
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In The Shadow of the Crown: The Story of Mary Tudor (original 1988; edition 1988)

by Jean Plaidy (Author)

Series: Queens of England (6)

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335556,630 (3.7)1
As Henry VIII's only child, the future seemed golden for Princess Mary. She was the daughter of Henry's first queen, Katharine of Aragon, and was heir presumptive to the throne of England. Red-haired like her father, she was also intelligent and deeply religious like her staunchly Catholic mother. But her father's ill-fated love for Anne Boleyn would shatter Mary's life forever. The father who had once adored her was now intent on having a male heir at all costs. He divorced her mother and, at the age of twelve, Mary was banished from her father' s presence, stripped of her royal title, and replaced by his other children--first Elizabeth, then Edward. Worst of all, she never saw her beloved mother again; Katharine was exiled too, and died soon after. Lonely and miserable, Mary turned for comfort to the religion that had sustained her mother. In a stroke of fate, however, Henry's much-longed-for son died in his teens, leaving Mary the legitimate heir to the throne. It was, she felt, a sign from God--proof that England should return to the Catholic Church. Swayed by fanatical advisors and her own religious fervor, Mary made horrific examples of those who failed to embrace the Church, earning her the immortal nickname " Bloody Mary." She was married only once, to her Spanish cousin Philip II--a loveless and childless marriage that brought her to the edge of madness. With In the Shadow of the Crown, Jean Plaidy brings to life the dark story of a queen whose road to the throne was paved with sorrow.… (more)
Member:sallymn
Title:In The Shadow of the Crown: The Story of Mary Tudor
Authors:Jean Plaidy (Author)
Info:Putnam 1988/89 (1988), Edition: First
Collections:Your library, ebooks
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, historical fiction

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In the Shadow of the Crown by Jean Plaidy (1988)

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I loved this book and can't believe I had never heard of Jean Plaidy, a writer of more than 200 books. I think the reason why I liked this one so much, was that although I've read a few books on the Tudors, not one on Mary, and I'm greatly lacking in knowledge of the period, so much so until I had read this, I could never quiet get all of Mary's father's wives clearly in my mind, and had always assumed that he had lopped off all his wive's heads.

Although a bit told, it would difficult to tell such a life story on an epic scale, written otherwise. I think Jean Plaidy tells the story well, following Mary from a young child till her death, and in turn we see all of Henry VIIIs wives, and the effect his choices had on his daughter. From a Princess, first in line to the throne to a bastard, pushed back with each successive child from his other wives.

I liked that it provided an insight into all the women Henry VIII married and her half sister, Elizabeth who would ascend the throne after Mary as Elizabeth I, as well as the state of mind Mary may very well have had througout her tuberlant life and reign plus an insight of what her brief and childless marriage to her Spanish cousin, Philip II might have been like. ( )
  Sharon.Robards | Jan 18, 2018 |
I have read a lot of books about Mary Tudor and this book was one of the few books that truly portrayed Mary's entire life as it may have actually been without exaggerating her life extensively.

Mary Tudor was the apple of King Henry VIII's eye, and the darling of England as a child. However, that all changed when Anne Boleyn showed up. An intelligent child, so unaware of the turmoil around her since her birth, and so desperate for love. And because of the love that she was deprived of so constantly (the forced separation between her and Queen Katharine and everyone she is close with), she turned to religion. Through her religious beliefs and lack of love, she so willingly and freely falls in love with the idea of love and religion through Phillip of Spain, who ultimately breaks her heart and brings her country to ruin.

Poor Mary, she could have been such a passionate and loving person if it weren't for the tragedies in her life. Both her and Elizabeth Tudor grew up in similar environment yet both grasped and handled their hardships differently. Mary did not deserve the title "Bloody Mary", after all she had good intentions when she first began her reign. While she clearly was a religious Catholic fanatic, she certainly wasn't a tyrant or unreasonable ruler in any sense, not compared to King Henry VIII or King John. ( )
  Dream24 | Jan 6, 2016 |
The straightforward story of Queen Mary I. Born to Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife whom he divorced, Mary led an unhappy life. A staunch Catholic, she was appalled at the idea of Henry leaving the church over his divorce to Katherine and marriage to Anne Boleyn. Mary's relationship to Elizabeth, Anne's daughter, was one of constant mistrust. Mary did inherit the throne upon the death of young Edward, the son of Jane Seymour, Henry's third wife. She was very unprepared to rule and was extremely naive. Her main goal was to bring England back to the Catholic Church, but by this time, there were many Protestants and their influence was strong. Mary's solution was to bring people back to the church through fear, thus many "heretics" (Protestants) were burned at the stake which caused her to become known as Bloody Mary. Mary did marry Phillip of Spain, but that marriage was for political purposes only and she was greatly disappointed. Adding to her sorrow, was the inability to get pregnant although she suffered through several false pregnancies (probably dropsy). Her life was one of sorrow, disappointment, wishful thinking, and fear.

Plaidy tells Mary's story in a thoroughly researched manner which lacks "spirit' at times. However, it is a informative read about the life of a very sad queen. ( )
  maryreinert | Jun 14, 2015 |
This is a great historical fiction novel by Jean Plaidy about "Bloody Mary." It was interesting and I couldn't put it down. In many books, Queen Mary comes across as as evil woman who was so consumed by her religion that she became completely intolerant. This book shines a little more of a sympathetic light on her. ( )
  Angelic55blonde | Jun 30, 2007 |
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As Henry VIII's only child, the future seemed golden for Princess Mary. She was the daughter of Henry's first queen, Katharine of Aragon, and was heir presumptive to the throne of England. Red-haired like her father, she was also intelligent and deeply religious like her staunchly Catholic mother. But her father's ill-fated love for Anne Boleyn would shatter Mary's life forever. The father who had once adored her was now intent on having a male heir at all costs. He divorced her mother and, at the age of twelve, Mary was banished from her father' s presence, stripped of her royal title, and replaced by his other children--first Elizabeth, then Edward. Worst of all, she never saw her beloved mother again; Katharine was exiled too, and died soon after. Lonely and miserable, Mary turned for comfort to the religion that had sustained her mother. In a stroke of fate, however, Henry's much-longed-for son died in his teens, leaving Mary the legitimate heir to the throne. It was, she felt, a sign from God--proof that England should return to the Catholic Church. Swayed by fanatical advisors and her own religious fervor, Mary made horrific examples of those who failed to embrace the Church, earning her the immortal nickname " Bloody Mary." She was married only once, to her Spanish cousin Philip II--a loveless and childless marriage that brought her to the edge of madness. With In the Shadow of the Crown, Jean Plaidy brings to life the dark story of a queen whose road to the throne was paved with sorrow.

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