The Myth of "Bloody Mary" A Biography of Queen Mary I of England

Linda Porter

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

464 Pages


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It is the tragedy of Queen Mary that today, 450 years after her death, she remains the most hated, least understood monarch in English history—remembered best for burning hundreds of Protestant heretics at the stake. Linda Porter's pioneering new biography cuts through the myths to reveal the truth about the first queen to rule England in her own right. Daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, Mary Tudor was a cultured Renaissance princess who was brought to the throne by an audacious coup. She made a grand marriage to Philip of Spain, but her attempts to revitalize England at home and abroad were cut short by her early death at the age of forty-two. The first popular biography of Mary in thirty years, The Myth of "Bloody Mary" offers a fascinating, controversial look at this much-maligned queen.


Praise for The Myth of "Bloody Mary"

"A richly researched, marvelously realized historical biography."—Daily Telegraph (UK)

"Porter brings clarity to complex issues and paints a vivid portrait of Tudor court life."—Associated Press (UK)

"This well-researched biography is written in an easy, readable style."—Record-Courier (Ravenna, Ohio)

"This well-researched biography about 'Bloody' Mary is fascinating. I loved the way the author shattered the misconceptions we have of her."—Women's Own (UK)

"Porter champions her subject with sturdy determination and fixed focus . . . [and] properly accentuates this much-maligned queen's achievements."—Kirkus Reviews

"[An] intelligent, engrossing biography."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt


The Tudor Rose 1516-1528
Chapter One
Daughter of England, Child of Spain
'God send and give good life and long ... unto the excellent Princess...

Read the full excerpt


  • Linda Porter

  • Linda Porter has a Ph.D. in history from the University of York, England, and has lectured at universities in New York, worked as a journalist, and been a senior adviser on international public relations to a major telecommunications company. She was the winner of the 2004 Biographers Club/Daily Mail prize in England, which launched her on a new career as an author. She is married with one daughter and lives near London.

  • Linda Porter Russell Harper