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Written by Michal
(9/10/2013 12:45 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, biographies of Queen Mary I, penned by Nikki N
I wasn't persuaded by Whitlock's book. My opinion of Mary is unchanged: No way around it, she murdered a huge number of people in cold blood. From what I've read, Bishop Gardiner and Phillip's advisors rethought the persecutions when it became apparent they weren't working but Mary remained intransigent. She was queen and thus she's ultimately responsible for what happened during her reign. Mary was popular when she first ascended the throne but quickly alienated her people. Did other Renaissance rulers burn heretics? Yes, but compare Mary's heretic death count - some 300 people in 3 or 4 years - and her sister, Elizabeth's - 5 people in 40 years.
I just can't buy the excuses made for Mary. I agree, Mary's childhood and teen years scarred her badly. (One of the most unsympathetic things about Anne Boleyn was her dreadful treatment of Mary.) But then, Elizabeth had a pretty horrible early life too, quite a bit of it at the hands of Mary, and she managed to emerge tolerant and open minded, at least for a 16th century ruler.
Of course, I have a genealogical grudge against Mary so I guess I'm not a disinterested reader. One of my putative relatives was a Marian Martyr.
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