First Things’ own Ryan Sayre Patrico has an article on Mary Tudor at National Review Online:
‘Don’t burn hundreds of your subjects at the stake.” If a modern-day image consultant could offer advice to some of the past’s most notorious rulers, that nugget of wisdom would stand at the top of the list. “As soon as modernity rolls around,” the consultant would explain, “everyone will wonder what in the world you were thinking.”
No one would have benefited more from this advice than Mary Tudor. During her short reign as queen of England, from 1553 to 1558, 284 men and women were burned for their religious beliefs. She has been known as “Bloody Mary” ever since.
But bloody isn’t the only adjective that tradition has bestowed upon the queen who tried to reaffirm her country’s Catholicism after her father, Henry VIII, broke with Rome.