Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mary, Bloody Mary

Mary, Bloody Mary

Carolyn Meyer
Historical Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001   ISBN: 978-0152164560

Mary is the daughter of Henry the VIII of England and she is often given the name  "Bloody Mary. "  In this often disturbing novel Carolyn Meyer succeeds in showing her readers that there was another side to Mary. She was not just a fanatically religious and harsh queen.

Before she even came to the throne, Mary was a child whose father cast her off. For many years she suffered dreadful indignities and privations. After the marriage between her parents was annulled, Mary was deprived of her title as Princess of Wales and was expected to answer to the title of "Lady Mary." Mary’s stepmother, the unpredictable and often cruel Anne Boleyn, went out of her way to make Mary’s life a misery. After the birth of Princess Elizabeth, Mary was given the job of taking care of the baby, including being expected to change Elizabeth’s filthy diapers. Mary was not allowed to see or write to her mother and there were long periods of time when she feared for her life. It is not surprising that Mary turned inwards and relied heavily on her faith to get her through these dreadful years.

As the story unfolds, Carolyn Meyer shows us how, over time, Mary developed a deep hatred of Anne Boleyn and of what she considered to be"heresy" any kind. Mary was truly shaped, even twisted, by the events in her childhood and young adulthood. Carefully researched, this book gives the reader an exceptional picture of the times of Henry VIII, and the danger that existed in his court. This is one of the titles in the  "Young Royals" series.

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