By Brandy Purdy
In the wake of King Henry VIII’s death, England’s throne is left in a precarious state – as is the peculiar relationship between his two daughters. Mary, the elder, once treasured, had been declared a bastard in favour of her flame-haired half-sister, Elizabeth, born of the doomed Anne Boleyn. Yet the bond between the sisters was palpable from the start. Now reinstated, Mary eventually assumes her place as queen. But as Mary’s religious zeal evolves into a reign of terror, young Elizabeth gains the people’s favour. Gripped by a tormenting paranoia, Mary is soon convinced that her beloved Elizabeth is in fact her worst enemy. And the virginal Elizabeth, whose true love is her country, must defy her tyrannical sister to make way for a new era…
By Amanda Woodward
Brady Purdy has written a book that fully submerges you in the Tudor Period, England. She reminds you of the elegance of dress, hairstyles, and architecture. In this book, you are drawn in to an England that is in upheaval from many years of infighting and succession battles. Yet is still a powerful influence in Europe.
I believe that all historical facts in this book are correct. Still, I found conflict with the representation of the two most powerful women in English history. Mary was represented as a jealous, insecure
and shallow woman with a child-like mind who never got over her father’s abandonment. Elizabeth, who is undeniably one of the most influential women in history, was represented as a meek, fearful child full of deceit and immoral attitudes. The story has her as a seductress before puberty and a confused victim at the same time. The great and powerful of England were represented as fumbling idiots.
This said, I have to admit that I love the descriptions and details of the life and fashion of the time period.