Hello, and a very Happy 496th Birthday to Queen Mary I of England!
Let me start by saying, I am used to referring to her as Princess Mary, because that's how I came to know her and begin to study her. She has been a huge inspiration to me, as I said in my previous post titled The Influence of Mary.
And to mark her birthday I thought I would put up some interesting links and and some of my thoughts on the various interpretations of Mary that I have seen over the years.
If you have no clue who I'm talking about, here's the wikipedia link
Now, I haven't read a biography of just Mary alone yet but Alison Weir's The Children of Henry VIII is a fascinating read. Six Wives of Henry VIII by David Starkey is a brilliant look at all the wives and many other things that were going on, including some information about Mary in relation to the women her father chose.
I have heard David Loades's biography on Mary is the one to read, but I have also heard good things about Linda Porter's work. I sincerely hope that David Starkey does something on Mary, I heard there was a tv program about her and Edward but I have yet to find it.
The Anne Boleyn Files does fantastic reviews of Tudor related books, here are the links to a few about Mary, I hope to be picking up some of them soon
There has been lots of fiction written about Mary, and I can't say enough about I Am Mary Tudor by Hilda Lewis. Carolyn Meyer has also written a fantastic book called Mary, Bloody Mary, done from the perspective of Mary as a teenager. But, I think my favorite piece of fiction right now that includes Mary is The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory. Its sympathetic but not syrupy, doesn't get too much into the religious aspect and has other interesting characters that made the story appealing. I have yet to read Jean Plaidy's In The Shadow Of The Crown.
Now, I have to admit, I haven't seen very many Tudor related movies. I'm waaay behind in that regard. But, I will say that I LOVED Sarah Bolger as Mary in the tv program The Tudors. After being so irritated at how badly they boggled up Henry VIII's sisters I was beyond pleased with the representation of his daughter. I remember a scene from the second season, when Mary has been sent to live with the baby Princess Elizabeth and has had everything stripped from her and she is sitting alone in her room, stunned and horrified by all that has happened to her, and she still gets up and tends to the poor baby Elizabeth when she's crying. And when she's at Jane Seymour's bedside, asking her not to die....oh, she nailed it! I think that there is a tenderness to Mary that so many people have missed, and Sarah Bolger's facial expressions were spot on for conveying the emotion she must have felt.
I don't remember Mary in 'The Other Boleyn Girl', movie or book. The lady who played her in the 80's movie 'Lady Jane' was marvelous.
The depiction of the older Mary that I most enjoyed was from the BBC movie about Elizabeth, with Anne Marie MacDuff playing Elizabeth. That production was marvelous on a variety of levels, but I thought Joanne Whalley handled Mary quite well, where she seemed too much like a lunatic in the Cate Blanchett version of Elizabeth.
Now when I just feel like reading a little something about Mary, I turn to this fantastic blog, Mary Tudor Renaissance Queen
The post about Mary's coronation was wonderful! And there is a very interesting review of a book about Mary's husband Phillip of Spain currently up that's work looking at.
But, I hope you've enjoyed this post and that you'll take some time today to learn something new about this much misunderstood queen. If you want to know more about why I admire her so, please see my previous post The Influence Of Mary.