Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book Review: Her Highness the Traitor

As Henry VIII draws his last breath, two very different women, Jane Dudley, Viscountess of Lisle, and Frances Grey, Marchioness of Dorset, face the prospect of a boy king, Edward VI.

For Jane Dudley, basking in the affection of her large family, the coming of a new king means another move upward for her ambitious, able husband, John. For Frances Grey, increasingly alienated from her husband and her brilliant but arrogant daughter Lady Jane Grey, it means that she—and  Lady Jane—are one step closer to the throne of England.

Then the young king falls deathly ill. Determined to keep England under Protestant rule, he concocts an audacious scheme that subverts his own father’s will. Suddenly, Jane Dudley and Frances Grey are reluctantly bound together in a common cause—one that will test their loyalties, their strength, and their faith, and that will change their lives beyond measure.

 I had the hardest time finishing this book, it took me more than a month to read it. I was so intrigued by the story, but in the end it just kept jumping for person to person (all mothers, I finally figured out by about 30%) and I stayed confused. I am glad I finished it, it's a part of history I was completely unaware of.

Lady Jane, I half wish the book would have been at least partially told from her point of view. The view points we do get tell us nothing of _her_. She's that person who now days we would call "book smart" but she lacks any common sense. Plus, she seemed to have very little human compassion. A person like that shouldn't rule, and I think King Edward could have figured that out very easily. I also disliked that the minute they named her Queen, she an instant big head. I was sad to see that she was finally beheaded after so long of time. I don't think she deserved to die, although I do understand why Queen Mary felt like she had to do it.

For all of that, you would think I disliked the book. That's not entirely the case. It filled in the gaps that I have between Monarchs. I think it shows the state of the country and how it might have been effected when Mary came in the crown. It also reminded me how easily people lost their heads in this day. Plus, it's historical fiction and I'm not disappointed that I read it.

I never really got why Lady Jane was the traitor?

1 comment:

Toni Hinchcliffe said...

Jane Grey was a "traitor" because Henry VIII's will stated that the succession was Edward, then Mary, then Elizabeth. Edward's Protestant advisors did not want Mary, a Catholic, to rule because they knew they would all be cast out so they conned Edward into naming Jane as the next queen.