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Innocent Traitor [Hardcover]

Alison Weir
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 April 2006
Alison Weir, our pre-eminent popular historian, has now fulfilled a life's ambition to write historical fiction. She has chosen as her subject the bravest, most sympathetic and most wronged women of Tudor England, Lady Jane Grey. Lady Jane Grey was born into the most dangerous of times. Child of a scheming father and a ruthless mother for whom she is a pawn in a dynastic game with the highest stakes, she lived a life in thrall to political machinations and lethal religious fervour. Growing up with the future Queen Elizabeth and her reluctant nemesis, Mary, she soon learns the truth of the values imparted to her by Henry VIII's last Queen, Katherine Parr. Her honesty, intelligence and strength of character carries the enthralled reader through all the vicious twists of Tudor power politics, to her nine-day reign and its unbearably poignant conclusion. Alison Weir states: 'Lady Jane Grey's story is compelling and shocking. She was a young girl of royal blood who was used by greedy and unscrupulous men to satisfy their own ambitions. Having been the victim of abuse in childhood, she was sold into an unhappy marriage and forced to accept a crown she did not want, then tragically paid the price of her so-called treason. 'After publishing nine history books, writing this novel filled me with a heady sense of freedom. No longer was I tied to sources and to the strict discipline of historical interpretation, but I could give my imagination free reign. Thus, it was wonderful to be creative, and even provocative, at the same time as being historically accurate to a degree.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson; Water Damage edition (6 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091796628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091796624
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 150,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alison Weir lives and works in Surrey. Her books include Britain's Royal Families, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Children of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry VIII: King and Court, Mary, Queen of Scots and Isabella: She-Wolf of France.

Product Description

Review

Alison Weir provides immense satisfaction. She writes in a pacy, vivid style, engaging the heart as well as the mind. --The Independent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling debut novel from one of Britain's most successful popular historians --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown 22 Aug 2007
By Four Violets VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Unusually for Alison Weir, who has written ten historical non-fiction books, "Innocent Traitor" is a historical novel, told from the points of view of Lady Jane Grey, her household and those close to the crown. Protestant by inclination, Jane is a helpless pawn caught up in the scheming of her parents and the ambitious Duke of Northumberland. Their doomed plotting leads to heads rolling and the lighting of the first of many fires of Protestant martyrdom by Catholic Queen Mary. Jane Grey pays the ultimate price, with her head on the block - courageously refusing Queen Mary's offer of a reprieve if she embraces Catholicism. She was queen in name for a mere nine days.

Told as it is from many different viewpoints our sympathy is aroused for the learned Jane and we share her dread and horror of an untimely death at the age of sixteen.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a stunning novel 9 July 2009
By Demdike
Format:Paperback
This is an outstanding debut fiction novel from Alison Weir. I was gripped for start to finish, despite knowing the story of Lady Jane Grey already. I was moved to tears at many points throughout the story by how harshly she was treated and what happened to her in her short life. I was a bit worried in case it was a bit 'Phillipa Gregory' - there's nothing wrong with her writing per se, but she is a bit sex obsessed - but this was character and plot driven with very little titillation in it, which was good news!

This seemed so realistic and painted many vivid images of the Tudor court in my mind. I didn't want it to end. I've bought The Lady Elizabeth to read next and can't wait.

A wonderful, wonderful book - more please!
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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!! 22 April 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Alison Weir's historical work for a while and have thoroughly enjoyed this book, her first novel. The reader gets so much depth from the book about the culture and lives of people in the mid 1500's...and you are aware that everything is pretty much as accurate as it can get!

I'm so pleased this book was about Lady Jane Grey and all the plots and characters that shaped her destiny. The reader gets completely drawn in, and it's very hard to put this book down. Although the end of Jane's life is well known to history fans, Alison Weir still manages to build the tension beautifully.

There is an interesting "historial note" chapter at the end of the book to explain which parts were historically accurate in the book and which bits were changed for the purpose of the novel.

EXCELLENT book!
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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and moving story 29 Aug 2007
Format:Paperback
Poor Lady Jane Grey. This is a hard novel to read. The writing is excellent, the story is interesting, its well paced and keeps the read enthralled. The only hard bit is that if you know your history then you know the fate of poor Lady Jane.

Saying that I didnt know much about her life but this book filled in that gap and added lots of info of life in Tudor England from midway through Henry VIII's reign to the beginning of Bloody Marys. So if you are fascinated by the Tudor period then you will love this novel. And if you are not moved by the ending then you are harder than me!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tudor Tragedy 27 July 2009
By lushbug
Format:Paperback
Alison Weir is a well respected historian who has written many biographies of the Tudors so she really does know her stuff about this turbulent bloody period. This book concentrates on Jane Grey who was Queen of England for a few days when Edward dies before she is usurped by the rightful Queen Mary. As we all know she met a gruesome end and its so sad as she really was an innocent pawn in her families machinations.

Jane isn't presented as perfect either which makes a refreshing change-she could be intolerant at times and lacked humility but she is a great character in this book and could of achieved great things if history had played out differently as she was extremely well learned and intelligent.

I borrowed this from the library as I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it but it was so engrossing I ended up buying myself a nice new shiny copy to keep on my bookshelf.

One of those books that left me thinking afterwards and googling the main characters to find out additonial info.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST BUY!!!! 29 Jan 2007
By Lizzie VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful novel detailing the tragic life of one of the most compelling women in English history, the Lady Jane Grey. It tells the whole story of her life from her birth right through her nine day reign to her untimely death. It is written mainly through the eyes of all the people in her life who shaped her fate. We see events told through her parents, her nurse, the Duke of Northumberland, Queen Mary to name but a few, yet most of the story comes from Jane herself.

I was a little unsure at the start as I don't normally like books written in the present tense, although the author's high standard of writing soon won me round, and I realized how instrumental this was in building up the tension towards the end. My heart was actually pounding in my chest in the end scenes as I got lost in the drama of the moment.

Fans of historical fiction will love it.

Congratulations Ms Weir on a wonderful story, made all the more poignant because it is true.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A moving story, but difficult to follow 5 Feb 2013
By Sarah
Format:Paperback
Historical fiction is not usually the kind of genre that I willingly pick up, or enjoy, mainly because I think a lot of writers in that field can rely on the intrinsically interesting story they're adapting to do half the work for them by keeping a reader interested. However, "Innocent Traitor" was set by my book club, which meant I read it and actually quite enjoyed it.

It's worth noting that other people seemed to enjoy the book a lot more and to have a much stronger emotional reaction to it than I did. This is not difficult to see why, since in her central character of Jane Grey, Alison Weir was able to bring to life a very tragic life that ended prematurely and in terribly unfair circumstances. Born into the English royal family in 1537, Jane grows to maturity amid a period of great religious uncertainty and as a young girl, she embraces Protestant evangelicalism, which she clings to for the rest of her life. Jane's royal blood eventually embroils her in a dispute over the royal succession, with predictably unhappy consequences for most of those concerned.

I cannot comment too much on the historical accuracy, but the author, Alison Weir, was a professional historian before turning her hand to being a writer of fiction. All in all, "Innocent Traitor" had the feel of reality to it and the central character of Jane and her betrothed, Guildford, were very well drawn. Part of the problem, however, that I had with "Innocent Traitor" was that the constant shift in narrators and POV chapters, which works very well in other novels, did not seem to work so well here. In fact, I found it distracting and irritating.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
brilliant.
Published 2 days ago by mrs v a tonks
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book.
Published 9 days ago by Hayley Frankham
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
brilliant story...really enjoyed it
Published 1 month ago by JEAN BIRCH
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reading
I have visitedbradgate park and wanted to know more about lady Jane grey. she only reigned for 9 days, but spent the rest of her life as a prisoner until her execution, poor girl.
Published 2 months ago by PAMELA GOLDING
5.0 out of 5 stars Great holiday read.
I really enjoyed this book which I read on holiday. I love this period of history and reading it as a fiction book meant the characters really came alive for me as you could get... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lizzie from devon
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction
A good read - Alison Weir always creates believable scenarios and Jayne Grey's life was fraught with disappointment and tragedy. Recommend.
Published 3 months ago by Whippet quick
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must read"
This was a book club recommendation. I would not have chosen to read this, but believe me, I am so pleased that I did. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jolly Olly
5.0 out of 5 stars like Phillippa Gregory
Just as gripping - i couldn't put in down and sobbed at the end. I know the story of Lady Jane Grey and know her fait - yet somehow i was gripped into thinking something might... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Andy and Natalie
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite writers
Love this book, well told story about Lady Jane Grey and what could or could not have been. Kept me reading from page to page.
Published 4 months ago by Lancashire Lass
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read
I really enjoyed reading this novel. I enjoy Weir's work and this wasn't a disappointment for me.
What I liked-
1. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Beki Marsland
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