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Monday, November 28, 2011

Mary Tudor, "Bloody Mary"

Gretchen Mauer shares the backstory of her book:

Mary Tudor, “Bloody Mary” is one of six biographies written for 9 to 13-year-olds in the series, The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Dastardly Dames. Out of the six women in the series, I was most interested in writing about Mary Tudor, the first reigning queen of England, because to me she had the most brutal-sounding nickname. I wanted to learn more about why and how she earned it, and whether or not she deserved it. I also wanted to gain a deeper understanding of what her childhood was like, and what if any good she did for the people of England.

Mary Tudor, a devout Catholic, was the first woman to be in charge of all major decisions in England. She ruled from 1553-1558, during a brutal time in history when all European rulers had blood on their hands, including her father, King Henry VIII, and her sister, who ruled after her, Queen Elizabeth.
As soon as Mary became queen, she acted on her mission to bring all people in England back to the Catholic Church. She believed, like many other Catholics at the time, that Protestants would go directly to hell after they died and remain there forever. Moreover, she felt that if she did not bring all people in England back to the Catholic Church, society would fall apart. Friends would turn on friends, neighbors on neighbors. She encouraged Protestants to recant, but if they refused, she ordered their executions. Throughout her five-year reign, she burned 284 Protestants at the stake.
Mary Tudor, ‘"Bloody Mary" tells about how Mary Tudor came to power (her childhood was not short on jaw-dropping drama), how she used her power, and why. It’s definitely a book that makes you think. It puts the information out there, the good and the bad, and leaves the reader to decide whether or not Mary Tudor deserved her nickname, "Bloody Mary." Was she was a product of her time, a wicked woman at heart, or a little bit of both?
You can contact Gretchen at  More information about her book can be found on her publisher’s website at, or my Mary Tudor Facebook book page at]

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