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Something about Mary

Diarmaid MacCulloch: The First Queen of England, 18 October 2007

Mary Tudor: The Tragical History of the First Queen of England 
by David Loades.
National Archives, 240 pp., £19.99, September 2006, 1 903365 98 8
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... certainly she would have thought so, and that is clearly the point in the mock-Tudor subtitle of David Loades’s biography. Mary’s failure dealt a permanent blow to England’s long-standing alignment with the Habsburgs and their Burgundian predecessors. Both Mary and Elizabeth had a capacity for inspiring loyalty from close friends, who formed their ...

The Crowe is White

Hilary Mantel: Bloody Mary, 24 September 2009

Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor 
by Eamon Duffy.
Yale, 249 pp., £19.99, June 2009, 978 0 300 15216 6
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... a spectator sport; at Dartford in the summer of 1555, ‘thither came … Fruiterers wyth horse loades of Cherries, and sold them.’ Eamon Duffy says: ‘We should not project modern sensibilities onto the people of the past.’ But in a cruel world, these were exemplary cruelties. Those who saw 11 men and two women burned together in June 1556 are ...

The First Consort

Thomas Penn: Philip of Spain, 5 April 2012

Philip of Spain, King of England: The Forgotten Sovereign 
by Harry Kelsey.
I.B. Tauris, 230 pp., £18.99, November 2011, 978 1 84885 716 2
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... even when her husband was absent. English foreign policy too was yoked to Habsburg interests. As David Loades has pointed out in his life of Mary, it was the prospect of war that finally brought Philip back to his wife’s side after an absence of more than 18 months.† Returning to England in March 1557, and flouting his marriage contract, he lobbied ...

How to Be Tudor

Hilary Mantel: Can a King Have Friends?, 17 March 2016

Charles Brandon: Henry VIII’s Closest Friend 
by Steven Gunn.
Amberley, 304 pp., £20, October 2015, 978 1 4456 4184 3
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... and any number of ministers and favourites. In Mary Rose, his book about Brandon’s third wife, David Loades says: ‘He was present everywhere, but it is hard to pinpoint what he actually did.’ Throughout his career Charles accumulated grand-sounding titles, which confused outsiders into overestimating his importance as a policymaker. When he became ...

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