Saturday, December 8, 2007

Review - Innocent Traitor

The story of Lady Jane Grey by Alison Weir.

Okay - I began this book with severe trepidation. Weir is not one of my favourite authors - especially her brand of historical "non-fiction" - so I was hesitant to say the least when I chose this book to read. Others who have read it have given good reviews. Well, now to mine.

I liked it!! Yes, strangely enough, I enjoyed this foray into fiction by Weir far greater than any of her "factual" based books. She manages to convincingly tell the story of Lady Jane Grey, the Nines Days' Queen of England.

Weir's book takes the form of a narrative told by the various characters of the book - the main ones being Jane, herself, and her mother, Lady Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk, and Jane's nurse, Mrs Ellen. A number of other historical personages add their voices: Queen Mary I (The Lady Mary), Queen Katherine Parr, Queen Jane Seymour; and later John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and lastly, The Executioner.

Jane's character comes across as sympathetic though at times her stubborness does irk one - the character of her mother, Frances, is another story. Frances was renown for her cruelty to her daughter Jane - and at the end of the book, Frances is rebuking herself for being a 'strict" parent.

The story of Jane's life flows well, despite the number of voices being heard - this does not complicate things. The book is not encumbered with a lot of historical detail - and yet it maintains true to Jane's life as we know it. It is easy to read and the story is easy to follow regardless of which character has centre stage.

Of all Weir's books, this is one I would recommend.

1 comment:

Daphne said...

I'm glad that you liked it - I did as well. I've only read her book on Henry's six wives although I have a few more of her books in my TBR stack.