Sunday, April 17, 2011

Question from Lauren - Mary Howard Fitzroy

I am interested in Mary Fitzroy, Duchess of Richmond. Has much research been done into her life? Was she really friends with Anne Boleyn and Catherine Parr? And why didn't she remarry?

Has she been the subject of any books, fiction or non-fiction?


Foose said...

I don't think there are any published studies or monographs specifically on her (there may be articles in historical journals, or unpublished theses). You usually have to utilize biographies or studies of people related to her (her father Norfolk, her husband Fitzroy, her brother Surrey, her nephew Norfolk) or books that focus on the lives of Tudor women, the Tudor court of the 1540s, or evangelical women at the Tudor court (she's often grouped with Katherine Parr and the Duchess of Suffolk).

There was a paperback novel that came out last year or the year before, D.L. Bogdan's Secrets of the Tudor Court, whose heroine is Mary Howard. It follows the main outlines of her life, with various romantic interjections and abundant 21st-century behavioral and psychological anachronisms. The book is primarily interested in Mary's relationship with dear old Dad, and has many entertaining domestic scenes of violence and brutality chez Norfolk. Lively bathtub reading!

Lara said...

She has a short entry in the ODNB, which actually surprised me since I figured she would have been rolled into one of the other Howard ones.

kb said...

One of the reasons there is not a full biography of her is that the historical record seems to be a bit thin. There is a wonderful letter she wrote her father arguing for her dower payments after Fitzroy's death. She sounds like a very independent, forth-right and politically savvy young woman.