“La Reine Blanche,” A Review of Sarah Bryson’s New Book

by Heather R. Darsie

Recently I had the pleasure of reading Ms. Bryson’s biography about Henry VIII of England’s younger sister Mary Tudor, Queen of France. It is an understatement to say I learned a lot. The wait for “La Reine Blanche” was worth it!

Mary Tudor’s life was often overshadowed by that of her brother Henry, despite the value Mary brought to the family. Henry’s marital entanglements distracted from the important parts of Mary’s life, which is something that really struck me when I read Ms. Bryson’s biography. I knew that Henry had a younger sister, but I did not know how ignorant of her life I was.

I would recommend, “La Reine Blanche” to anyone interested in women’s history, generally, or Tudor history, specifically. Ms. Bryson helps bring Mary to life by giving the reader an idea of what the day-to-day would have been like for a Tudor princess at the end of the 15th century and beginning of 16th century. Information about childhood during those times is not touched upon frequently enough, and it was a delightful surprise to find that treasure in Ms. Bryson’s work. Mary was an important diplomatic tool, as was any contemporary princess. If you are curious about how vital Mary was to the Tudor dynasty, and what her scandalous final marriage meant, you absolutely should read this book! 

Aside from the historical analysis, Ms. Bryson’s writing style is engaging and accessible. She does a fantastic job of making the reader feel like a fly on the wall; it is a true talent. Ms. Bryson not only introduces the reader to Mary as a person, but also the key events of her life and how Mary reacted to them. 

I fear that if I write more I will give away something key about the book… Please do pick up a copy for yourself! The book is out in the UK now and available on Amazon: La Reine Blanche UK

And on Amazon in the US: La Reine Blanche US

Please also visit Sarah Bryson’s website at Sarah-Bryson.com



Categories: Books and Authors

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