Thursday, June 5, 2014

Three Maids for a Crown

A book about the most fascinating 9 days in English history~

Summary (from the second novel from Ella March Chase, we meet sixteen-year-old Jane Grey, a quiet and obedient young lady destined to become the shortest reigning English monarch. Her beautiful middle sister Katherine Grey charms all the right people--until loyalties shift. And finally Lady Mary Grey, a dwarf with a twisted spine whose goal is simply to protect people she loves--but at a terrible cost.
In an age in which begetting sons was all that mattered and queens rose and fell on the sex of their child, these three girls with royal Tudor blood lived under the dangerous whims of parents with a passion for gambling. The stakes they would wager: their daughters' lives against rampant ambition.

My favourite painting in the National Gallery in London
Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche

Review: I have been a "fan" of the story of Jane Grey since I was a young teenager. I fell in love with the romanticized Hollywood version of events and have often wondered why the life of Jane Grey is so often skipped over.

While reading this novel I also listened to Leanda de Lisle's non-fiction version titled The Sister's Who Would Be Queen. This helped me to dispel the Hollywood version in my mind and to assure me that this novel is true(er) to what really happened. Although, it was an overload of the Grey's, I helped me to feel confident that this version was not only entertaining, but very close to historical fact.

It's interesting to look at this family and see both sides of the fate of being born to a family so close to the throne. I won't go into the complexities of how the Grey sisters came to be heirs to the crown but suffice it to say that none of them wanted it. It was a plot schemed up by the adult courtiers in the family that put the lives of all the women in the family in jeopardy.

While Jane is the best known Grey, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her two sisters. Both Kat and Mary mature beyond their years and function in heartbreaking circumstances far better than anyone in today's world ever could.

Seeing Jane's life in context with the rest of her family was a real eye opener for me. She is usually portrayed as a young woman who was extremely intelligent. I think her sisters are equally so though. To be able to navigate the twist and turns of court life under 3 different monarchs would have been no easy feat, and they were the ones who survived.

I strongly encourage you to read this book if you're a fan of the Tudor era (and want to read about something other than Henry's wives).

My all time favourite movie (and not because Patrick Stewart play Lord Grey):

Have you read any other Lady Jane books?  Have one to recommend?  Leave a comment below~

1 comment:

Cranberry Morning said...

I love this English history stuff - and I'll check out that movie too. Always like to follow a recommendation. Thanks. :-)


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