The posthumous reputation of Mary I has always suffered by comparison to her sister and heir, Elizabeth I. Whereas Elizabeth’s reign is characterized as England’s Golden Age, Mary’s reign is frequently portrayed as a chaotic and violent period, presided over by an increasingly fanatical and delusional Queen. It might be presumed that the opportunity provided by fiction to imagine the real woman behind the Bloody Mary myth might produce a more nuanced and human vision of Mary. However, despite recent attempts by historians to reassess her reign and move beyond the tangle of mythology, the fictional Mary I is still persistently represented as a failed religious obsessive, driven to violence through sexual frustration, infertility, and her realization that her people preferred her younger Protestant half-sister. Despite some efforts to generate sympathy for her, the Mary of historical fiction remains the “Bloody Mary” of popular legend.