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!