While that is indeed Mary Tudor, this Mary is the daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. She was married to the King of France and was quickly widowed, and then as stipulated by her brother’s agreement with her, married the man of her choosing—Charles Brandon, all before reaching the age of sixteen.
Mary I of England, the so-called ‘Bloody Mary’ is yet another female victim of history. She suffered from PTSD and depression from her father’s treatment of her which was alternatively neglectful and verbally and physically abusive. Her reign was relatively popular at her age, until she married her cousin, who was Spanish. Despite growing animosity between herself and her people, she passed several non-religious reforms that greatly improved the English economy and military. She is most remembered for burning heretics—in much lesser quantity or rate than her father or sister. Her moniker ‘Bloody Mary’ was applied by contemporary propagandists for her sister’s cause and stuck because Elizabeth I proved to be one of history’s “winners,” while Mary died young at the age of 38. She is vilified for being a lesser evil than her father who does not suffer for his violent outbursts, emptying the chest of England’s bank, beheading his wives and political allies, going to war with most of western Europe and being easily manipulated into running England into the ground if it weren’t for people he later executed, and for not being Elizabeth, who profited from Mary’s reforms before leading England into a Golden Age and ruled for more than half a century, therefore controlling the nascent historical narrative for her sister, allowing the Catholic Mary to be villainized for the sake of the largely Protestant Tudor dynasty.
What gets me about Mary is how desperately she wanted love in her life, and yet so many disliked her. She was desperately in love with her husband, and he didn’t really care about her. She loved children and wanted her own, but she didn’t marry until she was 37, and what she had believed was a pregnancy turned out to have probably been uterine cancer. I read that she was also somewhat fond of Jane Grey, despite their different religious views, and was against executing the girl, but she had to. Idk, I just find her story so tragic :C
She loved them all so fiercely—she was the only constant mother figure that Elizabeth and Edward had, and she was so conflicted over imprisoning Elizabeth and had to fight advisers who wanted her to execute her little sister constantly. She honestly thought she was saving England’s soul by returning them to Catholicism—it wasn’t a political ploy for her. She had no one on her side, not the way her father or sister did. Her one “friend” Eustace Chapuys had returned to his home because of his ailing health and her husband loathed her.
And your right—her hysterical pregnancy was probably uterine cancer, so we don’t even know how long she was ill, physically, let alone mentally. And yet she accomplished so much—currency reform, balancing the budget, recovering the economy which had been devastated by her father’s reign, renewing relations with Spain, France, and the Vatican and some other countries her father had made into enemies with his taste for war.
Why is Henry not called ‘Bloody’ for his Pilgrimage of Grace? For the thousands upon thousands he killed in Bologna? In the Low Countries? For the friends he executed because of his paranoia? The wives he abused and used and discarded?
Mary’s life was short and sad and yes, tragic, and it makes me so mad that no one judges her fairly, and that pop history has made her into an evil queen.