Mary, a Tudor Princess: Guest post by Tony Riches
I feel honoured to feature historical fiction author Tony Riches on my blog today. His Tudor Trilogy is a captivating glimpse into the compelling characters and times of the Tudors. Today, he talks about what makes Mary Tudor so fascinating that he dedicated his latest novel to her life. Welcome, Tony!
Tony Riches: “At the end of my Tudor Trilogy, Mary Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII, is beginning to realise her life will be quite different when her elder brother becomes King Henry VIII. Mary had always been her father’s favourite and even had her own household from the age of six.
Henry chose the future Holy Roman Emperor Charles V as a suitable husband for Mary. Younger than her, Prince Charles would be an important ally and had more titles than he could remember. Unfortunately for Mary, although she’d been looking forward to becoming Empress of Rome since childhood, her brother had a much better idea – and married her off to the decrepit and diseased fifty-two-year-old King Louis XII of France.
Mary was barely eighteen at the time but knew her duty as a Tudor and made the best of it. She insisted on being referred to as the Queen of France for the rest of her life. (At least it helped avoid confusion with her niece, Henry VIII’s daughter Mary Tudor, later to become known as ‘Bloody Mary’.)
Meanwhile, back in 1514, Mary’s marriage formed the basis of a useful alliance with France. (Henry VIII later offered his own daughter to Emperor Charles, although nothing ever came of it.) Unluckily, Mary’s marriage lasted barely ninety days, as her new husband died from his many illnesses.
The problem for Mary was if she stayed in France she knew King Francis could marry her off to whoever he chose for political advantage. If she returned to England her brother would do the same. What actually became of her took both kings by surprise, as she risked her life to defy her brother – and is the subject of my new book, Mary – Tudor Princess.”
Tony Riches is a full-time author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and has 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 tonyriches.com and his popular blog, The Writing Desk and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.