Rec: Nine Days a Queen

I am knee-deep in Tudor history in the moment, a most fascinating time period that I have ZERO interest in living in. Times were hard, yo, especially if you were a member of the nobility. It seems like you had a 1 in 3 chance of being convicted of treason and getting your head chopped off just for talking to the wrong person or being the child of the wrong person or being the wrong religion (which was constantly changing) or … anything else the monarch decided was treason, really. Did you know it was a capital offense just to talk about the king dying? Crazy times.

Case in point: The absolutely true story of Lady Jane Grey, as chronicled by Ann Rinaldi in  NINE DAYS A QUEEN. Poor Jane was the grandniece* of Henry VIII and fourth in line for the throne, but through her father’s political scheming and an arranged marriage, Jane found herself the Queen of England, a role she absolutely did not want. As the title of the book implies, Jane sat on the throne for only nine days. The full story is full of twists and turns, and when you’re in the hands of an historical master like Ann Rinaldi, you’re never going to be let down. The historical detail is rich yet subtle, and the era—from the lavish lives of members of court,  down to the helplessness of young, rich girls like Jane—comes alive in Rinaldi’s hands.

The book is definitely a quick read. I got to a point around page 50 where I couldn’t put it down. It’s billed as YA, although to me it reads more upper MG, but in any event, it’s a great book about a fascinating period of history, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Have you read NINE DAYS A QUEEN? Any fellow Tudor history buffs out there?

*Thanks to Sophia for pointing out that I misspoke before and said granddaughter. My mistake! Jane Grey was the granddaughter of Charles Brandon and Henry VIII’s sister Mary. Oops!

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16 Responses

  1. Okay I have to point out that Lady Jane Grey is Henry VIII’s grandniece not granddaughter, she’s his sister’s granddaughter. Admittedly I had to look that up but the fact that Henry VIII didn’t have any grandchildren because his kids died young or childless or insisted on being the world’s most famous virgin (or ‘virgin’) became kind of a big deal. And I don’t consider myself a Tudor history buff even though I just went off on one! Kinda want to read some Tudor stuff now. . .
    – Sophia.

  2. Meredith says:

    Oh my gosh! You’re totally right! I misspoke. I actually did know that she’s the granddaughter of Charles Brandon and Henry’s sister Mary, which makes her Henry’s grandniece. I just wrote the wrong thing! Fixed it!


  3. Meredith, this is fascinating! thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely check it out!

  4. I was big into Tudor history for about a month. Also, this book sounds really good.

  5. Ann says:

    I will have to check this book out. I have been interested in Tudor England since I was a teenager and read all I can get my hands on. Thanks for the information.

  6. Oh! This book!! 😀

    I read Nine Days a Queen about four years ago and loved it! I’ve always found Tudor-era England to be very fascinating.

    I really want to reread that book now…

  7. Alexis says:

    I have not read that one yet but it is on my list, I LOVE Tudor history! I particularly liked No Will But His by Sarah A. Hott a retelling of the Story of Kathryn Howard and The Lady in the Tower: The Wives of Henry VIII (Anne Boleyn) by Jean Plaidy And my Fiance got me the Love Letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn for our anniversary and I LOVE those. I have a special place in my heart for Anne and Kathryn H. (actually I have a plan for a tattoo of Anne) Anne beacuse of how she changed the world and Kitty beacuse she gave Henry a little of what he deserved.

    • Meredith says:

      Oh Alexis, I think you might be my new best friend. 😉 I’m going to check all of those books out. I do love Anne. She was so ballsy and ambitious and I totally admire that in her!

  8. I love Tudor England. I’ve always been fascinated with the Jane Grey story. John Dudley doesn’t get enough credit for being one of the nastiest figures in history.

    If you can get enough Jane, check out Innocent Traitor by Alison Wier. It tells her story from several points of view, including Jane’s. Also, The Children of Henry VIII is Wier’s non-fiction account of the reigns of Edward VI, Jane, and Mary Tudor. Great reads.


  9. Meredith says:

    Thanks, Dan! I will most certainly check those out. Weir’s “The Six Wives of Henry VIII” was the book that got me hooked on the period in the first place, so I’m a big fan of hers. 🙂

  10. I wouldn’t call myself a buff, but I am certainly intruiged by the Tudor history. There’s so much craziness and intensity with the tudor family and life was so different…

    Anyway, very cool. Thanks for the post.

    <3 Gina Blechman

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