Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey (July 2007) by Alison Weir
This is Alison Weir’s first work of fiction and I must say it is really well written. At first I wasn’t sure about the changing point of view – it’s written in first person, but the person keeps changing so we can get different perspectives of the intricate plot. It is, of course, all based on historical facts and begins when Lady Jane Grey is born. It follow her growth as well as the parralell to what is occuring in King Henry VIII’s court at the time (his seven wives).
The book delves into Lady Jane’s life, personal beliefs, and difficulty to come to terms with what is happening to her life. She has no control over the cunning plots and plans of her lord and lady (parents), and the Lord Protector who scheme to bring her to the throne when young King Edward passes. She is famously titled The Nine Day Queen as she is disposed by the legal heir to the throne of England is Mary, daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
It was a slow start, I had trouble getting into it mainly because of the changing point of views, but in the end it really works. The go-between is mainly Lady Jane, her nurse Mrs Ellen, her mother Frances Brandon, and someone at court – usually the Lord Protector. Alison Weir has a book coming out in 2008 about Elizabeth I; there is an excerpt at the end of Innocent Traitor and it seems to begin similarly – at the very beginning of her life. I look forward to reading more of Alison Weir’s fiction as her style and dedication to historical detail has really grown on me… besides, I adore historically-based fiction!