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A Dangerous Inheritance Kindle Edition
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To combine the mystery surrounding the death of King Edward V and his younger brother, and heir presumptive, the Duke of York (aka the `Princes in the Tower') with the nearly equally fascinating, `Queen that never was' Katherine Grey is just too tantalising for words. And to throw in a princess we didn't know about, Kate, the illegitimate daughter of the notorious Richard III - and to link all three together - is just clever and fascinating beyond words. Could the book live up to it? It certainly did.
Alison Weir has written separately about Lady Jane Grey and about the Princes in the Tower so her research is extensive and painstaking and she admits to any fictional interpretations she uses although they do not in any way distract from the sadness of these very unfortunate women's lives. These women were quite literally imprisoned for being too close to the throne in exactly the same way Edward V and his younger brother had been.
Weir presents all the evidence of what is known about the disappearance of the boys and neatly gives two theories - one the far more accepted and acceptable theory that their uncle killed them in order to be able to usurp the throne and keep himself safe from what would happen when the boys inevitably grew and wanted their birth-right. And she includes another tenuous theory presumably to please the conspiracy theorists who are unable to accept that Richard III was a child-killer and usurper.
However, I digress - the evidence is compelling and although nothing `new' is presented - even the greatly hyped up `evidence` of Elizabeth Savage but it is fascinating that even in the reign of Elizabeth I, talking about the Princes still brings fear to those involved and it is particularly fascinating that talking about them even close to the time of their deaths was considered treasonous.
I felt deeply sorry for Katherine Grey and Kate Plantagenet - as their lives were so painfully similar and so well told by Alison Weir - and found myself liking Henry VII and Elizabeth I a lot less than I had before. (Elizabeth is a very lucky woman to have been judged so well by history as she comes across frequently as foolish and cruel). Henry VII of course comes out of this as very clever but also cruel and I loved Weir's description of him as being like an 'accountant' - surely no greater put down for a man who hoped to shape destiny.
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