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Publisher's Summary

Adored by her parents and pampered by the court, the infant Princess Mary’s life changes suddenly and drastically when her father’s eye is taken by the enigmatic Anne Boleyn. Mary stands firm against her father’s determination to destroy both her mother’s reputation and the Catholic church. It is a battle that will last throughout both her father’s and her brother’s reign, until she is almost broken by persecution. When King Edward falls ill and dies, Mary expects to be crowned queen. 

But she has reckoned without John Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland, who before Mary can act, usurps her crown and places it on the head of her Protestant cousin, Lady Jane Grey. Furious and determined not to be beaten, Mary musters a vast army at Framlingham Castle; a force so strong that Jane Grey’s supporters crumble in the face of it, and Mary is at last crowned queen of England.

But her troubles are only just beginning. Rebellion and heresy take their toll both on Mary’s health, and on the English people. Suspecting she is fatally ill, and desperate to save her people from heresy, Mary steps up her campaign to compel her subjects to turn back to the Catholic faith.

All who resist will face punishment for heresy in the flames of the Smithfield fires.

©2020 Judith Arnopp (P)2020 Judith Arnopp

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  • C. J. Richardson
  • 01-20-21

Excellent portrayal of a Tudor Queen.

Excellent narrator and Mary's voice was well written by Judith Arnopp. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would definitely recommend to lovers of historical fiction.

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  • A Scott
  • 02-28-21

Great to hear Mary's account

I love history like this, from the woman's point of view. it brings it all to life. In reality, Mary was a broken child.

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  • Nicknacks
  • 01-27-21

A well-crafted and beautifully narrated novel

I very much enjoyed Alex Lee’s moving and emotional narration of this well-crafted novel by Judith Arnopp, which is why I think it’s well-deserving of a five star rating. I felt as if I was being given a first person insight into the complex and troubled mind of a very bitter, heartbroken and totally unfulfilled Tudor Queen, who became known as “Bloody Mary”. If, like me, you are a fan of historical fiction, and are fascinated by The Tudors, I would thoroughly recommend this as a great listen.