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Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
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Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  721 ratings  ·  48 reviews
A new novel of sixteenth-century royalty from the author of A Question of Guilt. Her name was Mary Tudor.

First of the Tudor queens, she has gone down in history as 'Bloody Mary'. But does she deserve her vicious reputation?

She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, and half-sister to Edward VI and Elizabeth I. Mary Tudor's life began as the sweetly
Paperback, 323 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Berkley Books
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  721 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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This is not the subtlest rendition of the life and times of Mary Tudor.

It's obvious from the prologue that this book was not meant to be read by people who are already knowledgeable about Mary Tudor and her story. The book makes it clear that it wants to shatter your preconceived notions about Mary, which, of course, if you've read a lot about the period, have long since been shattered.

Historical events are over simplified, and people often seem to be broad brushstrokes of their true selves,
May 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
I was intrigued by the subject and by the author's intention to offer a different perspective on the monarch affectionately known as Bloody Mary. The biggest problem for me was not the fact that the author's attempts to humanize Queen Mary often came at the negative portrayals of those around her (for I am sure Henry VIII was no picnic), nor was it the unapologetic justification for her later actions as Queens (i.e. being banished and declared illegitimate by her father; her nearly life-long ...more
Marie Burton
Nov 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Julianne Lee attempts to bring to modern day readers the sympathetic view of Mary Tudor, the misunderstood queen of the sixteenth century. Queen Mary did not have an easy life, and the author immediately sets off to show her readers the myriad of different situations that she was placed in due to the fact that she was the daughter of King Henry VIII. Most Tudor era fans know the story of this Mary Tudor, who was otherwise known as Bloody Mary due to her excessive execution of heretics. She was ...more
Jul 22, 2010 rated it liked it
History has taught us to be sympathetic to Elizabeth Tudor, but generally ignores Mary Tudor, Henry’s rightful heir from his legal marriage to Catherine of Aragon. This book was a sympathetic look into Mary Tudor’s life, from her carefree spoiled childhood; to her bewilderment at her father’s marriage to “that whore;” to banishment and loss of title, struggle to maintain her faith, loyalty to her mother and father and her marriage.

The sexism in this book was rampant and only emphasized for me
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was my first Queen Mary book. I had little knowledge of her, other than what I saw on The Tudors and had read online. I thought that this was a very good book as far as explaining who Queen Mary was and what she had endured throughout her life. If this was the only thing that I knew about her, I would never truly grasp why she was referred to as Bloody Mary. This book does make me want to read more to understand her better and why historically she is so disliked as a Queen. This book almost ...more
Mar 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
Mary Tudor had a very hard life as a child. First she was the object of her father's, King Henry VIII affection. Then cast out as a illegitimate child with her mother Catherine of Aragon. She went from Princess to Lady and was to be re-trained to accept her new rank and the new religion.

When Henry married Jane, Mary was finally returned to the Castle and reunited with her father but still as a Lady not a princess. Before his death, Henry VIII reinstated Mary as princess and was to be queen in
Jan 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Overall this is a great read, especially for Tudor fans. It shows Mary Tudor as a sensitive and lonely woman with a very sad and troubled life. The religious and relationship aspects were well explored. But a few extra characters in the book made the story disjuncted at times and distracted from what really matters.
Dec 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: tudor
This was so superficial I could hardly stand it! And so full of modern words and idea it was ridiculous. I'm having a hard time coming up with some redeeming was relatively short? One dimensional characters, an author who seems to have very little understanding of tudor life, and an absolute ridiculous "voice" of Mary. Steer clear folks.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
This novel opened with modern day tweens chanting “Bloody Mary” into a mirror at a slumber party, only to have her spirit appear to tell her “real” story. That should have been my first clue to give up on this novel. The rest of the novel seemed to just gloss over important historical events. If someone was not familiar with the people and events of the time, they would be completely lost. I was hoping for more depth, more insight, but instead, it was choppy and poorly written. Her childhood was ...more
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
The author is trying to convince us thatMary Tudor doesn’t deserve her nickname of Bloody Mary. Unfortunately, the book pretty much confirms that she was a petty, strong-minded woman who refused to listen to the moderate advice of her council that killing Protestants was not good for England.

This book cast her as growing up feeling misused by the whores that her father married. It implies that if it was okay for Henry to kill Catholics then it was also okay for Mary to kill Protestants.

I knew
Tracy Hall
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
While I enjoyed this novel of Mary Tudor I must admit that I preferred you and always book a question of guilt much more. Mary was definitely her mother's daughter, stubborn or rather strong-willed especially in the Catholic faith she would end up risking her life many times before she ultimately inherited the throne for a few short years after her brother Edward and before her sister Elizabeth.
Oct 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Mary Tudor, the only surviving child of the union of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon, was born into royal splendor but life soon taught her that nothing lasts forever. She was truly her mother’s daughter, clinging to the Catholic faith they shared while at the same time this very devotion separated them when they needed the comfort of the other the most. Mary has been vilified by history; “Bloody Mary” really says it all. Personally, I have never cared for the woman I have come ...more
Jul 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
After reading Lee's take on Mary, Queen of Scots, I had high hopes for what she might do with Queen Mary Tudor. Bloody Mary is one of the most hated and reviled monarchs in English history and Lee has uncovered a side of her that shows Mary as a sympathetic character.

I'm not usually a fan of prologues, but as soon as I opened the book and started reading I was hooked, and it was the prologue's doing. From then on everything just kept getting better. Mary was not a vicious woman, determined to
Hannah Wilkinson
May 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
I think the author did a pretty good job trying to argue Queen Mary's point of view, and I did become more sympathetic, but overall she did not succeed in winning me over. And that may be my fault as the reader, not being open enough. Otherwise, I did enjoy reading this book and learning more about this historical figure that I didn't know as much about. She is too often eclipsed by her sister Elizabeth or the infamous Anne Boleyn, so I appreciated getting to know more about the problems she ...more
May 14, 2010 rated it liked it
This was definitely a different type of Tudor book. I loved the first chapter - where a group of modern-day girls are having a slumber party and decide to call up "Bloody Mary" in the mirror. That's where the story begins, when Mary does appear after they have fallen asleep to tell her story.

I enjoyed this, but something felt a little "off" the entire book. Maybe it just sped through a little too quickly. She talks about Anne having Elizabeth and being executed in about two sentences, and more
This book paints Mary as a sympathetic character who lived and died tragically lonely and was prudish. I believe that Mary would have been as convicted that she was right as depicted in this book, but I don't understand how someone so pious and "Christian" could possibly burn heretics. I don't think in this book she seemed aware of the horror of burning people, and maybe that's how she was able to do so. Her resentment of Elizabeth is understandable, her devotion to Philip sad, and her ...more
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: tudors, summer-2014
If I didn't know anything about Mary Tudor, I think this would be a good book to know about her life and reign. As it is, I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. Some of the author's sayings were weird, such as comparing chaos to being stirred with a spoon. I also didn't really appreciate how the author switched various points of view. This was an okay read, but I won't ever re-read it, and I probably wouldn't recommend it cause I can think of several books which are so much ...more
Great Historical fiction. I loved, loved, loved the prologue and epilogue about the slumber party playing "Bloody Mary". There were certain moments in her life that I would have liked to have been covered in more detail but for the most part this was a great read. I will being looking for more of Lee's books in the future.
Jes Jester
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: tudors
It was ok- not the best Tudor dynasty book I've read. The first chapter was in present day- it explained to the reader that Mary Tudor was whom the legend Bloody Mary was founded. From there it went back and forth from various country men and their stories to Mary's life. It was a 3 out of 5. Maybe even a 2.75.
This book is O.K. I'm sure there are better written books out there about Mary Todor and this book made me want to read one of them. Overall it seems she had a lonely difficult life. It makes me glad I'm not royalty. I have read other books about this time period and this book did help fill in some of those places looked over in the other books.
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was pretty slow-going at some points and I felt that the ending was a bit corny. Other that, though, it was a very good book. All too often in books regarding the Tudor family, Mary's point of view is largely ignored. This was an enlightening book in regards to how Mary must have felt thoughout the events of her life.
Dec 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
I did not like her writing style. Mary wasn't telling the story, but her comments (made after her death) were sprinkled throughout the book. Bit of random commoners' stories were thrown in, too. It seemed like a strange patchwork. The story was okay. I think the author was trying to be creative with subject matter that's been done many times before, but I just didn't like it.
Jun 01, 2010 rated it liked it
This is the first historical novel I have read about Mary Tudor and it was refreshing to change from the other Tudor stories I have read. Mary was certainly a tragic figure in the Tudor saga. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the Tudors and who would like to a change from the characters whose stories are usually told.
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
Not a fan of this one. The book is basically a long, drawn out exercise for the author to tell me Mary's life story. The characters are one-dimensional and I hated the 'Bloody Mary' front and end tags.
Mar 28, 2014 marked it as didn-t-couldn-t-finish
This was a weirdly written book. The short blurbs of first-person narrative followed by much longer and plodding third-person was poorly executed. If Lee had focused on one or the other, this may have been more successful.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: old-world
lee skips over important sections of mary's life, while dwelling on trivial details. not to mention that the prologue & epilogue are entirely pointless. not that great of a tudor novel, but still provides a half decent chronology of mary's life.
Feb 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
I like real historical fiction...this doesn't even come close. Should've stopped myself right away after reading the "bloody Mary" prologue, but I kept going thinking it would get better. It didn't.
Stephany G
Oct 26, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked this book. Not the best book on the Tudors that I've read, but still a good one. I liked the different points of view that broke the story up a little when I felt it was getting a little boring.
Lauren Koffs
May 07, 2011 rated it liked it
It wasn't bad, but some of the devices used by the author were gimmicky and some of the information was...outdated, or just plain wrong. And the author certainly needs to brush up on royal forms of address.
Linda Lipko
As I systematically try to read books on my shelf, I found this one regarding Mary Tudor. While it was disappointing, I managed to finish the book. That is about all I can say.

Not recommended. No Stars
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In the words of Bill Cosby, "I started out as a child." I was born in California, at the age of about zero, on the United States Naval Base at Point Mugu. Dad was a pilot and Mom a former WAVE. For about a year I was an only child, but then my brother was born, and over the years I collected siblings like they were beanie babies. A brother, two sisters, later on a half sister, and we'll not get ...more