Mary Tudor by Judith Richards

Mary Tudor by Judith Richards is a Routledge Historical Biography I have on my recommended reading list for British History, year 1.
Even today Mary Tudor is often described as an embittered Queen, who tried unsuccessfully to restore the Catholic Church and who sent many people to die at the stake, gaining the name “Bloody” in the process. Richards challenges those assumptions in an easy-to-read book.

Mary Tudor by Judith Richards

It was interesting to read in the book how hard-working Mary was, looking over accounts more like her grandfather, Henry VII, than her father or sister. She was marked as “Bloody” in Elizabeth’s time and we should take into consideration that this was a Protestant propaganda. At that time burning people was not thought as horrible as we think about it today, with our modern-day sensibilities and, of course, modern-day empathy.

I enjoyed reading about Mary’s relationship with her husband, who actually stayed more in England than he intended to, despite Elizabethan propaganda that he left as soon as he could. We need to keep in mind that if Mary was succeeded by Mary Queen of Scots for example, instead of Elizabeth, in the last two hundred years, historians would have praised her for quest to establish the “true faith”. At the time she was on the throne the kingdom was not in the crisis some historians think of today, despite bad harvests which led to a growing inflation. Even the loss of Calais is put into a different perspective.

I’ve enjoyed the book a lot and I’m looking forward to read the other book Richards wrote, about Elizabeth I.

Mary Tudor by Judith Richards

Details about the picture: I had to use a red background for “Bloody” Mary.
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: Yes
Published by: Routledge
Year it was published: 2008
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Biography
Pages: 264

About the author: Judith Richards is now a research associate. Previously she was a senior lecturer in History at La Trobe University. Her focus is on English and British monarchy from 1553 to 1642.
Books by Judith Richards: Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I
Website & Social Media Links: –

2 thoughts on “Mary Tudor by Judith Richards”

  • It often comes down to who is writing the history since propaganda, prejudice, and “victory” can so easily sway opinion. This sound like a good biography. I’ll make note of the author.

    • I agree. It’s amazing that even today, after 500 years, there are history books written with propaganda in mind, from religion (pro-catholic or pro-protestant) to feminism, so many historians have an agenda, maybe even without realizing it.

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