One of the new books I read this year and loved was The Tudor Throne by Brandy Purdy. This book explores the complex relationship between Henry VIII's daughters. While both inherit the throne, they are vastly different.
I reviewed it in March.
A Father shapes the destiny of his children, a King shapes the destiny of his kingdom. Henry VIII shaped both.As Henry VIII laid on his deathbed attended by his wife Katherine Parr and his three children, the world waited. Henry, speaking in riddles, talks to his three children. Edward, the small weak hearted prince; Mary, the Proud Princess; and Elizabeth, the princess who should have been a prince. After Henry's passing, Edward with his Protectors assume the throne. Unfortunately, Edward is a cheap imitation of his father, and is not the King England longs for. During his reign, Elizabeth retreats to Chelsea, and Mary retreats to her own estates and faith. this would be a vital time period for both future Queens. Mary, angering Edward that she will turn to the reformed faith, stays from court. When she does make a rare appearance at court, she is shunned with all her papal finery. Elizabeth, living with her step-mother, Katherine Parr, falls in love with the scheming Thomas Seymour. A torrid love affair ensues, and threatens Elizabeth's future. Fortunately, Anne Boleyn's daughter realizes the trouble that comes along with Thomas Seymour and escapes from his greedy clutches before its too late.but Elizabeth's reputation is damaged, and it seems that everyone is looking down on her. Soon, the tides change, and it is discovered that Edward is dying. Once again, all of England is watching as the young king decides on a heir. Will it be his heretical sister Mary, or the malleable Jane Grey, his cousin? England descends into chaos as it becomes a battle of wills between Mary and the Duke of Northumberland. Eventually, Mary wins and ascends to the throne. Mary beings her reign as Merciful Mary releasing political prisoners and mending the rifts in England.Along this time, Elizabeth is once again in hot water over the Wyatt Rebellion, resulting in her imprisonment and house arrest. But the virgin queen needs a husband to beget an heir. She turns to her mother's native land and her cousin, Phillip II. This sparks much outrage all over England. but Mary persists, and wins this battle once again. Phillip comes to court and is a presumptuous, cocky man who lusts after himself and other ladies, including Elizabeth.As Mary ages, and deals with her false pregnancies, she becomes more erratic and fanatical. Merciful Mary becomes Bloody Mary very quickly. The book ends with Mary dying and Elizabeth ascending to the throne.
I received this book from the author Brandy Purdy. This book is very well written, and very detailed. The colors of dresses, hair and etc, are all very vivid. Brandy did take liberties with some details, but these are details that have been debated. I loved being able to see the world through both sister's eyes. It was remarkable. I came to understand Mary better, as well as Elizabeth.