Children's Literature - Carol Raker CollinsLabeled "A Wicked History," the biography of the first reigning queen of England certainly fits the bill. From 1553 to 1558, Mary Tudor had 300 people executed in the name of Catholicism. The daughter of Catherine of Aragon and King Henry VIII, Mary was raised as a Catholic and future queen. Still, she became a pawn in political and religious games of power. As King Henry's political alliances dictated, Mary was engaged first to a French prince (she was two) and later to a Spanish cousin (she was six). England was a Catholic country until Henry needed authority to divorce Mary's mother. Thus, the Church of England broke away from the Pope's rule to follow Henry's. Mary's religious beliefs were perhaps the one stable thing in the girl's life, as her status changed from heir apparent to abused stepchild and maid of honor for a new half sister. Once her half-brother took the throne, the full indignation and powerlessness of her position became clear as Parliament outlawed her religion. When she became Queen, her determination to set things right led to a "reign of terror" that has never been forgotten. The question asked by the book is whether Bloody Mary should be condemned or understood for her goal to save a country and its people from damnation. The details of Mary's life are presented in a compelling manner, enhanced by a map, a timeline, a "wicked web," and pictures. A glossary, an index, a list of references, and an author's note complete the book. Reviewer: Carol Raker Collins, Ph.D.
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