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Innocent Traitor Paperback – 7 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (7 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099493799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099493792
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,012 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.

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Review

"Alison Weir's hugely popular history books are as gripping as novels, and now she has stepped effortlessly over the boundary... Weir's knowledge of the background is immaculate, and she revels in the freedom of fiction without sacrificing historical fact. Lady Jane is brave and intelligent, and if you don't cry at the end you have a heart of stone." (Kate Saunders The Times)

"Alison Weir is one of our greatest popular historians. In her first work of fiction, she sets out to trace the brief life of one of history's most tragic heroines... Weir manages her heroine's voice brilliantly, respecting the past's distance while conjuring a dignified and fiercely modern spirit. " (Daily Mail)

"This is an impressive debut. Weir shows skill at plotting and maintaining tension, and she is clearly going to be a player in the overcrowded historical fiction game. We can look forward to seeing what subject she'll tackle next." (Lesley McDowell Independent on Sunday)

"The story is so compelling and horrible that even a reader well acquainted with it will be gripped...This is a novel that will grip readers and give great pleasure." (Allan Massie Scotsman)

Book Description

The Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling debut novel from one of Britain's most successful popular historians

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Four Violets VINE VOICE on 22 Aug. 2007
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 By Demdike on 9 July 2009
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 By Iceni Peasant on 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By lushbug on 27 July 2009
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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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful By SJ SMART on 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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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Lizzie VINE VOICE on 29 Jan. 2007
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 By Sarah on 5 Feb. 2013
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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