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Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey

Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey

Написано Alison Weir

Озвучено Bianca Amato, Gerard Doyle и Davina Porter


Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey

Написано Alison Weir

Озвучено Bianca Amato, Gerard Doyle и Davina Porter

оценки:
4/5 (60 оценки)
Длина:
18 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Jan 1, 2007
ISBN:
9781436100878
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

I am now a condemned traitor . . . I am to die when I have hardly begun to live. Historical expertise marries page-turning fiction in Alison Weir’s enthralling debut novel, breathing new life into one of the most significant and tumultuous periods of the English monarchy. It is the story of Lady Jane Grey–“the Nine Days’ Queen”–a fifteen-year-old girl who unwittingly finds herself at the center of the religious and civil unrest that nearly toppled the fabled House of Tudor during the sixteenth century. The child of a scheming father and a ruthless mother, for whom she is merely a pawn in a dynastic game with the highest stakes, Jane Grey was born during the harrowingly turbulent period between Anne Boleyn’s beheading and the demise of Jane’s infamous great-uncle, King Henry VIII. With the premature passing of Jane’s adolescent cousin, and Henry’s successor, King Edward VI, comes a struggle for supremacy fueled by political machinations and lethal religious fervor.
Unabashedly honest and exceptionally intelligent, Jane possesses a sound strength of character beyond her years that equips her to weather the vicious storm. And though she has no ambitions to rule, preferring to immerse herself in books and religious studies, she is forced to accept the crown, and by so doing sets off a firestorm of intrigue, betrayal, and tragedy. Alison Weir uses her unmatched skills as a historian to enliven the many dynamic characters of this majestic drama. Along with Lady Jane Grey, Weir vividly renders her devious parents; her much-loved nanny; the benevolent Queen Katherine Parr; Jane’s ambitious cousins; the Catholic “Bloody” Mary, who will stop at nothing to seize the throne; and the protestant and future queen Elizabeth. Readers venture inside royal drawing rooms and bedchambers to witness the power-grabbing that swirls around Lady Jane Grey from the day of her birth to her unbearably poignant death. Innocent Traitor paints a complete and compelling portrait of this captivating young woman, a faithful servant of God whose short reign and brief life would make her a legend.
Издатель:
Издано:
Jan 1, 2007
ISBN:
9781436100878
Формат:
Аудиокнига


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3.8
60 оценки / 59 Обзоры
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  • (3/5)
    At first I didn't care for this book much, but I did get caught up in it as I read. I remember the movie that came out in the 80's, and I appreciated Weir's more accurate rendition of the story. It still seems a little flat, somehow. Jane never really lept off the the page for me.
  • (2/5)
    Even avid followers of the Tudor saga may find this a bit of tough going. Weir is a talented writer, and this historical novel about Lady Jane Grey, reluctant Queen of England for nine days, is undoubtedly well-researched.But it is slow. My lord, it is slow. Grey was only 15 when, through the machinations of her ambitious parents, she was put forth as successor to Edward, only son of Henry VIII, an alternative to the Catholic Princess Mary. And at times, it seems Weir is intent on guiding us through each and every day of those 15 years, and of the eight months between Grey's abdication and her execution.Part of the problem is that the young Lady Jane -- at least, in Weir's characterization -- is a self-righteous little prig. While she was undeniably ill-used by those in power, it's hard to develop much sympathy for her. Another part is Weir's use of rotating narrators, probably necessitated by the fact that it's got to be nearly impossible to produce a readable book narrated largely from the point of view of a pre-teen girl.There are only two ways, really, to tell the story -- as a brief footnote to the history of the Tudor dynasty, or as a microscopic examination of the political machinations of a group of power-hungry men who would stop at nothing to seize and retain their power. Weir has chosen the latter, and it makes a long, hard haul for the reader.
  • (4/5)
    Spoilers ahead, because this is an historical novel about a major figure, and I assume most people know how it ends already.

    This is the story of Lady Jane Grey, the great-niece of Henry VIII, and cousin to King Edward VI, and his sisters Mary and Elizabeth. Raised a devout Protestant when England and Europe as a whole were caught up in the religious and political struggle of the Reformation, she became a pawn for those, including her own parents, who wanted to advance both their own power and England's commitment to Protestantism. Years of scheming to marry her to her cousin Edward come to nothing, and when Edward, at fifteen, is dying, he is induced to sign a new will, making Lady Jane his heir in place of his sister, the Catholic Mary.
    Allison Weir has written many historical biographies, and she knows the Tudor era and their lives intimately. She has told this story in multiple voices, Jane's of course, but also her mother, her nurse Mrs. Ellen, Queen Catherine Parr, John Dudley the Duke of Northumberland, and others, including even the Executioner at the end of her life. In an excellent production decision, although Stina Nielsen is listed as narrator, each character is read by a different actor (with admittedly some doubling up on minor characters.) This keeps each first-person narrative distinct, and makes listening to this complex story easier to follow.

    The story begins with Jane's birth, and her parents' bitter disappointment that she is not a boy. This disappointment is compounded over the years, when Jane is followed by two more girls, Catherine and Mary. We follow, in several voices, Jane's upbringing, with her loving nurse, Mrs. Ellen, doing all that she can to soften the harshness of her mother, while Jane receives an education fit for a princess--literally. Her education is modeled on that of the King's daughters, and she studies Latin, Greek, philosophy, and theology, along with more typically feminine accomplishments of the age such as dancing, music, and needlework. When she is just seven, she is introduced to Court, and becomes a favorite of King Henry and Queen Catherine Parr, as well as becoming acquainted with his daughters, the Lady Mary and the Lady Elizabeth.

    When King Henry dies and Edward becomes King, her parents begin plotting in earnest to marry her to her young cousin. She is fostered with Queen Catherine, who soon marries the man who had been courting her when Henry displaced him, Thomas Seymour, the Lord High Admiral. This is the happiest year of Jane's life, loved, indulged, and praised, rather than constantly corrected and punished for real or imaginary faults.

    Then Thomas Seymour's plotting goes awry, John Dudley's plotting to replace Thomas's elder brother Somerset as Lord Protector succeeds, and Catherine dies giving birth to a daughter. Jane's life falls apart again. This is wear the spiral that ends in her nine-day reign as Queen truly begins.

    Jane's story is, unavoidably, a tragedy, but Weir tells in masterfully, making Jane a real person worth caring about, even with all her faults. (During her early teen years, she really is a bit of a self-righteous prig.) We see her intelligence, her courage, her commitment to do the right thing as best she sees it, and her loyalty to those who have given her any reason at all to think well of them.

    This is a very good book, and a very good performance of it.

    Recommended.

    I borrowed this book from a friend.
  • (3/5)
    Historical fiction is my guilty pleasure - this one does not disappoint.
  • (1/5)
    I don't know how it is possible to make the story of Lady Jane Grey boring - but Alison Weir has achieved it! I think this is the most tedious book I have ever read. I believe this is her first novel, after writing a number of historical non-fiction books - she should stick to non-fiction. I have read many of her non-fiction works and enjoyed most of them (The Princes in the Tower being the major exception as she is so obviously biased).
  • (5/5)
    I found this book very emotionally engaging and the story was engrossing. It’s not the first book by Alison Weir that I’ve read, but it is the first novel. I’ve lost sleep listening to it in bed. I’m only now beginning to listen to audiobooks and this book has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while and I’m glad to have finally “read” it. I also enjoyed the voices of the readers and will be looking to listen to other books they have recorded.
  • (4/5)
    Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir is the engrossing story of Lady Jane Grey. She was the daughter of scheming, ambitious parents who are at first disappointed that their first child was a female, but all too soon are plotting a dangerous future for her. Through her mother, Jane is a Tudor, niece to Henry VIII. Being that close to royalty brought great privileges but in the 15th century it was never safe to have even the slightest claim to the throne.Jane is raised as a pawn, first with an eye to marrying her to Henry VIII’s son, Edward but when Edward is dying, the protestant powers behind him scheme to have him declare Jane as his heir, in order to prevent his sister, Mary, a staunch Catholic, from taking the throne. Jane, herself, had no ambitions in this direction, would rather have been left alone with her books and meditations, but at age fourteen, she is forced to first marry into a powerful family and then to accept the throne. Meanwhile Princess Mary having learned of Edward’s death, proclaimed herself Queen. In only a few short days, the people and the nobles have declared for Mary, sealing Jane’s fate. This is a well written, stirring account of this young woman’s life. Weir skilfully weaves British history into an enthralling story and gives life to these historic figures. With it’s riveting plot and rich descriptions, this book would interest anyone interested in English history.
  • (4/5)
    4.5 stars. Lady Jane Grey was queen of England for nine days when she was only 15 years old, though according to this historical novel, she never wanted to be. It was her ambitious parents, along with other power-hungry people who managed to put her in the position of queen. She was Henry VIII's niece and became queen after Henry's son Edward VI died. Jane was dedicated to her Protestant faith and she doesn't waver from her faith throughout. I have been interested in Lady Jane Grey since high school. I enjoy reading historical fiction, but I always wonder as I read...how much of this really happened and how much is made up? That doesn't make the story any less interesting, however. Alison Weir, who has also written nonfiction on the Tudors, writes from many different perspectives in this book, switching between many people, but she will always tell you whose perspective she is telling that part of the story from. Even knowing Jane's fate, I cried as Jane was told she would be beheaded for treason, though it was no fault of her own, and even Queen Mary apparently felt badly about doing it.
  • (3/5)
    Such a sad story. Lady Jane really got a raw deal. I would recommend this to anyone interested in the history of England's royal families.
  • (5/5)
    I cried at the end. Not just a tear or two. Really, really cried. Nevermind that I already knew what was going to happen. Very well-told. Also, there were never any dull parts for me, despite that it was a 16 CD book (I don't know what that translates to into pages, but it is pretty long). Yet, I felt it was the perfect length for her complete story to be told. Probably liked even more than Other Boleyn Girl.
  • (4/5)
    This is probably one of THE BEST BOOKS I've happened to read in a very long time. Not only does it captivate the reader from start to finish, but it also gives an insight account of the Tudor household and life at the end of King Henry the VIII's life and the times that came after he was gone. Overall an utterly astounding book that everyone should take time to read. (:
  • (4/5)
    Jane Grey fascinates me. She was a girl who was forced into a situation that she didn't find safe. It was hard work to be a child of someone who was so close to the crown yet so far. The results didn't end up the way they were planned.
  • (4/5)
    This is the first fiction novel that Weir has written and that I have read. I LOVED it. Weir takes her vast knowledge of the Tudor period and uses it wonderfully in telling the tale of Lady Jane Grey.

    Weir is definitely a talented author and I'll definitely be reading her second fiction novel as soon as I can get my hands on it.
  • (2/5)
    Alison Weir's nonfiction is actually more exciting than this fictional account. The action did pick up later in the book but overall it was disappointing.
  • (4/5)
    In her author’s note Alison Weir states that, “It is my sincere hope that the story that has unfolded in these pages has both enthralled and appalled you, the reader.” Well, from this reader’s perspective, I was engaged whilst at times enthralled, and many elements certainly appalled me.I knew the main gist of Lady Jane Grey’s life story before reading this novel about her. What Ms Weir succeeds in doing is making Jane more “real”, rather than a figure in a history book with a genuine claim for the throne, her mother being daughter of Henry VIII’s sister, making Jane great-granddaughter of Henry VII.In this tome we see Jane from her birth to her death and feel sympathy for her throughout. Her mother and father would never receive a “parents of the year award”, that’s for sure. They’re as easy to dislike as Jane is easy to feel fond of.One quote that sums up Jane’s childhood is this:>It is not often that I give way to tears of self-pity, but it seems that my life stretches out before me as one long, unending tunnel of misery.Was ever a condemned prisoner as innocent as this?
  • (2/5)
    What do I liked about this book? I like that in a relatively short book one gets a quick summary of Tudor history; Henry VIII, his wives and progeny, are quickly summarized so you can understand how Lady Jane Grey came to be queen for nine days. There is a clear family tree in the front of the book. What are the themes? Religion, more specifically Protestantism versus Catholicism, faith and power and personal gain. Royalty too. I am not religious, and I do not have faith, and I prefer reading about people from the lower classes, so the chances I could like this book are pretty slim, but I wanted to have a basic understanding of the Tudors. It says on the cover, “If you don’t cry at the end you have a heart of stone.” I guess I have a heart of stone.So what went wrong? Alison Weir published ten books of historical on-fiction before writing this, her first book of fiction. She knows the topic and she says in her author’s note, “Most of the characters in this novel really existed, and most of the events actually happened. However, where the evidence is scanty or missing, I have used my imagination.” She then clarifies where in the books she has done this. That is exactly the kind of historical fiction I look for. Still, this did not work for me. The author also says she tried to penetrate the minds of her characters, and that is where the problem lies, at least for me. I kept thinking, this character would not do that, she would not say that! The author did not get me inside the head of Lady Jane Grey. I felt that she did exactly what she was told…..until the day she became Queen. Her thoughts and actions were to me unbelievable. Neither could I comprehend the faith she had. Everyone else around her was motivated by personal gain, her parents in particular. I could not believe that her mother came to regret her own behavior. No, I could not empathize with the characters because the author did not succeed in making me see through their eyes. Neither did I find genuine the words the author put in the characters’ mouths. They were too modern. There was no humor in this book!If I read another book by this author it will be non-fiction.The book was OK, and by GR rating that means it should be given two stars, so that is what I am giving it. Only two stars!*********************(ETA: Nurse Ellen is the one and only character I empathized with.)Through page 50: Will I understand who is who? Will I like reading about the Tudors?YES, to both questions. Wow, I am impressed at Alison Weir's writing skills. She knows the details so well that she can interweave them in a fascinating and engaging manner. Nurse Ellen is fantastic. I need her as much as Lady Jane Grey does! She so well understands how to explain sex and such to a small child and how to explain more as the child matures. Beautifully written. Relationships are expertly depicted! I am astonished and impressed. I don't like reading about royalty, but this I very much enjoy. Because even royalty are real people with feelings. Please continue in this manner. There is a map and family chart that is simple to comprehend, for a quick glance now and then. What a surprise.Completed June 29, 2013
  • (4/5)
    A great story about a little known and very brief Queen of England. Alison Weir does an amazing job of using psychology and historical facts to (re)create the life of Lady Jane Grey. Tragic from the beginning.
  • (3/5)
    In Weir's first foray into historical fiction, she sticks to what she knows. This story of Lady Jane Grey and the people who propelled her to the throne of England is relentlessly sad. The period is conjured up so deftly one can almost smell it, and the characters are well drawn. My only complaint is that the rapid-fire changing of narrators is hard to follow unless on pays very strict attention to the chapter headings. Recommended for Tudor history fans.
  • (4/5)
    Last night I finished Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey (historical fiction by Alison Weir.) It had been about ten years since I had read either fiction or non-fiction set in the Tudor Era (which I had read prolifically) and I was wondering, before I began, what the author could possibly bring to the table that was new or insightful. Moreover, I am always slightly bemused and even amused by historical fiction set within the the Royal Tudors' milieu as the facts of the time are often more incredible than the fictions set up around them! To be fair though, Alison Weir writes both well-researched fiction and non-fiction and, the fiction that she writes is well within the realm of possibilities. This is the story of the "Nine Day Queen" of England who succeeded her cousin, King Edward VI, to the throne. At the time she was a fifteen year-old girl, used as a pawn in royal intrigues and lets just say, hers is not a "happily ever after" princess-gets-her-prince fairy tale. For those who don't know her story, this is a great way to get acquainted with the time, place, politics and characters. For those who are familiar with the story, it reinforces the politico-religious dichotomy and the high stakes at play.
  • (4/5)
    Fantastic in every way! I fell in love with Lady Jane from the 1980s movie, but this book blows that movie out of the water. Amazing detailed, meticulously researched. Even the present tense and constant switching of perspective grows on you after a while. I cried at work (lunchtime) when I finished it. I would recommend this book to any fan of historical fiction and especially to fans of Englands much-maligned "nine-days queen."
  • (3/5)
    This book is about the life of Lady Jane Grey and how she was maneuvered onto the British throne after King Edward VI's death. Lady Jane was queen for nine days and then beheaded as a traitor. She's called "Innocent Traitor" because she didn't want the crown and adamantly said so at every occasion. Yet, politics being what they are, she was still beheaded by Queen Mary as an example to others who were considering another coup.Written from several points of view, Innocent Traitor often seemed disjointed. Most disconcerting for me were the words that the 4-year-old Lady Jane is given to say. It seemed much more adult for any child, even one brought up in a time when children were treated as miniature adults.While I enjoyed the story, I found some of the graphic descriptions of sex and beheadings a little offputting, Being told from different perspectives made it difficult to follow.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Innocent Traitor was excellent. I could not put the book down and was glad I took the time the read it. Since I knew very little about Jane Grey, it was as if I got to know her a bit more throughout this book. My heart went out to her as although she tried hard to please her parents (her mother in particular) but never received the proper love and support except only when it suited them. It was only too late when her parents actually came to fully appreciate and love her. I really felt for Jane especially in her early childhood years. Her mother was just plain awful and only really cared for Jane (if you could call it that) when it suited her purposes (i.e. mostly for political gain and ambition). There were times when I thought Jane had what it took to stand up to her mother, but she backed down whenever she tried. It got frustrating and I thought Jane was never going to have her own personality and she’ll just be a puppet for everyone. Yet past the midway point of the novel Jane does take a slight turn for the better and eventually stands up for herself (particularly against her husband). Towards the end, Jane becomes a much stronger woman and despite her circumstances, maintains her strength. I loved that. She became such a strong character that I loved her even more than I did in the beginning.The plot of this novel was well written and very interesting. It follows Jane all throughout her life and it highlights moments of interest such as the marriage of Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour, and its’ failure. The addition of something like this is a little strange considering this should have been told all in Jane Grey’s point of view. I’m not really sure why this was added as it really had nothing to do with her (except maybe because she was around Katherine a lot around the time?) yet it was a small but well done way to take a break from the main plot and add in a mini story arc to it. I’d have to say the ending was one of the most dramatic. Jane stayed true to herself and that makes her all the more admirable. I absolutely hated the way everyone around her just started using her as a political pawn and her parents are just as bad as parents today who live through their small children and use them for their own gains. I really disliked her mother though. She was horrible! and she didn’t gain any sympathies from me at the end. Her emotions and “love” came way too late to even make a difference. I’m not sure what to say about Jane’s father. It looked like he was the “better” parent of the two, but his love was misguided and ambition just went in the way. It was sad to see that, as I thought he loved Jane more than her mother did.I thought this was a great novel featuring Lady Jane Grey. It’s a tragic story but her strength is strong throughout the last half of the novel it’s hard not to admire her. This is definitely a worthy read for Tudor fans.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
     This is an excellent fictionalised account of the life of Lady Jane Gray, the 9 days Queen. Alison Weir has used the historical framework and has allowed herself to fill in the blanks, to try and get inside the characters heads, to expose their feelings and motivations. It's one of those where you know the ending, but how the events unfolded is where the interest lies. Jane is one of those pawns caught up in the ambitions of those around her. It's told in the first person, with the tale being predominatly told by Jane, her Hurse, her mother, Mary Tudor and Catherine Parr. There is a slight jarr when, mid way through the tale, the Duke of Nortumberland appears, but he is a major player. It's certainly an interesting way of telling the story.
    I was pleased to find that the audiobook included the author's notes seciton at the end, where she explains where the fictional element of the book lies, and that the more fantastical elements are based on documentary evidence.
  • (2/5)
    Jane Grey’s parents desperately wanted a son and Jane was a disappointment from the start to her parents and her mother, Frances, was very strict to her. As Jane grows she goes to live with Queen Katherine Parr and finally finds some happiness in her life. But the queen’s death changes everything and once again Jane finds herself to be a pawn in her parents hands.

    This was my second fiction book I’ve read from Weir and I remember liking the book about Elizabeth more. I found Jane to be extremely boring and too self-righteous. She spent lot of time just whining and judging other people.

    One of the problems was that there was way too many POV’s. There was like 9 POV’s and the good thing was that it was clearly stated who’s chapter it was. I understand the need of shifting viewpoints but enough is enough. Some people like Jane Seymour had just one chapter and I didn’t see point of it.

    Jane’s mother Frances was showed to be overly strict mother who punished Jane for even the smallest things. I’m sure there was other strict families so I don’t see the point of hammering this detail so thoroughly.

    And who doesn’t love to learn new words like “zounds”. You know, the words you can use in everyday life? Especially when the book is written in so modern day style words like zounds just fits naturally there...

    I’m thinking I should stick with her non-fiction books from now on. But I do have her book on Eleanor of Aquitaine in here somewhere...
  • (4/5)
    I am a big reader of history and as a result I usually avoid historical fictions because many authors deviate from fact for the purposes of the story/entertainment, which I completely understand but generally get annoyed with (my husband makes fun of me all the time). I've read several of Alison Weir's historical biographys on members of the Tudor family and enjoyed her attention to detail so much that I decided to give this and Lady Elizabeth a try at the local library. I'm so glad I did! Both are very well written and really captured my attention from page 1. I also appreciated the author's afterword highlighting areas that were based on fact and others that were based on her imagination. Not an important thing for most readers but definitely a plus for us self-proclaimed history buffs! I highly recommend this book and all others from Alison Weir - give it a shot, you won't be sorry!
  • (4/5)
    The Tudor Dynasty is a part of history is frequently used as the background for historical fiction. The characters are full-bodied, stubborn, zealous in their belief of their own destiny. This book which is a fictionalized biography of Lady Jane Grey shows her to be no different than other Tudors except for the fact that she did not believe that she should be queen.Lady Jane Grey was the oldest daughter of the daughter of Henry VIII's younger sister, Mary Tudor. Early in her life, Jane's parents endeavored to arrange a marriage between Jane and Prince Edward, but that was never completed. Her parents instead married her off to the third son of the Duke Northumberland who was the head of Privy Council for King Edward during his minority.Jane was a zealous Protestant and King Edward on his deathbed named Jane as his successor. He did not want his sister Mary because she was a fanatical Catholic and he could not exclude Mary without excluding Elizabeth, thereby put Jane in line for the throne.The aftermath which has Jane condemned for treason, shows the ruthless of the period and Mary's obsession with Spain.The book was an interesting depiction of what may actually occurred at that time. Whether it is true, we will never know, but it was entertaining and well-written.
  • (5/5)
    Another brilliantly-written page turner. You are drawn right into the center of everything, as if you are actually there as the action unfolds. Hard to put down from the very beginning.
  • (4/5)
    If you enjoy the work of P. Gregory, you'll also enjoy Weir's take on the female perspective on the Tudor era in European history. As with Gregory's Tudor/Boelyn series, Weir's novel takes readers into the intimate thoughts and experiences of the women - powerful, intelligent and ambitious in their own right - who are the daughters, sisters, wives and lovers of the power brokers and pawns in Tudor England. Weir encourages readers to consider the impact of national and international machinations on individuals and the scheming of individuals on the events that paved the way for England's Golden Age under Queen Elizabeth I. A must read for anyone with an interest in this period of England's and the world's history.
  • (3/5)
    The story in Innocent Traitor was fascinating, as it followed the life of Lady Jane Gray, from birth until she was beheaded at the block. I felt deeply sympathetic with the protagonist and this shows the masterful way Alison Weir writes her novels to tug at the emotions of the readers. Lady Jane’s tale is a tragic tale and you find yourself hoping for some great happiness to befall her at every turn of the page.Despite my love of the story, I was not as enthralled with this book as I was with The Lady Elizabeth. I found I had some difficulty getting past the narrative style in Innocent Traitor. The book was written from the point of view of multiple characters all using the first person. Though Weir always designated who was talking I felt, as another reviewer pointed out, none of the characters had their own “voice.” I found males, females, and even children at times all sounded the same when they were speaking in first person. It always took me a moment to register who was talking. Even though the narrative style was difficult to get past the overall story was still well written.If you are fascinated with the history of Tudor England and want to read a book from the perspective of an individual who eventually gets put to death through the folly of the adults around her, Innocent Traitor is a worthy read. It will not leave you disappointed if you are looking for a good historical story.
  • (4/5)
    This story of Lady Jane Grey, the nine-day queen of England, is very readable. Jane is a heroine with a curiously modern sensibility (though considerably more adult than a modern preteen or teen would be). The story is an interesting one, particularly all the maneuvering and plotting for power and influence. A highly palatable way of getting a considerable dose of English royal history.