Mary I is notorious for her persecution of Protestants and has been vilified by generations of partisan historians. H.F.M. Prescott brings a more humane and measured perspective to the life of this tormented woman. First published in 1940 under the title SPANISH TUDOR, Prescott's biography won the James Tait Black prize the following year. An extensively revised and updated edition was published in 1953 under the title MARY TUDOR. Prescott sums up her subject's life as follows: 'Perhaps no other reign in English history has seen such a great endeavour made, and so utterly defeated. All that Mary did was undone, all she intended utterly unfulfilled...mistaken often, almost always misguided in her public office, with much blindness, some rancour, some jealousy, some stupid cruelty to answer for, she had yet trodden, lifelong and manfully, the way that other sinners know.'
H F M Prescott was born in Cheshire. Hilda Prescott read Modern History at Oxford and later received MA degrees there and at Manchester, as well as an honorary doctorate at Durham. She is best known for her historical novel THE MAN ON A DONKEY and her biography of Mary Tudor which won the James Tait Black Prize in 1941. The daughter of a clergyman, she was a committed member of the church of England, and her wide-ranging interests included travel and a deep love of the English countryside that lasted all her life. She died in 1972.