When Henry VIII died in 1547, he left three highly intelligent children to succeed him in turn - Edward, Mary and Elizabeth - to be followed, if their lines failed, by the descendants of his sister Mary Tudor, one of whom was the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey. Edward was nine years old, Mary 31 and Jane ten. Edward, Elizabeth and Jane were staunch Protestants, Mary a devout Catholic; each had a very different mother and they had grown up in vastly different circumstances. This book is not interested in constitutional history but in the characters and relationships of Henry's four heirs. Making use of a variety of contemporary sources, it brings to life one of the most extraordinary periods of English history, when each of Henry's heirs was potentially the tool of powerful political and religious figures, and when the realm was seething with intrigue and turbulent change.