Although in the Tudor age Henry VIII’s sisters Margaret and Mary were considered more important personalities than his six wives, they had less of the contemporary limelight . . . until Maria Perry examined their amazing lives and influence on European history. Margaret became Queen of Scotland at the age of 13, while Mary, Henry’s famously beautiful younger sister, was married off to the aging King of France. Against convention both chose their second husbands for love. Maria Perry brilliantly illuminates the characters of these two remarkable women, and also uncovers evidence on other aspects of the Tudor age: fresh information about Henry’s upbringing and his wedding night; and a revealing new study of Henry’s “worldly jewel,” his illegitimate son, the Duke of Richmond, previously a shadowy figure.
The Tudor age will never cease to amaze us, though the focus always seems to be Henry VIII and his six wives. His sisters Mary and Margaret are very interesting people in their own right. Mary became Queen of France for a mere three months as the teenage bride of King Louis XII of France and then Duchess of Suffolk as the wife of Charles Brandon. Margaret married the Kings of Scots and led an entirely different life. Yet, this entire book seems to be about Henry VIII and his sisters seems to be the backstory. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the style of writing, and the information was well-researched and correct.