Today’s review is on a book that speaks on a topic that I am relatively unfamiliar on, the life of Lady Jane Grey.
Did I learn a thing or two from Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey by Nicola Tallis? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
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Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey by Nicola Tallis
Publisher: Pegasus Books (December 6, 2016)
Print Length: 400 pages
“Good people, I am come hither to die, and by a law I am condemned to the same.” These were the heartbreaking words of a seventeen-year-old girl, Lady Jane Grey, as she stood on the scaffold awaiting death on a cold February morning in 1554. Minutes later her head was struck from her body with a single stroke of a heavy axe. Her death for high treason sent shockwaves through the Tudor world, and served as a gruesome reminder to all who aspired to a crown that the axe could fall at any time.
Jane is known to history as “the Nine Days Queen,” but her reign lasted, in fact, for thirteen days. The human and emotional aspects of her story have often been ignored, although she is remembered as one of the Tudor Era’s most tragic victims. While this is doubtlessly true, it is only part of the complex jigsaw of Jane’s story. She was a remarkable individual with a charismatic personality who earned the admiration and affection of many of those who knew her. All were impressed by her wit, passion, intelligence, and determined spirit. Furthermore, the recent trend of trying to highlight her achievements and her religious faith has, in fact, further obscured the real Jane, a young religious radical who saw herself as an advocate of the reformed faith—Protestantism—and ultimately became a martyr for it.
Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey is a non-fiction account of the life and death of the seventeen-year-old Jane Grey, the great-grandaughter of Henry VII, who ruled over England for nine days before being usurped by Henry VIII first born daughter, Mary I.
Going into Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey I knew very little of the so called nine-day queen besides what footnotes I had read in correlation to her more famed counterparts. Due to this hunger for more Tallis’ writing style, well-researched but easy to read, was a breath of fresh air compared to other non-fiction accounts on the Tudor era. She explores Jane’s life the way one word expect, linearly with sprinklings of what was going on at the time in contrast to what was going on with Jane.
I rather enjoyed the way Tallis chose to present Jane. Instead of the romanticized version of her that we commonly think of, due in part to the image of her in The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche, Tallis presents an intellectually, devout girl whose downfall was the result of the choices that those close to her made. She never wanted the burden of the crown, so much so that she pleaded guilty in her sham of a trial because she felt guilty for being a part of, however minute, stealing away Mary I’s birth right. I also enjoyed Tallis’ choice of including the Apendix that lists sites to visit should you be interested in learning and experiencing more of Jane. I have definitely added Bradgate House to lists of places I want to visit upon my inevitable return to England.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
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And those are my thoughts on Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey by Nicola Tallis. Have any nonfiction recommendations? Leave your recommendation below and help my TBR grow.