LA REINE BLANCHE: Mary Tudor, A Life in Letters


73 74 75 76 77 - 78 - 79 80 81 82
Number: 88
Page 78 of 88

LA REINE BLANCHE: Mary Tudor, A Life in Letters

SARAH BRYSON    Book Number: 88014    Product format: Hardback

Interest in the Tudor period has exploded in recent years with numerous TV documentaries and the publication of Hilary Mantel's Booker-winning trilogy. But a key figure of the era has been neglected: Mary Tudor, the sister of Henry VIII and briefly the Queen of France. Mary was a highly educated woman and prolific letter-writer, and this gripping biography tells Mary's story with extensive use of her own words. Aged only eleven, Mary was betrothed to Archduke Charles, the heir to Castile and the grandson of the Holy Roman Emperor, but the engagement foundered in the political shenanigans surrounding the marriage of Henry VIII to his brother's widow Catherine of Aragon. Henry instead arranged a marriage between his sister and the 52-year-old Louis XII of France, 34 years her senior. Louis was not in good health and Mary agreed to the match on condition that if she should be widowed she would be allowed to make her own choice of second husband. The author demonstrates the possibility that the teenage Mary had already fallen in love with Henry's close friend Charles Brandon, a pin-up of the jousting arena, later to become Duke of Suffolk. Mary was crowned Queen of France in 1514 and demonstrated constant devotion to her ailing husband, praising his kindness in letters to Henry. When he died in 1515 she entered a period of seclusion until it was clear that she was not pregnant with an heir to the French throne. Among the retinue dispatched to escort her back to England was Charles Brandon, and Mary lost no time in proposing to him. Brandon had been widowed and rather bizarrely had also had a marriage to his wife's aunt annulled, inheriting a good deal of money in the process. Henry was not happy with his sister's secret marriage to Brandon, having hoped for another dynastic union, but he was close to his sister and ultimately accepted it while confiscating her dowry, while Brandon rose steadily in influence to rival the Duke of Norfolk as one of the country's leading courtiers. Mary died in 1533, the grandmother of the future queen Lady Jane Grey. 288pp, colour reproductions.
Published price: £20
Bibliophile price: £8.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9781445673882
Browse these categories as well: Historical Biography, History, Literature & Classics

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73 74 75 76 77 - 78 - 79 80 81 82
Number: 88
Page 78 of 88