Description - Mary Tudor by H. F. M. Prescott
A highly-readable popular biography of 'Bloody Mary' - winner of the James Tait Black prize. Mary I is notorious for her persecution of Protestants and has been vilified by generations of partisan historians. H.F.M. Prescott brings a more humane and measured perspective to the life of this tormented woman. First published in 1940 under the title SPANISH TUDOR, Prescott's biography won the James Tait Black prize the following year. An extensively revised and updated edition was published in 1953 under the title MARY TUDOR. Prescott sums up her subject's life as follows: 'Perhaps no other reign in English history has seen such a great endeavour made, and so utterly defeated. All that Mary did was undone, all she intended utterly unfulfilled...mistaken often, almost always misguided in her public office, with much blindness, some rancour, some jealousy, some stupid cruelty to answer for, she had yet trodden, lifelong and manfully, the way that other sinners know.'
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(197mm x 133mm x 37mm)
Weidenfeld & Nicolson History
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Country of Publication:
Book Reviews - Mary Tudor by H. F. M. Prescott
UK Kirkus Review »
First published over 60 years ago, this new edition of H F M Prescott's prize-winning biography of Mary Tudor remains as compelling a read as ever. Mary Tudor is a curious monarch. The basic facts of her life are well known but she often seems to inspire little imaginative sympathy, her personality and reign utterly eclipsed by her glorious successor, the vibrant and charismatic Elizabeth. Whilst Elizabeth was undoubtedly a vastly superior monarch and an intrinsically more interesting individual, Mary was significantly more than the religious zealot usually depicted. Redressing the imbalance of popular perception, Prescott's admirably judicious, meticulous study paints a candid portrait of a woman marooned by circumstance and temperamentally unsuited to her royal destiny. Opening in the reign of the wilful Henry VIIII, it takes the reader on a gripping voyage through the early Tudor court, witnessing the ostracism of Katherine of Aragon and her daughter Mary, their staunch defence of their faith and Mary's slow rehabilitation and eventual accession onto the throne. Contemptuously treated by her father after his pursuit of Anne Boleyn, adrift and deprived of her royal title, Mary turned for comfort towards her mother's Spanish roots, an inclination that would have disastrous consequences with her marriage to Philip II. Well intentioned yet politically inept, longing for love that would provide the stability she craved, Mary found in Catholicism a safe refuge, a faith that guided her every move. Comprehensively researched and commendably well balanced in its portrait of the Queen, this biography gives quite a creditable picture of Mary: a woman of kindness, conscience and simple pleasures who was blighted by religious fervour and condemned by her birthright to a life for which she was deeply unsuited. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - H. F. M. Prescott
H F M Prescott was born in Cheshire. Hilda Prescott read Modern History at Oxford and later received MA degrees there and at Manchester, as well as an honorary doctorate at Durham. She is best known for her historical novel THE MAN ON A DONKEY and her biography of Mary Tudor which won the James Tait Black Prize in 1941. The daughter of a clergyman, she was a committed member of the church of England, and her wide-ranging interests included travel and a deep love of the English countryside that lasted all her life. She died in 1972.