The King's Pearl: Henry VIII and His Daughter Mary, by Melita Thomas
Mary Tudor has always been known as ‘Bloody Mary’, the name given to her by later Protestant chroniclers who vilified her for attempting to re-impose Roman Catholicism in England.
Mary is usually depicted as a tragic and lonely figure, personally and politically isolated after the annulment of her parents’ marriage and rescued from obscurity only through the good offices of Katherine Parr.
Although Henry doted on Mary as a child and called her his ‘pearl of the world’, her determination to side with her mother over the annulment both hurt him as a father and damaged perceptions of him as a monarch commanding unhesitating obedience. However, once Mary had finally been pressured into compliance, Henry reverted to being a loving father and Mary played an important role in court life.
The King’s Pearl re-examines Mary’s life during the reign of Henry VIII and her complex, dramatic relationship with her father.
“This scholarly and highly engaging book offers a genuinely fresh perspective on Mary Tudor, presenting her as far more than the tragic and ‘Bloody’ queen of legend. By exploring Mary through the lens of her relationship with her father, Henry VIII, the author provides a compelling new portrait of this much-misunderstood woman which is at once more sympathetic and believable than many established accounts. A stunning achievement.” - Tracy Borman