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Innocent traitor a novel of lady Jane Grey, Alison WeirStory of Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for nine days in 1553 2010 1388 604 9789648944488 1389 1537 1554 20 1554 Lady Jane Grey, born either 1536 or 1537, was highly gifted, precocious and intelligent but she was born into a time when her life was constrained by her parents and their machinations at the royal court Her birth was a disappointment to her parents who, like most medieval parents, had longed for a son although they soon pinned their hopes on her marrying Henry VIII s son, Edward VI But during Edward s final illness their choice for Jane changed, due to the machinations of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland and Edward s Regent, and she was betrothed to the Duke s own son, Guildford Dudley Jane was, of course Edward s cousin and had been named his successor to the throne, apparently after much handling by the Duke.One of the few joys in Jane s short life was the two years which she spent as a lady in waiting to Queen Katherine Parr, Henry VIII s last wife Upon Katherine s death in 1548, Jane was unceremoniously and unwillingly returned to her family home It was then that Jane met tutor to Elizabeth I, Roger Ascham Ascham noted Jane s complaint about her parentsFor when I am in presence either of father or mother whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand, or go, eat, drink, be merry, or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing any thing else I must do it, as it were, in such weight, measure, and number, even so perfectly, as God made the world or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, yea presently sometimes with pinches, nips, and bobs, and other ways which I will not name for the honour I bear them so without measure misordered, that I think myself in hell, till time come that I must go to Mr Elmer who teacheth me so gently, so pleasantly, with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all the time nothing whiles I am with him And when I am called from him, I fall on weeping, because whatsoever I do else but learning, is full of grief, trouble, fear, and whole misliking unto me And thus my book hath been so much my pleasure, and bringeth daily to me pleasure and , that in respect of it, all other pleasures, in very deed, be but trifles and troubles unto meRoger Ascham was so impressed with Jane s intelligence that he set up correspondence between her and many learned men, in England and Europe A staunch Protestant, she would correspond and debate with them on various subjects including theology Edward VI died on July 6 1553 and the unwilling Jane s famously short reign as Queen began on July 10th, ending on July 19th when Mary I was named the true monarch and Jane was charged with treason Her sad life ended on Tower Green in Tower of London on 12th February 1554.Alison Weir has selected a tragic heroine for her first historical fiction novel but I felt that she doesn t impart much personality into any of her characters You are getting the facts but there s not a lot a feeling here Of course, you d have to be a rock not to feel for Jane s situation or to dislike Frances Brandon, Jane s mother but I did not feel the characters speaking to me I loved the nurse Mrs Ellen who, unlike her parents, actually loved Jane and was with her from a very early age right up until the moment of her death While the cover exhorted me to cry for Jane, I did not but I have felt an overwhelming sense of sadness for this young girl since I read her story While I would recommend that you read this novel because it provides much historical detail, I can only rate it 3.5. . The Lady Elizabeth was bad but mildly entertaining, possibly because of the appearance of one of the most interesting figures from history, but Innocent Traitor is just plain bad It begins with two very dull parallel birth scenes and gets worse from there The language is tedious and pedestrian, sending me to sleep rather than catching my attention The plot drags and is utterly predictable, for example, one day after the family has heard news that some heretics are to be burned, Jane s nurse decides to take the children out for the day on a trip to visit her sister who lives in Smithfield Gee, I wonder what will happen Yep, that s right, it all ends in tears and traumatised kiddie winks This writing is just so juvenile and limp The descriptions read just the same as in Weir s non fiction histories incredibly dry, unmemorable lists The worst of by far though was Weir s poor research and total misunderstanding and the era.Weir completely misunderstands the social s of the day when she has Frances Brandon and Henry Grey acting all doom and gloom over Jane s birth because she s a daughter She s transferring the concerns of Henry VIII onto the couple How she manages to do this when she s a writer of non fiction histories boggles the mind Frances and Henry were still young at 20 years old and had only been married for four years, and whilst sons were undoubtedly desired, it was hardly a disaster for the Greys to have only daughters King Henry VIII meanwhile, at the time the future Edward VI was born, was 46 years old, on his third marriage after almost 30 years of married life, and had only two surviving acknowledged but illegitimated daughters, and it was important to him to have a son because it was unprecedented for a woman to be accepted as ruler of England in her own right and the young Tudor dynasty could still be overthrown.Weir also includes the nonsense about the Duke of Northumberland poisoning Edward VI and then smothering a lookalike and switching the bodies so that the king s corpse would have no evidence of foul play I cannot stress enough how absurd this is In her author s note Weir claims that the evidence for this is written in a letter by one of the duke s sons, but that is completely made up it s hearsay, and not mentioned in any letter written by one of the duke s sons Mary and Elizabeth Tudor are titled Princess in the book when they were actually titled Lady Jane Parker is once again condemned for taking down Anne and George Boleyn Frances and Adrian Stokes are described according to the painting which for years now has been known to actually be Mary Neville and her son Oh, and of course, Frances and Henry Grey beat their poor daughter Jane black and blue Tempted as I am to explain in detail exactly why all of this is wrong, I m simply going to link y all to that business and you can click on it if you re interested.Jane Parker and the Boleyns downfallWhat really happened to Edward VI s bodyThe many misconceptions about Frances BrandonEssentially, Weir shoves in every scrap of rumour and gossip from the era Whether she did this out of sheer bad research or purposely to make things jucier , I don t know, but it doesn t improve the pedestrian prose, only adds a repellent splash of lurid crassness Innocent Traitor is dull, wildly inaccurate, and unimpressive.2 out of 10 Lady Jane Grey 1537 1554 was born during the reign of Henry VIII to ambitious parents who trained her for an important position She was a quiet, precocious girl who loved learning and was extremely well educated Jane was a Protestant who spent much of her time on religious studies Jane always felt that her parents were disappointed that she was not a boy After forcing Jane into a marriage that she did not want, they hatched a plot to gain power in the royal court.Henry VIII s heir was Edward VI, but he died at a young age Henry s daughter s Mary and Elizabeth were next in succession, but they were considered bastards after Henry s marriages were annulled Lady Jane Grey s mother was a niece of Henry VIII Through some questionable legal maneuvers, Lady Jane became queen for nine days Lady Jane had no wish to be appointed queen, but finally accepted it to prevent Mary, a devout Catholic, from taking the throne Mary fought back with a large army, and a time of religious unrest and violence followed.This was a fascinating book about a lovely, innocent girl who got caught up in other people s plans for power with tragic results It was also interesting how Henry VIII s decision to break with Rome eventually snowballed into a religious bloodbath Alison Weir brought history to life in this excellent historical novel. Innocent Traitor is what should be a fascinating narrative of the life of the young Lady Jane Grey, the little known queen that reigned for a mere 9 days yet somehow it isn t Perhaps it s because it s written by someone who normally sticks to non fiction, but something is lacking It s written from several different perspectives, which reveals Alison Weir s shortcomings She fails to give her characters strong, unique voices, and they tend to blend together Though I ve found myself consumed by thoughts of Jane s difficult life for several hours after finishing the last page, I think this is because I know that Jane Grey was a real person, and not because I was enthralled by Alison Weir s story wielding skills.Still it was a decent read, and I learned quite a bit Most of this novel is true Alison Weir has only added in bits here and there to add flavour, and these have all been recorded in a little blurb at the end of the book Turns out the most unbelievable parts are actually true Which is incredibly satisfying albeit alarming. Most people have never heard of the queen who reigned for 9 days after the son of Henry VIII died It is a shame because I have always found the story of how Lady Jane Grey, great niece to King Henry VIII and girl of 16, was placed on the throne after Edward s death and bypassed Mary and Elizabeth s right to the throne as one of the intriguing stories about the infamous Tudor family and the efforts taken to keep England a protestant country Little did Jane know that her parents and Queen Katharine Parr s scheming would place Jane on the throne for 9 days, only to then be forcibly removed from the throne by Queen Mary s claim to the crown This book is the first piece of fiction written by best selling Tudor historian, Allison Weir I think her vast knowledge of Tudor history gave extra credibility to the telling of this rarely heard story I particularly enjoyed hearing the story through the perspective of several different characters Jane s mother the Duchess of Suffolk, Jane s nanny, Queen Katharine Parr, Queen Mary, Queen Jane Seymour, John Dudley the Duke of Northumberland, and finally the executioner.Anyone who has read Phillipa Gregory s series about the Tudor wives and children should definitely add this to their collection A riveting story while at the same time being a piece of history. &Epub ⇲ Innocent Traitor ✒ BONUS This Edition Contains An Excerpt From Alison Weir S Mary BoleynI 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 Bedchambers 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 Lady Jane Grey, the grand niece of Henry VIII, and queen of England for just over a week in 1553 is the subject of Innocent Traitor, Alison Weir s first work of historical fiction With over ten works of history to her credit, Weir is one of my favorite British Renaissance and Reformation historians mostly because she presents the Catholic and Protestant theological differences of the era in an impartial manner without resorting to inflammatory or stereotypical rhetoric Innocent Traitor is a very good read It presents the story of the young Jane s life from the perspectives of those closest to her, through the major, known events of her all too short life The few historical facts I ve checked out all did as if I had any doubt I really knew they would, mostly I was just curious on one or two points If Innocent Traitor has any weakness, it would be in the beginning where it seemed sounded like all the characters spoke with the same voice I didn t notice this as much later on in the story, so I don t know if I got to know the different characters, if I just became so engrossed in the story, I stopped paying attention, or if in fact the characterizations did get better In the beginning, it especially bothered me that Jane sounded like an adult at three and five.That criticism aside it s a very absorbing read Why anyone would have wanted to be a monarch back in those days is beyond me And yet so many did and paid the ultimate price for such ambition Poor Jane only wanted a quiet life with her books and look what she got After the Reformation equivalent to a Dickensian childhood, she became the pawn of her parents and the Duke of Northumberland, was given in marriage to an abusive husband, maneuvered into a crown she didn t want, lost it, was abandoned by everyone, thrown into prison and finally thanks to her father s second treachery against the Crown Jane received the verdict of treason and was executed.There were some speculative additions to fill in parts of history which remain unknown, and yet Weir s choices are still probable Recommended. I have read lots of books on Catherine, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth, Mary and of course Henry VIII.But I haven t ventured into his other wives stories history yet nor any other Tudor relations And I really knew very little at all about Lady Jane Grey I really enjoyed her story, and found her to be quite a resourceful character.Loved the part where she had to go to the Privy but was to scared to leave, so she just lifted her skirts and let it go and hoped the dogs would be blamed As the reader, we watch her grow from childhood to a young adult..although at times I felt the author made Jane too old for the age that she was at At times I didn t know if she was 3 years old or 16 Also at times I found the flipping of Jane to her mother confusing And was her mother really that awful Or was this just how the author portrayed her These parents were down right horrible and my heart went out for Jane as well as the other two girls But other than that, I really enjoyed the story told of Lady Jane Grey..but since I didn t know the out come of her future, it was a very sad surprise ending indeed.