Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII, is the subject of the fifth in the Queens of England Series.
As the cherished and only surviving child of her father's marriage to Katharine of Aragon, her future seemed assured utnil the King decided to rid himself of her mother, and so brought devastating changes not only to Mary but to the entire country. After losing those who were dear to her, young and inexperienced Mary was left alone to face the dangers of those who live in the shadow of the crown.
There were the dangerous years of Anne Boleyn's reign and the humiliating ordeal of being present at the birht of Anne's daughter Elizabeth who was to be a source of anxiety to her for the rest of her days; she suffered deeply when her mother died, persecuted and neglected, of a broken heart; she saw the break with Rome, the suppression of the monasteries, two Queens lose their heads and another come near to it; she had seen one die in childbirth and the other discarded. Yet above all things, she longed for ahappy married lif and children. And by this time she had reached a confiction that she was preserved for a divine purpose which was to restore the Church of England to Rome from which her father had broken away when the Pope would not grant him a divorce.
As her brother Edward grew more feeble it seemed as though at last she was going to fulfil her mission, bu there were powerufl men determined to prevent her and when Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen it seemed as though they might succeed. But jane's reign was brief and mary was in reach of her goal. She was no longer young; as Queen she believed she must give the country an heir. Long ago she had believed she was in love with the Emperor Charles; she had cherished tender feelings for the noble Reginald Pole; Philip of Bavaria had been charming; but there had been hindrances to thse matches and in spite of many betrothals, for political reasons, she had remained a spinster.
And now there was Philip. The marriage with Spain was unpopular and there followed the humiliating tragedy during those months when she was waiting for the child for whom she longed more than anything, followed by the discovery of her husband's true feelings towards her.
Deserted by Philp, haunted by the ghosts of those who had been burned at the stake for their religious opinons--great men such as Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer and Hooper--understanding that the entire blame was put on her shoulders adn that people were calling her Bloody Mary, she asks herself how different her life might have been if she had not been born in the shadow of the queen.