I read a pretty good book the other day. Mary, Bloody Mary by Carolyn Meyer.
There’s just something about the Tudors and King Henry the VIII that’s just so absurd it’s quite fascinating. I read a book — Just A Girl (by Jane Cairo) — from the perspective of Princess Elizabeth, Mary’s younger sister. It was great. Of course, I had to balance it out by reading Mary, Bloody Mary (which is, naturally, from Mary’s view point). And now I’m reading another Elizabeth one ( titled: Beware Elizabeth) also by Carolyn Meyer.
Like I said. I find the Tudors fascinating.
Mary, Bloody Mary certainly didn’t spare details. Carolyn Meyer told it like it would have been. Including Anne Boleyn’s execution. It was a really well written book, but not for the faint hearted. Actually, I think history in general isn’t for the faint hearted.
Maybe that’s why history wasn’t a big emphasis when I was at school. We had six months of history, two lessons a week. To me, that was rather puny. And we skipped some of the more…pungent chapters. I can see why we would have. I mean, cutting off and pickling people’s head’s grosses me out, too. A lot. I think we need history, though, even if it can be unpleasant. And that’s the best part about historical fiction. Text books can come across as blatantly factual and unfeeling. Historical fiction gives good emotional responses to horrible things.
I mentioned this book at lunch when I was at school. I hadn’t read it at that point, and I have no idea how it came up. Anyway, I said something about reading Mary, Bloody Mary.
They looked at me. I thought it was because of the swear word in a non-swearing context in the title. I never swear, so it must have been weird. But no.
They elaborated for me.
“It’s a curse.”
“When it’s dark — absolutely black and you can’t see anything — you go to a mirror. Then you say, three times, Bloody Mary.”
“She’ll appear next to you, and your eyes will turn to blood.”
Again, appreciative shivers. Perfectly creepy. Perfectly hideous. I ruined the moment. “If it’s that dark, how do you see it?”
I…don’t work well with ghost stories. It was funny though. And I still find the prospect of blood eyes absolutely terrifying. And you did succeed in scaring me, just so you know. If I remember correctly, I dreamed about The Hunger Games all night. Go figure. I’m still trying to work that out, too. Maybe something to do with President Snow? Anyway.
Mary, Bloody Mary is definitely a good historical book. And worth a quick and creepy read.