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Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery
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Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,117 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Lady Jane Grey, is one of the most elusive and tragic characters in English history. In July 1553 the death of the childless Edward VI threw the Tudor dynasty into crisis. On Edward's instructions his cousin Jane Grey was proclaimed queen, only to be ousted 13 days later by his illegitimate half sister Mary and later beheaded. In this radical reassessment, Eric Ives reject ...more
ebook, 392 pages
Published September 19th 2011 by Wiley-Blackwell (first published September 25th 2009)
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Given the choice of being a queen but for only about 2 weeks and finding your death by beheading or not being a queen at all; which would you choose? Unfortunately, Jane Grey didn’t have a decision to make and was thrown into her fate earning her the nickname, “The Nine Days Queen”. Eric Ives explores this incident in Tudor history in, “Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery”.

Before even proceeding; a stylistic detail regarding the format of “Lady Jane Grey” must be made. Several reader reviews have co
Jul 15, 2010 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
If you are looking for a biography of Jane Grey, keep looking. This is not the book you are looking for.

If you are looking for an in-depth analysis of the brief reign of Jane Grey and the events leading up to it, stop. This is the book you are looking for.

This book was an excellent look at the politics and the people who were responsible for putting Jane Grey on the throne for a brief nine-day reign. It should challenge most of what the reader learned in history class and hopefully encourage t
Sarah's Book Nook
I'm confused as to how some reviewers don't understand that Jane was the rightful heir according to Edward. According to Henry, Mary was next, this is true. However, given that upon their mothers losing their crowns, both girls were declared illegitimate, it makes sense. Henry included Frances' children in the succession after his daughters, Edward excluded his half-sisters, it seems pretty straight-forward to me.

That aside, I was a bit disappointed in this book. Jane is intriguing, perhaps more
Margie Dorn
Jun 14, 2016 Margie Dorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Ives is not as spellbinding for writing history as someone like Stacy Schiff, but this book was well done. I have a new understanding of Lady Jane's life and times, and it makes total sense that Jane's difficulties were due not as much to Northumberland who was desperately trying to avoid the fate of his own father, but to a young King Edward VI who may have been a teenager, but was the king for all that. Teenagers, especially those who are kings, know their own minds. Edward was just not presen ...more
Jul 06, 2011 Ilene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
One of the most thorough, well-rounded accounts of Lady Jane Grey that I have ever read. I was especially impressed with the depth of Ives' portrait of Northumberland. Most accounts paint him as the villain, but Ives portrays Dudley as a multi-dimensional human being and that made the duke much more sympathetic.
I love the Tudor period and have read extensively about the era. Jane Grey is often overlooked as most people are interested in Henry and his 6 wives! I was disappointed with this book. I was expecting a biography of Jane Grey and it wasn't. Its well written but read like a dull history lesson :-(
Nov 04, 2012 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Horribly disappointing. Much too technical for my tastes. Some of the pages were one paragraph containing conflicting arguments put forth in tons of various accounts of unimportant points. Ugh. Love the subject, hate the book...
Very disappointed it was NOT about Jane's life, but about the events and people surrounding Jane's ascend to queenship. I understand they are important too but I wanted a Jane Grey bio, not this.
Sarah Kennedy
Mar 01, 2013 Sarah Kennedy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an essential book for anyone interested in Tudor history--and mystery! I'm using it to fill in blanks in my Tudor mystery series:
May 23, 2010 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would have given this a four and a half stars if available. No five because of the last chapter dealing with the treatment of Lady Jane Grey in the centuries following her death in the popular culture. Why do these scholarly authors think they need to throw that in at the end? Eric Ives is so respected, wrote an excellent book on the subject but still felt compelled to discuss that. Too weird.
Okay, for the text of the book. Ives gives strong evidence to support his theories of why Lady Jane beca
Nov 01, 2010 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A revisionist look at one of the least understood, often overlooked episodes in the tumultuous Tudor dynasty: the succession crisis of 1553 pitting Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's eldest daughter, against her 16 year old cousin Jane Grey. At Henry's death, he had reinstated his daughters Mary and Elizabeth into the succession,yet did not revoke their illegitimate status. The hope was that their younger half brother Edward, the only one of Henry's offspring whose legitimacy was never challenged, would p ...more
Nov 19, 2012 Marilyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marilyn by: Mary Mae Callan-garcia
Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery, written by Eric Ives, is a tough book for me to review. Jane Grey, follows Eleanor of Aquitaine in my list of favorite Queens of England. And yet, when it comes to Jane Grey, little is mentioned of her in most books on the English Monarchy, and she is completely omitted from the pages of others. So, it was exciting to find this book on Jane.

Unlike many women of the 1550's, Jane was very well educated. She was taught by some of the leading scholars of her time. S
Jan 09, 2014 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ives is passionate, exceedingly knowledgeable, and thoroughly argues Lady Jane's case in this book. She had a legal right to the throne, succeeded lawfully, and was usurped by Mary Tudor. Also, Lady Jane's accession was not orchestrated by the Duke of Northumberland like is so popularly believed.

I gave it four stars and not five because it's written more like a publication for an academic journal rather than a book intended for the general public. Being just an average person with an interest in
Professor Ives makes a case against Mary Tudor for effecting a military coup against her cousin Jane, the rightful queen by decree of Edward VI shortly before his death. Part of the tragedy of Jane's story is that she was almost universally acknowledged by some of the most renowned scholars in Europe as a young girl of exceptional intelligence; one wonders what her intellect could have accomplished as queen. Instead, England got five years of the Marian Persecutions and embroiled in an expensive ...more
Mar 25, 2013 Mer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eric Ives is nothing if not thorough. The short queenship (not 9 days, incidentally) of Lady Jane Grey is explored from nearly every possible vantage point - exhaustively so. The book puts forth some interesting ideas about power and motivation behind what he Ives deems "The Rebellion of Mary Tudor," but on the whole has disappointingly little to say about either her or even Lady Jane Grey herself. Jane the Queen doesn't really emerge as a person until the final few chapters. Perhaps "Northumber ...more
Jun 10, 2014 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-2014
A very good study of the events surrounding the death of Edward VI and the accession of Mary I. Very little of this book has to do with Lady Jane Grey. Read for the history it's good. Should perhaps be re-titled.
Annemarie Donahue
It was alright, not of the better stories of Lady Jane's life. My all-time favourite will forever be Innocent Traitor by Allison Weir. There have been several books about the Nine-Days Queen and none of them will ever really do her justice. I believe firmly this little girl would have happily been a prisoner of her great cousin Mary Tudor and been quite content with her books in the tower of London until her last days. But her family, ambitious and useless, revolted against the queen (in Jane's ...more
Kate F
Feb 20, 2011 Kate F rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a valuable addition to the Tudor canon and by concentrating on the main characters and their actions using primary sources where available, secondary sources and modern pyschological interpretations of their actions he offers up some valid and compelling alternative theories. Throughout, however, Jane Grey remains a lonely and abused figure apparently deserted by those who should always have had her best interests at heart. It would be nice to think that her mother did not abandon her to ...more
I was primarily interested in Grey's education and personality. There were excellent chapters on these aspects of her life. Throughout, the book is very conscientious about the conclusions that can be drawn from the few available documents and from the traces left by this remarkable but short life. This care made for convincing arguments about why her reign so quickly crumbled under Mary's challenge. Sometimes this analysis offered more information than I was eager to have (my rating reflects my ...more
May 31, 2012 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read many books on the Tudor times, but haven't read much on Lady Jane. She was undoubtedly a victim of the politics and manipulations of her era. Crowned queen against her wishes, she was declared a Pretender to the Throne by her own cousin, Mary I, and executed aged just 17. She was a highly intelligent girl, fluent in several languages, and very passionate about her religion.
Dignified to the end, she has long been just a bit-player in all books on the Tudors. This brings Lady Jane Grey t
Apr 12, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was extremely dense with evidence and at times I almost felt lost in it enough to lose track of the main points. In spite of that, it was still excellent. The author brought the historical characters, setting and events to life.
Mar 20, 2010 Stephanie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
After just one chapter, I have given up on this book. Don't get me wrong: it may be the best book ever, but I am not equipped to handle it. Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery rapidly introduces you to the Tudor world, then just throws you in, into the deep end. I simply don't know enough about that time or its main players to grasp what was going on.

Plus, it uses really long words.

So, maybe I'll tackle this book again after I watch The Tudors, read The Other Boleyn Girl... and improve my vocabulary
Oct 29, 2012 Nouria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book took me to a particular era to live events and actions that happened in a place and between un-ordinary characters. To question the truth behind the royal family and to witness the evil and the deceit of people in power. Also to question history itself and to put the reader in a position of disbelief and even sometimes the reader find himself lost and confused between what he reads and what things are.
When reading this book it was very apparent to me, what Ives wanted to accomplish. He just didn't get there, if you ask me. His main concern with this book is to establish Jane Grey as the 'true queen' and Mary Tudor as nothing but a usurper. He also goes to great length to rehabilitate John Dudley, making him as much a victim as Lady Jane. Again, I don't feel like he accomplished it.
This was a fascinating insight into the life of one of the most enigmatic members of Tudor England. It was well researched and was informative without being dry.
Because there is so little information that we have on Jane Grey, it was great that he added perspectives of what happened from Edward VI to Mary I to even the Seymours.
Jan 07, 2010 Joan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full of facts and references, this book is not for someone looking for an easy read or "historical fiction", but it is very well-written and interesting. The author takes some shots (and backs them up) at a few of the popular myths that surround Jane Grey and her very short reign and Queen of England.
Margaret Sankey
So Jane Grey had a legitimate legal claim on the English throne, and given the chaos and succession uproar, might have actually held onto it. Okay, I don't know to whom in British history this is a "mystery", unless it is aimed at American viewers of the Tudors who can't figure out who she is.
Aug 09, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-read, royals
The minutiae of who was doing what, when and why, during Jane's short reign and the lead up to it was fascinating, but ultimately I wasn't convinced by Ives's revisionist take that Northumberland was a great guy who has been tragically misunderstood. Still a good and informative read.
Jul 07, 2013 Kourtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book rather quickly after not having picked it up in over a month. The book was divided by the important players before and during Jane Grey's stint as Queen. Ives does a good job in his research, I just wish I remembered more of the first half of the book.
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Historian of Tudor England. Studied under S. T. Bindoff. He taught at the universities of Liverpool and Birmingham and wrote on faction at the Tudor court, Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey.
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