Bloody Mary

Carolly Erickson

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

560 Pages



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Here is the tragic, stormy life of Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon. Her story is a chronicle of courage and faith—and betrayal and treachery—set amid the splendor, pageantry, squalor, and intrigue of 16th-century Europe.

By any reckoning, Mary Tudor experienced an improbable blend of triumph, humiliation, heartbreak, and devotion—and Erickson recounts it all against the turbulent background of European politics, war, and religious strife. Bloody Mary gives students and scholars a rare portrait of the middle 1500s in Europe, and of a woman who was elevated to unprecedented power in a world both ruled and defined by men.


Praise for Bloody Mary

"This historical biography reads like the liveliest fiction . . . Utterly fascinating."—Chicago Tribune

"A book of considerable literary distinction. [Erickson's research] commands belief as well as respect."—John Kenyon, The Washington Post Book World

"Erickson has written an historical biography of rare distinction, impressive both as a portrait of the less celebrated of Henry VIII's daughters and in its depiction of the turbulent age in which she lived."—Peter Stansky, Stanford University

"Erickson has re-created it all so vividly . . . A dazzling achievement. She has fleshed out the indistinct shade of Mary Tudor so that we perceive her as a living, breathing human being."—Jessica Mitford

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Carolly Erickson

  • Carolly Erickson received her Ph.D. in medieval history from Columbia University. She is also the author of The First Elizabeth, Great Harry, and Alexandra, among other books. She lives in Hawaii.

  • Carolly Erickson Photo: Brian Reed