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Another sub-standard Loades/Amberley book!
on 14 February 2013
Following on from his disaster 'Catherine Howard - The Adulterous Wife of Henry VIII', David Loades has written another sub-standard biography.
Amberley's previous biography on Jane Seymour, by Elizabeth Norton, proved that one cannot justify a biography on Jane as there is very little information on her. Loades fails to offer any more.
True, Loades attempt is slightly better than Norton's as it does not rely on supposition and guesswork but there is very little analysis and is on the whole a very lazy effort from a historian with a good reputation. The important questions; the reason why Jane was not married before, her character in contrast to Anne Boleyn, whether Jane was in fact Henry's unknown mistress of the 1530s (here Loades contradicts himself!) and her political efforts after her marriage to Henry are mentioned but all to briefly.
With the preface from page 7 to the final chapter's end on page 160, Jane features only between pages 25 and 79! Before Jane appears we are treated to a potted history of the Seymours going back to 7th century. It's all very interesting but hardly relevant. After her death on page 79 we are treated to an attempt to create a legacy for Jane. Jane's legacy was that she was Henry's favourite wife as she gave him a son and nothing more. What we get from Loades is far too much; a brief history of Edward VI, Edward and Thomas Seymour. How far can a legacy continue? It's just plain silliness.
I'm waiting for a good book on Jane, if ever there can be one!