Marking the 500th year anniversary of the birth of Queen Mary I in 1516, this book both commemorates her rule and rehabilitates and redefines her image and reign as England’s first queen regnant. In this broad collection of essays, leading historians of queenship (or monarchy) explore aspects of Mary’s life from birth to reign to death and cultural afterlife, giving consideration to the struggles she faced both before and after her accession, and celebrating Mary as a queen in her own right.
I was glad to learn that I was not the only one celebrating the Quincentenary of England’s first Queen Regnant. Mary I has been largely overshadowed by her younger sister, later Elizabeth I, which in my opinion is quite a shame. The essays in this book are written by several different people. I recognised at least two names, Anna Whitelock, who wrote a biography on Mary and Retha Warnicke, who wrote a biography on Anne Boleyn. Not all of the essays were for me; some were quite academic and difficult to read. However, I quite liked some of the others especially those on Mary in the modern media. I think my favourite was Marrying Mary to the Black Legend: Anti-Catholicism and Anti-Marian Messages in Anglo-American Films about Philip II of Spain.