Review by Booklist Review
There are many portals into the vibrant Tudor period in English history, each marked with the name of an individual whose life contributed to the drama of the era. One such significant personage was Lady Jane Grey, who is usually thought of as a poor little creature caught up in the devious schemes of opposing court factions. Lady Jane was a great-granddaughter of Henry VIII. Inheritance of the throne, as we all know, was a central theme of the Tudor years, and Lady Jane found herself proclaimed queen upon the demise of Henry's son, Edward VI. Jane's reign lasted only nine days. Henry's eldest daughter booted Jane off the throne and had her executed for treason. The Jane whom Tallis presents is a young woman of great intelligence who received a superior education, especially for a young lady at that time. A victim easily manipulated by others who were interested only in pursuing their own selfish goals? No, Tallis asserts a heroine who stood up for the causes in which she believed.--Hooper, Brad Copyright 2016 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
British historian Tallis portrays nine-day queen Grey (1536/1537-1554) as a determined, devout, and clothes-loving teenager whose intellect, youth, and religious fervor perpetuate her mythologizing centuries later. During the dawn of English Protestantism, Grey vigorously discussed religious tenets with both Catholic and Protestant theologians, garnering praise for her understanding and later inspiring her inclusion in John Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Tallis humanizes Grey, showing her willfulness-she refused to corule with her husband, whose father placed her on the throne-as well as her desperation to please her remarkably unwise parents, whose ambition cost Jane her freedom and life. Popular myths and earlier historical interpretations of key events receive fresh analysis aided by diligent research (a minor complaint is an odd reference to Henry VIII's "divorce" of Anne of Cleves-it was technically annulled). Tallis's clear writing and well-paced narrative heighten the story's climactic and tragic ending. She also pays careful attention to the relationship between Mary I and Grey, noting warm, long-standing family ties and similarities in religious fervor-albeit for different denominations-and key differences in how each approached her claim to the throne. Tallis successfully champions Jane's reign as legitimate and elucidates her role as a key player in the battle for England's official church. Illus. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Review by Library Journal Review
The tragic life and short (nine-day) reign of English monarch Lady Jane Grey (1537-54) is eloquently explored in debut author Tallis's biography of the precocious 17-year-old who dared to wear the crown between the reigns of Edward VI and Mary I. Ably guiding readers through the complex maze of familial connections and Tudor politics, the author presents an engaging portrait of a young woman whose sole crime was having had the misfortune to be born the great-niece of Henry VIII. Undoubtedly an innocent victim of the ambitions and machinations of those around her, Jane experienced a devastating downfall, an aspect of her life on which this study doesn't dwell. This account is particularly noteworthy for its exploration of Jane's accomplishments, foremost among them her intellectual attainments and correspondence with leading Protestant figures. Tallis illustrates how Jane's steadfast devotion to Protestantism, even in the face of imminent death, makes her more than a mere pawn in a power struggle but an important historical figure in her own right and fully worthy of being studied alongside the rest of England's queens. VERDICT Highly recommended for readers interested in British history or the Tudor era.-Sara Shreve, Newton, KS © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
A new biography of the Nine Day Queen, a young lady sacrificed through the actions of powerful and ambitious manipulators in the complex world of sixteenth-century politics.After the death of Protestant Edward VI in 1553, his Catholic sister, Mary, was heir to the English throne. Preferring a Protestant, the dying Edward proclaimed his 17-year-old cousin, Lady Jane Grey, as his successor. Most lords were too law-abiding to tolerate this action, so she was quickly deposed and executed. Many scholars of the period mention this in passing, but in her first book, Tallis, resident historian for Alison Weir Tours, makes an energetic case that Grey deserves more attention. Almost all existing documents cover only her final months, but Tallis does an admirable job turning up sources on her subjects early life which concentrate on her high-ranking parents and Janes intense religious education; she was very pious. As is usual for biographies where evidence is lacking, the author concentrates on the great events of those years that are turbulent enough to satisfy readers. Henry VIIII, despite breaking with the pope, had little interest in radical religious reform. This was not the case after his son, Edward VI, succeeded in 1547. With approval of the new king, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, pushed through changes that created a visibly Protestant Church of England. Most Englishmen remained Catholic, and even sympathetic nobles felt that Marys legal claim to the throne overrode religious considerations, so Edwards deathbed decree was brushed aside. Jane was never crowned, but neither were Edward V or Edward VIII, so the author maintains that she was queen of England, if only for slightly less than a fortnight. Readers will share Tallis sympathy with the devout, passive Jane but also approve of her emphasis on the more powerful, ambitious, and unpleasant men and women that surrounded her. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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