Most of us will remember from our school history lessons that Jane Grey reigned for nine days. Alison Plowden here delves a little deeper into the life of this young lady who had the misfortune to have royal blood flowing in her veins.
The Victorians had a tendancy to romanticise Jane Grey as a protestant martyr. Plowden is not unsympathetic - who could be to a puppet queen married against her will and then executed at 16 - but she is unsentimental in her analysis. Jane Grey was certainly pious and a bit of a blue-stocking, but she was also pretty headstrong, not particularly tactful and had a tendancy towards religious fanaticism! It is interesting to ponder the consequences if she had not after all been deposed.
This is not a long book, it could hardly be so considering its subject was executed at 16, but Plowden is very readable. We are also given some insight into life in the household of the Queen Dowager, Katherine Parr, and details on the fates of Jane Gery's younger sisters, Katherine and Mary.
on 24 December 2008
This was an easy read and fairly interesting but gave very little information on Jane Grey.
While you do have to go into her family history to understand something of her life the majority of the book delved into the lives of Edward, Mary and Elizabeth Tudor along with the other Grey girls and their lives after Jane's death.
There is a lack of information available to the historian on Jane Grey's life, understandably as she died so young, but I was expecting to learn something new and I didn't. It pretty much covers what you would learn at school besides a few comparisons between her life and that of Elizabeth's far more auspicious reign and debunking a couple of myth's about Jane's character.
Generally I wouldn't recommend it, you could probably cover what's in the book in a paragraph of succinct writing. A disappointment.