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

Erica Lyn

Mary Tudor is my favorite character of the Tudor period; I have long been fascinated with her, and tried to understand her thoughts as to what she did in her reign and why. Jean Plaidy is one of my favorite authors of historical fiction. Putting the two together should have been a dream, right?Honestly, not so much.As much as I love the author and the subject matter of this book, it was pretty much a chore to get through. I can't quite figure out why, but it took me forever to read, and I just had to push myself through it, rather than be engaged enough to find myself unable to put it down. Definitely not one of her better works, which saddens me.


How can someone take one of the most interesting periods of history and make it this boring??I was hoping to get a intriguing, interesting, fiery(no pun intended!) story of the infamous "Bloody Mary." Instead I found a passive whiney brat.And the writing was lacking. It was like hearing a boring story from your 103 year old great-aunt many years after the fact instead of an in-the-moment exciting account. Do yourself a favor, skip over this.


I just couldnt get into this book. I tried and tried, but I couldnt make it past about page 150.


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.

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.

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.


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


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

Aura Garcia

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


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


I really enjoyed this book until it actually started talking about the life of the supposedly main character of the book, Mary Tudor, the daughter of King Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragona. From a good historical novel it turned into a sappy Harlequin. I was skipping page after page trying to find some interesting fact through all the long complaints on the loveless life of the poor queen!! Anyway, although it took forever to finish, I think Jane Plaidy is really good at making people like me digest historical facts, so I'm still giving it four stars in spite of the endless 'cry me a river' scenes. And finally, if nothing else, it is now clear to me who the famous/infamous Bloody Mary was!


The tudor spell! <3


All of Plaidy's books are great!

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.

Shelly Benson

I am not dumb Jean Plaidy! How many times do you have to tell me...Henry didn't want to change his religion, just who was the head of the church. I GOT IT! However, I always enjoy Plaidy's books, and this one was no exception. Poor, poor misguided Mary. What a different life she might have had had her father never met Ann Boleyn. I have read so much about Elizabeth, and have sadly neglected her predecessor. I was happy to right that with reading this book.

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