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Sisters Who Would Be Queen by Leanda de…

Sisters Who Would Be Queen (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Leanda de Lisle

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2641243,112 (3.79)15
Title:Sisters Who Would Be Queen
Authors:Leanda de Lisle
Info:HarperCollins Publishers U.K (2009), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: Mary, Katherine, and Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Tragedy by Leanda De Lisle (2008)


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Just couldn't get into this book. I did not find The characters fascinating enough to really grab my attention. It could be just me and my weariness of the Tudors. For those who are intrigued by all the nuances of the Tudor age, this probably would be a good book. ( )
  mdelcid25 | Oct 7, 2013 |
Fairly easy to read and enjoyable, The Sisters Who Would Be Queen is a biography of the Grey sisters: mostly Jane, for the first section of the book, but providing glimpses of the rest of the Grey family, and how the girls were raised. Leanda de Lisle attempts to dispel the idea of Lady Jane Grey as an innocent martyr, pointing out her deep commitment to her faith and her deliberate stage-managing of how people saw her. Like other writers, she sees Jane's death with pity, and uses the same rhetoric surrounding her of how childlike she looked, etc.

I learnt a lot about women of the period that I didn't already know -- Jane's mother, Queen Mary, the connections between noble women of the time. It was a bit dry at times, and confusing with everyone's switching of names and so on, but I could more or less keep up and overall I liked the version of Jane it presented -- human, headstrong, and not quite as innocent and unknowing as history might have us believe. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
This is a non-fiction account of the story of Lady Jane Grey and her lesser known sisters, Katherine and Mary. All I can say is that I can't believe that I finished the book. I found parts of this book boring, confusing and too many characters were introduced without explanation or any real comment. Unless you are a real Tudor history nerd I wouldn't recommend this book. 1 out of 5 stars. ( )
  marsap | Jan 12, 2012 |
I hadn't known what a threat Katherine was or how she and her sister had been kept apart from their respective husbands by Elizabeth. And after the awful Lady Jane Grey fiction by the otherwise amazing Alison Weir, this was sucha relief, and pleasure to read about Frances Brandon, their mother, in a light which explains her burial in Westminster Abbey! ( )
  emmakendon | Oct 8, 2011 |
We may all know the fate of Lady Jane Grey, the nine-days queen, but I, for one, knew nothing about her younger sisters, Katherine and Mary. Despite de Lisle's title, none of the three "would be queen" of her own accord. Their claims were promoted by others because their mother, Frances, was the only surviving child of Mary Tudor's second marriage to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. That made Frances, as Henry VIII's niece, a viable heir to the throne, since Henry had specifically excluded the heirs of his elder sister Margaret. When Edward VI died, many still considered his half-sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, to be bastards. Frances gave up her place in line in favor of her daughter Jane (most likely as part of the deal to marry her into the prominent and ambitious Dudley family). And so began the fate of "the sisters who would be queen." Katherine Grey, a court beauty, was denied Queen Elizabeth's permission to marry the man she loved. They married in secret but were discovered when Katherine's first pregnancy began to show. She spent the rest of her life in the Tower--where her two sons were born. Mary Grey, the youngest sister, a tiny, unattractive, and possibly hunchbacked woman, suffered a similar fate by falling in love with and secretly marrying a man of inferior status.

De Lisle provides fascinating insights into power, intrigue, jealousy, and the conflicts between public and private lives in the Tudor era. What I appreciated most about the book was the way that it brought together many pieces of Tudor history that had been floating in my brain, fitting them together like a jigsaw puzzle. I hadn't realized, for instance, that the Grey family were descended from the first marriage of Elizabeth Wodeville, wife of Edward IV. And somehow it had escaped me that Guildford Dudley was the brother of Elizabeth's favorite, Lord Robert Dudley--strange indeed that she developed such an affection for one whose father and brother were executed for trying to shift the throne away from her sister Mary and herself.

The Sisters Who Would Be Queen is a must-read for any afficiando of Tudor England. It's filled with facts, but De Lisle's expert hand makes it an entertaining story as well. ( )
11 vote Cariola | Apr 14, 2011 |
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Such as ruled and were queens were for the most part wicked, ungodly, superstitious, and given to idolatry and to all filthy abominations as we may see in the histories of Queen Jezebel.
Thomas Becon, 1554
For George MacRae Gimbel
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God, the prime mover, brought peace and order to the darkness of the void as the cosmos was born.
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Evaluates the tragic story of Lady Jane Grey while offering insight into the parallel experiences of her sisters and the broader Grey family, detailing Jane's short reign and the royal bloodline that exposed all three to the enmity of Elizabeth I.

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