The French Queen's Letters Mary Tudor Brandon and the Politics of Marriage in Sixteenth-Century Europe Synopsis
A fresh biography of Mary Tudor which challenges conventional views of her as a weeping hysteric and love-struck romantic, providing instead the portrait of a queen who drew on two sources of authority to increase the power of her position: epistolary conventions and the rhetoric of chivalry that imbued the French and English courts.
The French Queen's Letters Mary Tudor Brandon and the Politics of Marriage in Sixteenth-Century Europe Press Reviews
'The French Queen's Letters is a useful corrective to discussions of Mary that continue to focus on an image of an overwrought romantic or to gloss over her influence at court entirely.' Journal of British Studies Sadlack's book frees Mary Tudor, the French Queen, from the role of pretty pantomime princess in which she has too often been cast by historians. This engaging revisionist study of Mary's life and correspondence finds little of the dippy but demanding rich girl of myth. Sadlack shows Mary to have been an astute member of the Tudor dynasty, in every sense a political queen, and one adept at using informal networks of female power and patronage to assert her English and French royal status. - Glenn Richardson, Reader in Early-Modern History, St. Mary's University College, UK This is an original approach to a fascinating historical figure. Sadlack's thorough knowledge of recent scholarship on women's letters and epistolary rhetoric enables her to read Mary's letters as strategic epistolary tools, crafted in terms of aptum, relating to the character of her reader, and of rhetorical ethos and pathos, carefully deployed to advance her goals. The study of women's agency through letters is currently receiving much attention, and Sadlack's study makes an important contribution to this field. This biography will be the first to take Mary seriously as an actor and an agent in her own life, and to study the impact of her political interventions. - Jane Couchman, Professor Emerita, French Studies, Multidisciplinary Studies, and Women's Studies, York University, Canada The book combines meticulous archival work with rhetorical analysis to produce a fresh and cogent portrait of Mary Tudor's efforts to use her letters to control not only her own fate but also to influence court politics in two nations. The author's careful recovery, translation, and editing of Mary Tudor's letters will make this book valuable to students, professors, and scholars studying early modern English and French history, early modern literature, and the lives of early modern women. - Catherine Loomis, Associate Professor of English and Women's Studies, University of New Orleans