Edward and Mary: The Unknown Tudors
Mary (who was to become England's first reigning Queen since Matilda but who is best known to generations of British schoolchildren as Bloody Mary) was the first born child of Henry VIII. For 20 years she was heir to her adored father. Then came the birth of her little half-brother Edward, and Mary found herself cast into the shadows, ignored by her father and declared illegitimate.
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When Edward was just nine their father died and the young boy became King, surrounded by advisors and further distanced from his beloved elder sister. But by now they were divided not just by power and status, but also by faith. Mary was a staunch Catholic, Edward a reforming Protestant. At this time such matters were not an issue of personal choice but matters of life or death, treason or heresy.
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Within a few years Mary was under virtual house arrest and banned from celebrating mass; within a few more years Edward was dead at the tragically early age of 16 and Mary became Queen. She set about making England a Catholic country once more and hundreds of Protestants, including Edward's most trusted advisors, were burnt at the stake because they refused to renounce their faith.
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