Bloody Mary's Martyrs by Jasper Ridley
The Story of England's Terror

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In this chronicle of a Catholic monarch's heartless rage, a nation's fear, and the unimaginable courage of the Protestants who died for their faith, the award-winning historical biographer Jasper Ridley explores the dark years of Mary Tudor's reign and the most extreme persecution ever to occur in England -- more than three hundred victims in less than three years. Within months of her ascension to the English throne in 1553, Mary restored Roman Catholicism to the nation, reinstated papal supremacy, wedded the Spanish prince Philip, and sealed an alliance with Catholic Spain. Her marriage failed to produce an heir, however. That failure -- a sign, in Mary's view, of God's displeasure with the practice of "heretic" religion in England -- prompted the childless queen to initiate her purge. Thus began the fires at Smithfield, and hundreds of Protestants -- among them the Anglican bishop Hugh Latimer and Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, as well as many prominent members of the nobility -- met their death at the stake. In an absorbing narrative, this meticulously researched history relates their tragic, brutal, and often inspiring tale.

About Jasper Ridley

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Jasper Ridley 's many works include "Napoleon III; Eugenie, Garibaldi, and Mussolini"; and "The Freemasons". He lives and works in London, England.
Published July 26, 2001 by Constable. 320 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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The gruesome details of death by burning (usually involving a progressive loss of limbs and extremities) are provided with relish, and the background history (e.g., Mary’s disastrous attempt to forge an alliance with Spain by marrying Philip II) is offered as a rough but helpful sketch.

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The New York Times

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Jasper Ridley's ''Bloody Mary's Martyrs'' recounts the reign of Mary I (Mary Tudor, 1553-58), when Protestants were regularly sent to the stake for their beliefs.

Dec 30 2001 | Read Full Review of Bloody Mary's Martyrs: The St...

Publishers Weekly

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after a concise account of usual suspects and events preceding and during Mary's rule (Sir Thomas More "was a particularly nasty sadomasochistic pervert" who "enjoyed being flogged by his favourite daughter"), Ridley concentrates on the witch hunts and their victims.

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