Friday, June 25, 2010
Title Innocent Traitor
Author- Alison Weir
Released November 6, 2007
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Appropriate for Young Adults to Adults
The “Nine Day Queen” as she is known in the history books…….I appreciate the author’s title better The Innocent Traitor for that is what Jane Grey was. I had no idea what I was getting into when I first started this book. I do not typically read historical fiction, but this book appealed to me for some reason. The author had written nine previous non-fiction historical accounts of Britain’s history so I knew she would have to be well-versed.
In The Innocent Traitor, Ms. Weir gives us a bird’s eye view of what is happening from many perspectives. I know that is what I loved about this book! I got to venture into the thoughts of Lady Jane Grey, her nasty mother Duchess Frances, the evil Northumbunderland and his whiney son Guilford, the sweet and kind Queen Katherine Parr and the oh so wonderful nurse who cares for Lady Jane Grey from her birth to her death. In researching the book afterward I found so much of it was completely accurate, right down to the actual words spoken by Lady Jane Grey. She was used as a pawn by her parents and Northumbunderland to be put on the throne in hopes that they could rule through her. Lady Jane thwarted their plans by being too smart for them, trying to refuse the crown and when realizing she could not, she did not bow down to their influence. Once crowned, Lady Jane took control. Unfortunately, her reign only lasted for nine days. Then Jane’s cousin and rightful heir, “Bloody Mary” was asserted to the throne.
This book is so many things. It is about the birth and life of a young girl who is exceptional in so many ways. Lady Jane stands for her Protestant beliefs and thrives on learning. If nothing else her parents do give her that, the ability and the tutors in which to learn from. The Innocent Traitor is a beautiful story about a girl who should be a tragic story but because of her beliefs, it’s not. After reading it I only hope that I can emulate the thoughts and beliefs of a precious 17 year old girl whose life has been used by so many. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Read it…and let me know what you think would have happened in the history books had Mary NOT come to power and Jane stayed on the throne….hmmm, quite an interesting thought!
From Goodreads Description:
I am now a condemned traitor . . . I am to die when I have hardly begun to live.
Historical expertise marries page-turning fiction in Alison Weir’s enthralling debut novel, breathing new life into one of the most significant and tumultuous periods of the English monarchy. It is the story of Lady Jane Grey–“the Nine Days’ Queen”–a fifteen-year-old girl who unwittingly finds herself at the center of the religious and civil unrest that nearly toppled the fabled House of Tudor during the sixteenth century.
The child of a scheming father and a ruthless mother, for whom she is merely a pawn in a dynastic game with the highest stakes, Jane Grey was born during the harrowingly turbulent period between Anne Boleyn’s beheading and the demise of Jane’s infamous great-uncle, King Henry VIII. With the premature passing of Jane’s adolescent cousin, and Henry’s successor, King Edward VI, comes a struggle for supremacy fueled by political machinations and lethal religious fervor.
Unabashedly honest and exceptionally intelligent, Jane possesses a sound strength of character beyond her years that equips her to weather the vicious storm. And though she has no ambitions to rule, preferring to immerse herself in books and religious studies, she is forced to accept the crown, and by so doing sets off a firestorm of intrigue, betrayal, and tragedy.
Alison Weir uses her unmatched skills as a historian to enliven the many dynamic characters of this majestic drama. Along with Lady Jane Grey, Weir vividly renders her devious parents; her much-loved nanny; the benevolent Queen Katherine Parr; Jane’s ambitious cousins; the Catholic “Bloody” Mary, who will stop at nothing to seize the throne; and the protestant and future queen Elizabeth. Readers venture inside royal drawing rooms and bed chambers to witness the power-grabbing that swirls around Lady Jane Grey from the day of her birth to her unbearably poignant death. Innocent Traitor paints a complete and compelling portrait of this captivating young woman, a faithful servant of God whose short reign and brief life would make her a legend.
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Royal Reviewer Angela Renee at 1:17 PM