Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Question from Emily - Books on Mary "Rose" Tudor

Hello, can anyone recommend a good biography of Henry VIII's sister, Mary Tudor?

Or at least a book that deals with her more extensively than most books on the Tudor family?

5 comments:

PhD Historian said...

The Royal Historical Society's Bibliography of British and Irish History lists only one modern book-length biography of Mary Tudor Brandon, Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk: "Sisters to the King: The Tumultuous Lives of Henry VIII's Sisters, Margaret of Scotland and Mary of France," by Maria Perry (1998). I have not read it, so I cannot comment on its quality. I cannot readily find any reviews of this particular book, either. Though Maria Perry is an actress, not a historian, her other work (on Elizabeth I) received generally positive but not glowing reviews. From that, I assume that "Sisters" would be a perfectly acceptable, place to start a study of Mary Tudor Brandon.

kb said...

Perry's book is very accessible. As it is the only book readily available on the subject it is quite useful.

You might also try Agnes Strickland's Lives of the Scottish and English Princesses. They are out of print but sometimes available at places like ABE Books online or very good university libraries. Strickland was a very well respected victorian historian whose books were best sellers. While her books are rooted in the archives her writing can take a very romantic and moralistic turn - readers would be wise to take her 'voice' with a grain of salt.

I know she did a section on Margaret Tudor sister to H8, and possibly also Mary Rose.

Foose said...

As phd historian says, there's nothing modern, but you might enjoy "Mary Tudor the White Queen," by Walter Richardson, published in 1970. This is a scholarly biography in the old style and accessible to most readers. There's also "Mary Tudor Queen of France," published in 1911 by Mary Croom Brown. This is not scholarly by today's definition, but the author is conscientious in collecting all the known information about the major incidents of Mary Tudor's life. If you started with these, reading the Perry book subsequently might offer some new insights and interpretations on the well-known facts. (They're both out of print, but you might be able to get them through inter-library loan at your library.)

Leia said...

I am currently making my way through Jean Plaidy's collective works on the Tudors and their family. It is historical fiction so I don't know if that interests you, but Mary, Queen of France is one on Henry VIII sister. I haven't read it yet but I'm sure I will soon. I tend to read the historical fiction and then look up the actual facts online while I'm reading it.

Tamise said...

You could also try 'The Sisters of Henry VIII' by Hester W Chapman.

I am not sure if it is still in print but your library might have it.