Thursday, September 15, 2011

England's Catholic Queen

A new book on Mary I is reviewed at the blog Mary Tudor: Renaissance Queen.
It’s best to start with the positives of this book and there are many. Undoubtedly this biography is the most important one of Mary in regards to her marriage, her husband’s role as King of England, and Anglo-Spanish relations in general throughout the course of Mary’s lifetime. Edwards is a Modern Languages Faculty Research Fellow in Spanish at Oxford University and specialises in Early Modern Spain. He has already written a joint biography on Mary’s maternal grandparents, Ferdinand and Isabella, along with a separate one on Isabella. He is an authority on the Spanish Inquisition and Spanish religious influence in mid-Tudor England. His knowledge of Spanish sources of this period shines through this book. Not only has he exhausted Spanish archives for primary sources (some of which are not used in other works on Mary) but he is mindful of secondary Spanish sources. I was impressed (and jealous) that he got hold of María Jesús Pérez Martín’s María Tudor: La gran reina desconocida (Madrid: Ediciones Rialp, 2008) which clearly helped guide him to certain primarily materials in Spain. The result of such wide-ranging research, unconfined to the libraries and archives in the UK, is a marvellous account of Mary’s relationship with her Habsburg relations. Or, as Diarmaid MacCulloch nicely put it, Mary as ‘a Trastamara princess as well as a Tudor’. (Read entire review.)


Julygirl said...


Amanda Borenstadt said...

Very interesting. I liked the review. It's very honest and balanced.