1288 Followers
197 Following
CarpeLibrum

Carpe Librum

Reviews and bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.

If I am lost, you will find me in medieval England.

You can also find me - and my books - on my blog.

Historical Novel Society

Currently reading

A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens, Gillen D'Arcy Wood
Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants
Louie Giglio
Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet
Lyndal Roper
The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears
Mark Batterson
1517: Martin Luther and the Invention of the Reformation
Peter Marshall
House of Beaufort: The Bastard Line that Captured the Crown
Nathen Amin

The First Queen of England by Linda Porter

The First Queen of England: The Myth of "Bloody Mary" - Linda Porter

I was pleasantly surprised by how interesting this book turned out to be. In my quest to research Margaret Pole, I was directed to this book. Of course, the focus is on Mary, but as her governess through some of the most difficult times of her life, Margaret features heavily through the first quarter of this book.

 

The level of detail included in Porter's narrative is comprehensive without becoming overwhelming or boring. Even after I reached the point in Mary's life after Margaret's death I continued reading and was happy to learn more about this unpopular queen.

 

I had always felt that Elizabeth's greatest strength was PR. How else could this cruel, manipulative ruler end up with a reputation that is so much more positive than her father and sister? Porter's research supports this idea and explains that Mary was not truly as "bloody" as the myth suggests. In fact, she was far less violent than her father.

 

Reading about Mary's life makes it easy to understand some of the decisions that she made, some of which led to disastrous consequences. Porter provides information without injecting motive. She offers suggestions regarding why Mary may have chosen to do (or not do) things, but does not state with certainty, as some nonfiction writers do, why Mary made those choices.

 

Easy reading for nonfiction and great insight into the life of this much maligned queen.