Wednesday 15 April 2015

Review ~ The Lady of Misrule by Suzannah Dunn ..

Little, Brown Book Group
7 May 2014
The Lady of Misrule is the tragic story of Lady Jane Grey, the enigmatic teenager, who, due to the dangerous plotting of her family, found herself in the unenviable position in 1533, of being declared Queen of England. With a reign that lasted only nine days, Jane soon found herself removed from power and was forced into imprisonment at the new queen, Mary Tudor’s, pleasure.

In The Lady of Misrule, the onerous task of supervising the deposed young Queen’s imprisonment, is Elizabeth Tilney, a young woman who has grasped the opportunity of escaping her own family, on the understanding that she will guard Jane and watch her every move. The two women are forced by circumstances to live in detention together although neither could be more different. Protestant and studious Jane, is in direct contrast to the more exuberant and staunchly Catholic, Elizabeth. And as the weeks of Jane’s imprisonment stretch out, Elizabeth is unwittingly drawn into the deadly politics between, Jane’s in-laws, the Dudley’s, whose dangerous meddling in the royal succession is the main reason why Jane is incarcerated.

The author has a distinct style of writing which I find rather refreshing. I enjoy the way she concentrates on her characters and whilst she never gives them twenty-first century traits, she does enrich them with a rather modern way of dialogue which can take a while to become accustomed. For me, the Tudor age comes alive with all the frightening possibility of living so close to the throne of England, and whilst the story and eventual outcome of Jane Grey's sorrowful young life is no secret, this book adds something of a new slant to the story and succeeds in showing the vulnerability of both Jane and her young husband, Dudley, who, by tragic circumstances are caught up in events far beyond their control.

This is a  commendable historical novel and one which I am sure will engage fans of Tudor history and also for those who enjoy well written historical fiction.

My thanks to Little, Brown Books and NetGalley for this advance copy of The Lady of Misrule.


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