Friday, January 1, 2010

Debunking the Myth of Lady Jane Grey

Excerpt from the article "Debunking the Myth of Lady Jane Grey" by Leanda de Lisle in Intelligent Life:
Lady Jane Grey is mythologised, even festishised, as an innocent girl sacrificed on the altar of her mother's ambition. But behind the popular biographies of the Tudor Queen lies a different story of misogyny and masochism. It seems the much-maligned mother is in fact the victim.

When I began researching for "The Sisters Who Would be Queen", my triple biography of Lady Jane and her sisters, Katherine and Mary Grey, I hoped the well-known life of the iconic teenage Queen, would lend some insight to the younger sisters, the forgotten heirs to Elizabeth Tudor. I assumed there would be little new to day about Jane herself. But as I began my research it became clear that nothing written about Jane could be trusted. The first woman to wield the power of a Tudor monarch had been reduced, over time, to an eroticised image of female helplessness. Meanwhile, her conventional mother became the embodiment of the belief that powerful women are monstrous and mannish.

1 comment:

Hus said...

Yet this was in the same age of powerful and respected women such as Elizabeth herself, and her relative and unspoken rival, Bess of Hardwick (Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury)?