Book Review: The Sisters Who Would Be Queen by Leanda de Lisle

The Sisters Who Would Be QueenThe Sisters Who Would Be Queen by Leanda de Lisle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lots has been written about Lady Jane Grey. This book delves deeper into the whole family's story, including the tragic tales of Jane's sisters Katherine and Mary. Unlike other versions of her story, Jane is no poor, fragile child thrust into a role she didn't want by grasping relatives. Leanda deLisle submits Jane's own words to reveal a young woman who was so committed to her Protestant faith, that she was willing to go to her death rather than repudiate her beliefs. After their sister's execution, both Katherine and Mary got themselves into trouble by marrying without their queens' permission. This lead to them both being separated from their dearly loved husbands for the most part of their marriages, and directly to Mary's husband's death from the after affects of being imprisoned and tortured. Katherine was able to bear two children, despite being in the Tower, in a different cell from from her husband. Mary had a very short time with her husband. In neither case, did true love did not win out. I enjoyed the book, having not known a lot about the time after Henry VIII, and appreciated the author's inclusion of the writings of contemporary observers. It all makes me even more glad to have not been born under an absolute ruler.

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