Guest Post and Giveaway: Mary – Tudor Princess, by Tony Riches

It gives me great pleasure to welcome historical fiction author Tony Riches to On the Tudor Trail. Tony’s latest novel, Mary – Tudor Princess, tells the story of Henry VII’s daughter, Mary, and is set during the reign of her brother, Henry VIII. To go into the draw to win an e-book edition of Tony’s novel, please leave a comment after this post.

Good luck!

Book Cover of Mary ~ Tudor Princess

Conditions of Entry

For your chance to win an e-book edition of Mary – Tudor Princess, you must be subscribed to On the Tudor Trail’s newsletter (if you are not already, sign up on our homepage where it says ‘Free Enewsletter Subscription’).

Then simply leave a comment after this post between now and 14 February 2018. Don’t forget to leave your name and a contact email. Please note that I have comment moderation activated and need to ‘approve’ comments before they appear. There is no need to submit your comment twice.

This giveaway is open internationally.

A winner will be selected randomly and contacted by email shortly after the competition closes. Please ensure you’ve added to your address book to avoid missing my email.

Good luck!

Mary – Tudor Princess, by Tony Riches

Mary Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII, is often mistaken for her niece and namesake, the daughter of Henry VIII, which may be part of the reason her intriguing story is not as well known as it should be. (It doesn’t help that the TV drama, The Tudors, ‘merged’ Mary with her sister to create a single character named Margaret.)

From my research it seems Henry VII showed great favour to his youngest surviving child, his beautiful and talented daughter Mary, who was much like her mother, Elizabeth of York. He would show her off at court and there are records of her playing the lute, singing and dancing to impress visiting ambassadors. Her sister Margaret was less fortunate, being married off to King James and sent to Scotland at the first opportunity.

Henry chose the future Holy Roman Emperor Charles for Mary, and although they only met once during their long childhood engagement, she must have thought one day she would be an empress. Then, after her father’s death, her elder brother Henry VIII broke off her engagement and gave her to the fifty-two-year-old King Louis XII of France. Although Mary was barely eighteen at the time, Henry saw his younger sister as a small price to pay for a treaty with France.

What became of her is the subject of my new book, Mary – Tudor Princess, so I’d like to ‘fast-forward’ to her death at thirty-seven years old. Mary was laid to rest in the Abbey church of Bury St Edmunds. Her alabaster monument was destroyed in the dissolution of the monasteries and her tomb moved to the nearby St Mary’s Church, where it is to this day.

In 1784, Mary’s lead coffin was moved to the chancel of St Mary’s and placed under a plain slab of Petworth marble, with the new inscription ‘Sacred to the memory of Mary Tudor, third daughter of Henry VII of England, and Queen of France.’

Her coffin was opened and it was noted that her hair was some two feet long, a ‘reddish-gold’ colour and her teeth were even and complete. Locks of her hair were acquired by historian Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford, and Lady Margaret Bentinck, Duchess of Portland. Several specimens claiming to be Mary’s red-gold hair survive, including one in the Bury St Edmunds museum.

I enjoyed spending a year researching the life of Mary Tudor, untangling the many myths about her, from causing the death of King Louis with her ‘passionate exertions’ to her dying of ‘grief at her brother’s divorce.’ Most of her story is surprisingly well documented, including fascinating details in her many surviving letters, which I have relied on throughout.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Natalie for her dedicated work on the Tudor trail, and this website, and all the readers around the world who have encouraged me to explore the real stories behind the Tudor dynasty.

Tony Riches

Mary – Tudor Princess is new on Amazon UK, Amazon US and Amazon AU in eBook and paperback. An audiobook edition will be available later in the year.

About the Author

Tony Riches is a full-time author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the fifteenth century, with a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. For more information about Tony’s other books please visit his website and his popular blog, The Writing Desk and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.

(Book links)

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  1. Lynn Doxey says:

    Sounds fascinating! I have been obsessed with Tudor England since I was 15 and watched The Six Wives of Henry VIII on PBS (some 45 years ago…yikes!) I gobble up any publications and productions and would love to add this to my collection. Mary is often confused with her niece Mary and I would be honored to receive a book that tells her true story.

  2. This work sounds phenomenal. I would love to know more about Mary’s story. She definitely doesn’t get enough attention in written work.

  3. this looks so intetesting. Would love to know more about mary!

  4. Alicia Mae says:

    What a fascinating figure in history who does not get her due! Thank you for a chance at this giveaway– I’m very intrigued and look forward to learning more about Mary Tudor!

  5. Teresa Smith Williams says:

    In the novel, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge was (physically) unseen while on his spiritual tour of the Past, Present and Future. I have often that it would be absolutely fantastic to visit, in this sort of invisible state, the courts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. To witness how they really looked and to feel the emotions they invoked. Those timeframes would be, I’m afraid, too volatile and dangerous to dare time travel physically. Not mention the chances of laying eyes on either sovereign, would be slim at best. Wait a minute, it’s physically impossible to do either! Lol! Alas, we will continue to *imagine* his beady eyes welling up with anger just before his voice bellows at an unfortunate soul who pierced his delicate ego. Or, imagine watching Elizabeth holding court while she verbally manipulates and schools her visitors with her sharp wit and tongue and her adoring Robin close at hand. Ahh. That is all. Back to the 21st century.

  6. Mari Cardoza says:

    Love anything from that time period

  7. I didn’t know this Mary and it’s a pleasure to learn more about people from the past. As a translator of historical fiction, I spend a few hours a day living in the past 🙂

  8. This sounds like a great read!

  9. Melinda Vaughn says:

    This sounds like a fascinating and well researched look at Mary’s life, and I look forward to reading and learning more. I am especially intrigued by the details from her letters that are included in the book.

  10. Sounds fascinating 🙂

  11. I would love to learn more about Mary Tudor, I haven’t seen very much written about her.

  12. Amelia Lawrence says:

    I have only read one book about her and I’ve always wanted to know more. Both sisters of Henry VIII seem to have lead very interesting lives and I’d love to read into them both a lot more!

  13. I am a total Tudor obsessive and am eager to read a lot of the many non-fiction and historical fiction I hear about, so when I heard about this new release I searched online to find reviews and giveaway opportunities! Learning more about Queen Mary I (formerly the Princess of Wales & Lady Mary Tudor — I am interested in all parts of her eventful life) is a particular interest because I read so much material focusing on her incomparable sister queen, Elizabeth I. Thanks for this feature and the chance to win!. –Kara S

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