The Myth of Bloody Mary – Linda Porter

Title: The Myth of “Bloody Mary”
Author: Linda Porter
ISBN: 9780312564964
Pages: 464
Release Date: July 8, 2008
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography, History
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

When the name Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and sister of Elizabeth I, is mentioned, what immediately comes to mind?  A bloodthirsty monarch who burned heretics?  A women who was so sure of her own faith that she murdered everyone that didn’t agree with her?  According to Linda Porter’s insightful new biography of “Bloody Mary,” that isn’t necessarily the case.  Porter draws on an amazing amount of research in order to present a new side of the much maligned Queen. 

Review:

The Myth of Bloody Mary is an exceptional biography of Mary Tudor.  It covers Mary’s entire life, rather than simply focusing on the most “exciting” years.  As a result, the reader gets a full and comprehensive view of Mary; Porter makes it clear how events that occur early in Mary’s life influence her later choices. 

Porter is a talented writer and manages to make history come alive in The Myth of Bloody Mary.  This is difficult to do in the best of historical fiction novels, but in a non-fiction biography?  It’s an incredibly impressive feat.  Though the book is long, the pages fly by quickly.  Porter manages to keep the reader hooked.  She makes Mary’s history incredibly interesting; at times, I forgot I was reading non-fiction.

It is clear that Porter spent a long time researching The Myth of Bloody Mary.  The sheer amount of effort that must have gone into writing this book is evident.  Porter provides meticulous details in order to help the reader picture events in his or her mind.  Additionally, according to the publisher, she drew on many unique sources to write this book, sources that other historians haven’t considered.  As a result, this is an entirely new look at what really is a tragic life.

While I don’t want to discuss exactly how Porter portrays Mary in The Myth of Bloody Mary, as that would take away part of the incentive to read it, I will say she demonstrates that the Queen has been misunderstood throughout history.  She builds her case slowly and methodically over the pages of the novel.  It was very compelling and it’s easy to agree with her point of view.

The Myth of Bloody Mary was an amazingly written biography that I highly recommend.  It’s a great book that combines a turbulent period in history with the captivating story of a girl who lived her life in sorrow.  This is definitely a must read!

Comments

  1. I love biography and love the Tudors. This sounds like a good one for me. I’ve read some nonfiction of Mary, but most of it mentions Mary in passing as the daughter of Henry VIII or is part of a larger work that includes her half-siblings. Thanks.

  2. I love biography and love the Tudors. This sounds like a good one for me. I’ve read some nonfiction of Mary, but most of it mentions Mary in passing as the daughter of Henry VIII or is part of a larger work that includes her half-siblings. Thanks.

  3. Wow! This sounds absolutely fascinating. I love history, and I’m especially interested in biographies that try to portray women who have been vilified more fairly.

  4. Wow! This sounds absolutely fascinating. I love history, and I’m especially interested in biographies that try to portray women who have been vilified more fairly.

  5. I would so love to read this book, it’s on my favorite subject of course. I do tend to dislike her, so it would be interesting if this book would turn around that opinion of her.

  6. I would so love to read this book, it’s on my favorite subject of course. I do tend to dislike her, so it would be interesting if this book would turn around that opinion of her.

  7. Oh, I’ll have to be on the lookout for this, I don’t have a very good opinion of Mary, but I’m sure I have a lot of bias.

  8. Oh, I’ll have to be on the lookout for this, I don’t have a very good opinion of Mary, but I’m sure I have a lot of bias.

  9. Wow, exactly my kind of genre. I’m recently more interested in history. Thanks for the review Swapna.

  10. Wow, exactly my kind of genre. I’m recently more interested in history. Thanks for the review Swapna.

  11. This isn’t the same “bloody mary” that kids see in the bathroom mirror? I never stopped to think that might be based on something real!

  12. This isn’t the same “bloody mary” that kids see in the bathroom mirror? I never stopped to think that might be based on something real!

  13. You have totally sold me on this one!

  14. You have totally sold me on this one!

  15. well, ok, i’ll add this one to my list.

  16. well, ok, i’ll add this one to my list.

  17. This sounds like my kind of non-fiction.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  18. This sounds like my kind of non-fiction.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  19. I know nothing about the myth of Bloody Mary, so this sounds fascinating!

  20. I know nothing about the myth of Bloody Mary, so this sounds fascinating!

  21. Sounds wonderful. I love the Tudors. Philippa Gregory portrayed her more sympathetically than in usual in The Queen’s Fool, you might like that one if you’re interested in reading more Tudors.

  22. Sounds wonderful. I love the Tudors. Philippa Gregory portrayed her more sympathetically than in usual in The Queen’s Fool, you might like that one if you’re interested in reading more Tudors.

  23. God! I really didn’t know that about Mary! I really need to read this one!!!!

  24. God! I really didn’t know that about Mary! I really need to read this one!!!!

  25. Oooh, this sounds really good. I haven’t read much about Mary herself so this may be a place to start.

    Did you ever play Bloody Mary when you were young? I never had enough nerve to go through with it.

  26. Oooh, this sounds really good. I haven’t read much about Mary herself so this may be a place to start.

    Did you ever play Bloody Mary when you were young? I never had enough nerve to go through with it.

  27. I like reading history, but it’s rare to find one that reads like a novel, as you say. So this one is going on my list!

  28. I like reading history, but it’s rare to find one that reads like a novel, as you say. So this one is going on my list!

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