In the Shadow of the Crown (Queens of England, #6)

ISBN: 0609810197
ISBN 13: 9780609810194
By: Jean Plaidy

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About this book

As Henry VIII's only child, the future seemed golden for Princess Mary. She was the daughter of Henry's first queen, Katharine of Aragon, and was heir presumptive to the throne of England. Red-haired like her father, she was also intelligent and deeply religious like her staunchly Catholic mother. But her father's ill-fated love for Anne Boleyn would shatter Mary's life forever. The father who had once adored her was now intent on having a male heir at all costs. He divorced her mother and, at the age of twelve, Mary was banished from her father' s presence, stripped of her royal title, and replaced by his other children--first Elizabeth, then Edward. Worst of all, she never saw her beloved mother again; Katharine was exiled too, and died soon after. Lonely and miserable, Mary turned for comfort to the religion that had sustained her mother. In a stroke of fate, however, Henry's much-longed-for son died in his teens, leaving Mary the legitimate heir to the throne. It was, she felt, a sign from God--proof that England should return to the Catholic Church. Swayed by fanatical advisors and her own religious fervor, Mary made horrific examples of those who failed to embrace the Church, earning her the immortal nickname " Bloody Mary." She was married only once, to her Spanish cousin Philip II--a loveless and childless marriage that brought her to the edge of madness. With In the Shadow of the Crown, Jean Plaidy brings to life the dark story of a queen whose road to the throne was paved with sorrow.

Reader's Thoughts

Missy Zell

About Bloody Mary, Henry 8th’s first daughter who killed many reformist protestant people who would not conform to the traditional catholic religion and give the power back to the pope.


I have read a lot of books about Mary Tudor and this book was one of the few books that truly portrayed Mary's entire life as it may have actually been without exaggerating her life extensively. Mary Tudor was the apple of King Henry VIII's eye, and the darling of England as a child. However, that all changed when Anne Boleyn showed up. An intelligent child, so unaware of the turmoil around her since her birth, and so desperate for love. And because of the love that she was deprived of so constantly (the forced separation between her and Queen Katharine and everyone she is close with), she turned to religion. Through her religious beliefs and lack of love, she so willingly and freely falls in love with the idea of love and religion through Phillip of Spain, who ultimately breaks her heart and brings her country to ruin. Poor Mary, she could have been such a passionate and loving person if it weren't for the tragedies in her life. Both her and Elizabeth Tudor grew up in similar environment yet both grasped and handled their hardships differently. Mary did not deserve the title "Bloody Mary", after all she had good intentions when she first began her reign. While she clearly was a religious Catholic fanatic, she certainly wasn't a tyrant or unreasonable ruler in any sense, not compared to King Henry VIII or King John.


The tudor spell! <3


Not as good as the Phillipa Gregory books, but still a great historical fiction

Gordon Ehler

I would have loved to have met and talked with Eleanor Hibbert, the real name of the author of this book and so, so many others. She was a master in period details and research, and this book is a gem. Mary, the first borne daugther of Henry VIII is the subject of In the Shadow of the Crown, and the author brings her roller-coaster life into focus. Probably not for those desing a superficial ride, this book goes much deeper into Mary's personality, attributes and flaws.

Vanessa Tillery

This story is about "Bloody Mary" Henry VIII daughter who become Queen after his only son dies at a young age. Mary fought for England to return to Catholism and there was much blood shed along the way.


You only hear the negative side of "bloody Mary" But this book explains her life and you can understand all of her.

Laura Finger

Poor maligned Queen Mary. The tragic daughter of a tragic mother and an egomaniac father. Plaidy has a gift for humanizing British rulers, especially the ones that popular history would like to shove into the shadows.This is a great portrait of a woman who was used by her father and was forced to play a deadly game of surviving Tudor politics. I really enjoyed reading it, and Plaidy is in her element in this one.

Aura Garcia

A bit repetitive if you've read the books about Henry VII's wives


All of Plaidy's books are great!

Sara W

Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII (Bloody Mary)


I found this book tedious and hard to keep track of characters. I found Mary very pitiful in that she lived her whole life trying to escape the plans of others to kill her or overthrow her.


This book was okay. It got a bit repetitive at its end.


This book sheds more light onto Henry VIII after the time of Anne Boelyn. It is the story of his first daughter Mary by Catherine of Aragon. Very interesting.


It really brought history to life for me. Very interesting and educational!

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