Mary, Bloody Mary (Young Royals Series)

Mary, Bloody Mary (Young Royals Series)

by Carolyn Meyer

Paperback(First Edition)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, October 18


The story of Mary Tudor's childhood is a classic fairy tale: A princess who is to inherit the throne of England is separated from her mother; abused by an evil stepmother who has enchanted her father; stripped of her title; and forced to care for her baby stepsister, who inherits Mary's rights to the throne. Believe it or not, it's all true.
Told in the voice of the young Mary, this novel explores the history and intrigue of the dramatic rule of Henry VIII, his outrageous affair with and marriage to the bewitching Anne Boleyn, and the consequences of that relationship for his firstborn daughter. Carolyn Meyer has written a compassionate historical novel about love and loss, jealousy and fear--and a girl's struggle with forces far beyond her control.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780152164560
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 04/01/2001
Series: Young Royals Series , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 118,036
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.87(h) x 0.64(d)
Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Carolyn Meyer is the acclaimed author of more than fifty books for young people. Her many award-winning novels include Mary, Bloody Mary, an ABA Pick of the Lists, an NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, a New York Times bestseller; White Lilacs, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an NYPL Best Book for the Teen Age, and an IRA Young Adults' Choice; and Marie, Dancing, a BookSense Pick. Ms. Meyer lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Visit her website at

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

King Francis

I inherited King Henry's fiery temper–no one would deny that! And so, on the day I learned that he had betrothed me to the king of France, I exploded.

"I cannot believe that my father would pledge me to that disgusting old man!" I raged, and hurled the bed pillows onto the floor of my chamber. "I shall not, not, NOT marry him!"

I was but ten years old and had yet to master my anger nor learn its use as a weapon. I shouted and stamped my feet until at last my fury subsided in gusts of tears. Between sobs I stole glances at my governess, the long-nosed Lady Margaret, countess of Salisbury. She stitched on her needlework as though nothing were happening.

"Come now," the countess soothed, her needle flicking in and out, in and out, "it is only a betrothal, and that–as you well know–is quite a long way from marriage. Besides, madam, the king wishes it."

Her calm made me even angrier. "I don't care what he wishes! My father pays so little attention to me that I doubt he even remembers who I am!"

A thin smile creased Salisbury's face, and she set down her embroidery hoop and dabbed at my cheeks with a fine linen handkerchief. "He knows, dear Mary, he knows. You grow more like him every day–his fair skin, his lively blue eyes, his shining red-gold hair." She tucked the handkerchief into the sleeve of her kirtle and sighed. "And, unfortunately, his temper as well."

Suddenly exhausted, I flung myself onto my great bed. "When is it to be, Salisbury?" I murmured.

"King Francis and his court intend to arrive in April for the Feast of Saint George. We have three months to prepare. The royal dressmaker will soon begin work on your new gown. Your mother, the queen, sent word that she favors green trimmed with white for you. You're to have a cloak made of cloth of gold."

"I hate green," I grumbled. Perhaps this was a battle I could win, although my gentle, patient mother matched my father in stubbornness. "And I absolutely do not care if green and white are our royal colors!"

"It seems that today madam dislikes nearly everything," Salisbury said. "Perhaps in the morning the world will look better."

"It will not."

"Nevertheless, madam, it is time for prayers."

I slid down from my lofty mattress and knelt on the cold stone floor beside the governess, as I did every night and every morning, and together we recited our prayers.

That finished, two of the serving maids came to remove my kirtle and dress me in my silk sleeping shirt. They snuffed out the candles until only one still burned. I climbed back onto my high bedstead and, propped on one elbow, watched my governess stretch out carefully on the narrow trundle next to my bed and draw up the satin coverlet. Salisbury was tall, and the coverlet was short. When she pulled the coverlet up to her sharp chin, her feet stuck out. This was the first all day that I had felt the least bit like laughing.

Soon after my eleventh birthday in the spring of 1527, I, Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII, king of England, and his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, teetered on a stool. The royal dressmaker and her assistants pulled and pushed at my betrothal gown, pinning and tucking the heavy green silk. Would they never be done with it? My head ached, and my stomach felt queasy.

"Come, madam," the dressmaker coaxed. "You want to please your bridegroom, do you not?"

"No, I do not," I snapped. From everything I had overheard from the gossiping ladies of the household, Francis, king of France, was extremely ugly and repulsive, a lecherous old man afflicted with warts and pockmarks and foul breath.

"But your father, the king, wishes it," the dressmaker reminded me.

I sighed and stood straight and motionless. Your father, the king, wishes it. How I had come to dread those words! Soon the French king and his court would arrive, and I, obeying my father's wishes, would place my little hand in the grisly paw of the horrible Francis and promise to be his bride.

Finally the gown was ready, the preparations finished, and my trunks packed for the journey to London from my palace in Ludlow, near the Welsh border. Traveling with my entourage of courtiers and ladies-in-waiting, Salisbury and I were carried in the royal litter, which was lined with padded silk and plump velvet cushions and borne between two white horses. After almost two weeks of bumping over washed-out roads, we arrived, muddy and bedraggled, at Greenwich Palace on the River Thames, five miles east of London.

As I ran through the palace to find my mother, I found myself surrounded by commotion. New tapestries had been hung along the walls in the Great Hall. The royal musicians and costumers bustled about arranging masques and other entertainments. Carts delivered provisions for the banquets to the palace kitchens.

Despite the excitement, or perhaps because of it, I felt unwell. As the arrival of the French king neared, I suffered headaches and a queasiness of the stomach. My physician treated them with doses of evil-tasting potions, but they did no good.

Then word came that the ships carrying King Francis and his attendants had been delayed by storms. My bridegroom would not arrive until the weather cleared. An idea occurred to me: Maybe his ship will be lost. Maybe he will drown and I won't ever have to marry him. Almost as soon as the thought crossed my mind, I regretted it. As I had been instructed since early childhood, I would have to admit these wicked thoughts to my confessor, do penance, and receive absolution.

But as long as I had committed such a sin–a rather small one, in my opinion–I decided that I might as well try to turn it to my advantage. Kneeling on the hard stone floor, my spine straight as a lance, my hands clasped beneath my chin, my eyes turned toward Heaven, I prayed: Dear God, if it be thy will to take King Francis, please send a good husband in his stead!

I was not sure what a good husband was. For that I put my trust in God.

For nearly three weeks the storms raged and then suddenly abated. Toward mid-April King Francis and his huge retinue of courtiers and servants landed in Dover. They made their way to Greenwich, escorted by my father's knights and henchmen.

"Perhaps he won't find me to his satisfaction after all," I said hopefully to Salisbury.

"Perhaps, but that is improbable, madam," said Salisbury. Her face, plain as a plank, was as serene as ever. "The French king requested a portrait, which your father sent him, nicely presented in an ivory box with the Tudor rose carved upon the cover. King Francis much liked the sweet countenance he saw therein."

How infuriating! "Salisbury, why must it be this way? If I had asked for his portrait, to see if he pleased me, would I have gotten it?"

Copyright © 1999 by Carolyn Meyer, published by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Riveting."-Publishers Weekly
"Engrossing emotional intensity."-Kirkus Reviews (pointer review)
"Meyer writes powerfully and sympathetically, mixing the grim details of life in the 1500s with glamorous, fascinating descriptions of life in the court of Henry VIII."-Booklist
"This interesting and well-researched fictional biography brings a bit of history vividly and compellingly to life."-VOYA

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Mary, Bloody Mary 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 106 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is really great.It shows you how Mary had to live with her father trying to divorce her mom and mary Anne.Some people think shes just some scary gost but she not.I think this is an amazing book for any one!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am only 11, but i still read this book. I LOVED IT!!!! I had just finished the Royal Diaries about Elizabeth the First, and thought Mary was evil. Then, I read this, and I no longer thought she was evil. She killed many, but her childhood was a dameged one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much. I think that Carolyn Meyer really puts you in the story and shows you what life was really like so long ago. I never really understood who Mary Bloody mary was. Mary bloody mary was just a nickname that everyone gave er when she was ruling. During the course of this book she is young and has not been given the nickname yet. She was a very sweet girl whose life just turned out like a roller coaster. I strongly reccomend this book to anyone who has no clue who Blooday Mary was!!
nm.fall08.j.bean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a girl named Mary and her struggles to become Queen. The good thing about this book is that it is a mistory what Mary will have to do toi stay in the good grace of her Father. The bad thing is that her step-mother is forcing her to do things for her sister Mary doesn't want to do. If you like a book that will never let you down then this book is for you.
Kaydence on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How would it feel if you were a princess beloved by your father one day and then a servant to your half sister another? In Meyer's Mary, Bloody Mary, the reader finds out. Meyer is excellent at transforming people from history into characters that are real and interesting. The reader's heart breaks as Mary struggles to understand what her place is in the kingdom when she is banished away from her place in the palace. Things seem to get worse and worse as the story continues, but Mary's spirit does not break. This is a wonderful book about courage, strength, and overcoming hardships. I recommend girls to read this type of novel so that they can find a role model that is worth looking up to. The narrative ends before Mary becomes queen, which probably is better because the reader doesn't lose the connection with the character, as Mary's character in the book is much different than what happens when she becomes queen.
sgerbic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reviewed Nov 2000 Another charming biography told from the viewpoint of a young Mary. The title is misleading as the authors slant is very sympathetic towards her plight. That author is cleaver at showing Mary¿s antics and eavesdropping skills. As with all books about this history, all blame is put on the women involved. Henry VIII is bewitched and can¿t control himself. The author is pretty accurate to the facts. 23-2000
Hamburgerclan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I picked this book, the next in line for my daughter's school reading, I groaned inwardly. "Not another renaissance book! I'm getting sick of the renaissance! The renaissance is overrated!" he said, swiping a line from Terry Jones. But dutiful homeschooling dad that I am, I read it anyway, bracing myself for another tedious account of betrayals and beheadings and other such royal shenanigans. I was pleasantly surprised. Ms. Meyer did an excellent job of drawing me into the story of young Mary Tudor, daughter of King Henry VIII and heir to the throne... until ol' Henry decided that he really needed a son and tried to divorce Mary's mother. By viewing the court intrigues through Mary's eyes--the viewpoint of one getting screwed over by all this royal b.s.--the historical story is given an emotional punch that made me want to finish the tale and root for the young princess. (It's only in the afterword when I was pulled back to reality and discovered that poor Mary had her own bloodthirsty streak.) Anyway, this is a somewhat strong tale for the young'uns, but one that makes the reader care about the people involved. Check it out.--J.
t1bclasslibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This biography is fascinating because we get the perspective of someone we usually never hear from- Henry VIII's first daughter. We get to empathize with her in a way that we completely fail to in any Elizabeth I bios. The story begins when she is very young (the time frame of the beginning is confusing) until a bit after Anne Boleyn is killed, and a historical note explains what happened after that. On a side note, I totally appreciate the blackwork on her cuffs in the cover picture.
AlexPennwoodWhite More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of the best childrens' historical fiction books I have every read. The ending absolutely stunned me; I was so glad that I had bought Beware, Princess Elizabeth with Mary, Bloody Mary, because I just couldn't wait to see how Carolyn was going to depict the conflicts between both sisters! Truly an amazing read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After I first read Beware, Princess Elizabeth by Carolyn Meyer serveral year ago, I end up read about Elizabeth crazed half-sister Mary before she earned her nicknamed "Bloody Mary". But this time Mary is portrayed as an innocent princess. Mary Tudor life turned upside down when her father, King Henry VIII began public affair with Anne Boleyn, he abandons her mother, marries Anne, and has a child with her. Mary ends up as a servant in her own. It is told from Mary's point of view, but it hard to believe that she was sane at that time! This book did not disapponts you.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Remembered liking these, historical fiction. But mostly remember the old covers for these. The title however made me think of urban legends and etc.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty awesome book. I really liked it and had a hard time putting it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love history, but I pay more attention to U.S. History, to be honest I have never even herd of Mary before this book, but a friend recommended it to me. I could not put down this book, there is only one word I can use to describe this book, amazing. I never read a book about her before, but now she is my favorite subject. This book has so many twists and turns. I was also nervous. The author does an amazing job making the characters 'realistic' in their actions, making the story very believable, and you begin to love and hate characters as well. Very good book, few books this well written. I love the author as well. I really began to hate Anne, a good book to read is Doomed Queen Anne, also written by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Knights642 More than 1 year ago
I recommend this series to any young girl, any young reading group, and any book club of any age. :D I became a little obsessed with the history surrounding the women of this family and read anything I could get my hands on about them afterwards. ;p
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago