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Innocent traitor
Alison Weir
Adult Fiction WEIR

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Popular biographer Weir (Eleanor of Aquitaine, etc.) makes her historical fiction debut with this coming-of-age novel set in the time of Henry VIII. Weir's heroine is Lady Jane Grey (1537-1554), whose ascension to the English throne was briefly and unluckily promoted by opponents of Henry's Catholic heir, Mary. As Weir tells it, Jane's parents, the Marquess and Marchioness of Dorset, groom her from infancy to be the perfect consort for Henry's son, Prince Edward, entrusting their daughter to a nurse's care while they attend to affairs at court. Jane relishes lessons in music, theology, philosophy and literature, but struggles to master courtly manners as her mother demands. Not even the beheadings of Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard deter parental ambition. When Edward dies, Lord and Lady Dorset maneuver the throne for their 16-year-old daughter, risking her life as well as increased violence between Protestants and Catholics. Using multiple narrators, Weir tries to weave a conspiratorial web with Jane caught at the center, but the ever-changing perspectives prove unwieldy: Jane speaking as a four-year-old with a modern historian's vocabulary, for example, just doesn't ring true. But Weir proves herself deft as ever describing Tudor food, manners, clothing, pastimes (including hunting and jousting) and marital politics. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Historian Weir has written ten biographies about the British monarchy. In her first novel, she tells the tragic story of Lady Jane Grey, who was the great-niece of Henry VIII and who reigned for nine days in 1553. Jane's parents, the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk, were ruthless in their political ambitions, and the author portrays them as abusive toward the pre-cocious, intelligent, and pious Jane. Jane's happiest days were spent in the household of the Dowager Queen Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth wife. Henry's son and heir, Edward VI, was a sickly nine-year-old when he was crowned upon Henry's death. Edward's sisters Mary (a devout Catholic) and Elizabeth (whose alliance was uncertain) were declared illegitimate. Jane, the avowed Protestant, was declared the next in line and at age 15 accepted the crown. Within days, the balance of power tilted to the Catholics, and Jane was dethroned and imprisoned by the newly crowned Queen Mary; she was beheaded in February 1554. Weir keeps a complicated story untangled with the deft use of multiple first-person points of view. The recording enhances the technique by using varied clear-voiced narrators. Highly recommended for fiction collections.-Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Lady Jane Grey
Female
Age: 1537-1554
Ascension to the English throne was brief; parents were the Marquess and Marchioness of Dorset; trained from infancy to be the next Queen of England; taught music, literature, philosophy; struggled with courtly manners; parents manuevered the throne for her; caught in a conspiracy web.



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