period makeups: Queen Mary I

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Period makeups: Queen Mary I

Queen Mary I (1516–1558), also known as Mary Tudor, was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 1553 until her death. The actual date of her accession to the throne depends on whether or not you count the nine day (or then again possibly – more appropriately in the circumstances – thirteen days) reign of Queen Jane, Lady Jane Grey.

Whatever, Mary is remembered mostly for her attempt to return England from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism. To this end, she had almost three hundred religious dissenters executed; as a consequence, she is often known as ‘Bloody Mary’. In truth, both her father, Henry VIII, and her half-sister Elizabeth I probably killed at least as many heretics during their, admittedly longer, reigns.

But while in Britain the Reformation may have ended in a muddly Anglican compromise, rather than a clear victory for either Protestantism or Catholicism, the Catholics certainly lost and hence didn’t get to write the history: Fox’s Book Of Martyrs was first published in Latin at Basle in 1554, and an enlarged edition was published in English in 1563 under Elizabeth I.