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Sisters of Treason Hardcover – 8 Jul 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 8 Jul 2014
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (8 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476703094
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476703091
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,363,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A great read. Sisters of Treason totally transports the reader to the Tudor court, with all its tensions and games (Katherine Webb, author of The Legacy)

An endlessly fascinating era, and Fremantle manages to combine pacey storytelling with superb background. . .it's terrifically entertaining. (The Times)

A sumptous epic (Metro)

Gripping (Woman & Home)

Electric (Good Housekeeping)

Rich and enticing (Stylist) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Elizabeth Fremantle holds a first in English and an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck. As a Fashion Editor she has contributed to various publications including Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair and the Erotic Review. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In 1554 Lady Jane Grey was executed on Tower Green, her last moments spent blindfolded fumbling on her knees for the block, watched by hard men, other men who may have secretly wept and a mother held up by a friend. It is quite possible that Queen Mary Tudor hadn't wanted to kill her cousin, so young and used, but these are paranoid days and there are none more suspicious than these Tudor Queens.

Sisters of Treason tells the story of Jane's two surviving younger sisters, Katherine and Mary, both of whom were to live lives spoiled beyond all understanding by the whim of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor. It is the curse of the Greys that should either Queen die childless many would favour them as next in the royal line. Katherine is a beauty, married and divorced in quick succession during the brief supremacy of her sister's controllers, and now she yearns for her handsome lost husband. To Katherine, Jane left a bible with a message to give her strength. Nothing, though, was left to Mary, the youngest and the wisest. Jane believed Mary needed no help. But Mary's spine is twisted, her growth is stunted, and for that she has been given the role of Queen Mary's monkey. Sat on Mary's lap, stroked like a pet, the Queen thinks nothing of cursing the treachery of the Grey clan over the head of her tamed Grey monkey. All Katherine and Mary want is to be free of the court but Mary has to keep them close. They might have thought that matters would improve once Elizabeth came to the throne. But Mary Grey knows best. Nothing will change. Elizabeth might be even worse.

The opening chapter of Sisters of Treason is such a powerful draw into the novel. It gives us the execution of Lady Jane Grey through the experience of her mother Frances and her friend Levina, an accomplished painter of miniatures.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An excellent example of the genre. I haven't read much historical fiction, but loved Fremantle's first (about Katherine Parr) and also some of Philippa Gregory's series about the Cousins War.

Sisters of Treason is absolutely fascinating. Who designs the school history curriculum? They need to try and include more of the minor stories in schemes of work because they are riveting. We have all probably heard of Lady Jane Grey, Queen for nine days then beheaded by Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII. This book picks up at the execution and then follows on the skirt-tails of Jane's sisters, Katherine and Mary, and family friend Levina, real-life portrait painter to the court.

It's as readable as any fictional thriller. Mary suffers from a condition that has left her the size of a five-year-old and with a deformed spine. Katherine is a renowned beauty. Both fear that Jane's fate will also befall them as others plot around them to raise a new Queen. And this doesn't end with the death of Mary as her sister Elizabeth takes the throne and proves just as brutal in her way.

The three-way narrative works well, moving the action from place to place in Tudor England. I don't think I've learnt so much history in terms worth of lessons at school. Even knowing that the conversations are all fictitious, the endnotes give a useful potted biography of almost every character in the book and show just how closely Fremantle has kept to history. There is also a lovely family tree at the front showing just how closely related the Greys, Tudors, and Stuarts are, and why it is that there was such a skirmish for the throne of England.

Mary is the most sympathetic character, being both intelligent and sneered at.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The lack of a surviving mail heir, after six different wives, leaves Henry the Eighth's legitimate bloodline and succession firmly in the hands, or rather the veins, of his female children and relatives. When his teenaged son King Edward dies, male power is not exactly relinquished, rather it passes to the men around the throne, men who will scheme and manipulate their way through a system of female rule that most of them detest, or at best represents their religious preference for the realm of England. Jane Grey was a protestant and therefore very attractive to the religious reformers as a sympathetic monarch, and to be honest through her Tudor descent from Henry's sister, she would have been a legitimate and possibly more stable monarch than Henry's eldest daughter Mary who was as fanatically Catholic as her mother Catherine of Aragon.

The author opens her excellent tale with the unbearably sad execution of seventeen year old Jane Grey after a reign lasting a mere nine days, heartbreakingly blindfolded and trying to locate the block on which she will lose her head. She has been manipulated into marriage with Guildford Dudley by their ambitious fathers, but Mary Tudor secures sufficient support to mount a successful coup d'etat thus condemning both fathers, the son and the daughter-in-law to death for treason. The beheading of Jane Grey is a poignant and defining event. This happens almost immediately in the narrative and is wonderfully well written, showing how the state sponsored brutality of ambitious men was ruthlessly carried out : the shadow cast by this event compromises the lives of her mother Frances, and her two sisters Katherine and Mary.
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