Karla's Reviews > Innocent Traitor

Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir
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's review
Mar 04, 12

bookshelves: 2012, great-britain, 16th-cenury, historical, religous, tudor
Read from February 25 to March 04, 2012

I knew this story but, took away from it so much more than I bargained for. Weir has amazing skills as a writer. The way she weaved history so accurately yet entwined emotional real, historical, characters that were believable and tangible. She has my permission to rewrite history books for an entertaining way to approach teaching and learning history. Wish I had this book in my hands back in high school it could have made me reevaluate what I would have majored in.
On a personal level this is one of those books that stirred me up and I will lose sleep over. There are disturbing vivid imagery in Tudor history rewritten here that have me at odd moments visually unsettled. This is the "Off with their heads" or "Burn them alive" day in historical criminal punishment so now you know what haunts me.
I was very moved by Lady Jane Grey's story, she had such a short life but was so strong intelligent and devout in her faith. Wish I knew more sixteen year old's that spoke with such clear thought or knew what made them content. How she came to be such a pawn even in the care of her power hungry parents was an awful waste. Made me think of the old phrase "You don't know what you have until it's gone" Can't imagine the guilt they lived with after her death.
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Quotes Karla Liked

Alison Weir
“If only they would all just leave me alone with my books and my letters, I would be content to let life, and the world pass me by”
Alison Weir, Innocent Traitor

Reading Progress

02/27/2012 page 100
03/01/2012 page 202
49.0% 4 comments
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Rosalie Sambuco I read this book last summer and loved it. Alison Weir is one of my favorite historical fiction authors. She makes the people come alive.

Karla Oh this is good news! I didn't know anything about her writing but the story description intrigued me. Love accidental discoveries!

message 3: by Satia (new)

Satia I liked this book too. Because Weir is a Tudor scholar, her novels stick closer to the truth than most other historical fiction out there and she manages to infuse her characters with genuine emotion and intellect. So far, of all the novelists who've written Tudor period fiction, Weir is the only one I'd recommend. It's my own fault. I've read too much Tudor history to have any patience with sensationalized novels that wreak havoc with the truth. I look forward to your thoughts when you're done. (And for a bonus, watch Hollywoood's version: Lady Jane. It definitely plays loose with the history but is pretty and emotionally wrenching.)

Karla Thanks Satia, sounds like you know this time period inside and out. I haven't read a lot of Tudor history Phillipa Gregory seems to be one that's been recommended to me often and I have been collecting her books to read in the correct order, not that they have to be read in order. I'm just particular about that sometimes. Do you like her novels? Or should I just start with Weir since these seem more historically accurate?

message 5: by Satia (new)

Satia I read only one novel by Gregory and I can't say I liked it. She writes well but tends to exploit the gossip rather than explore the beauty of the truth. Or at least that was the case with The Other Boleyn Girl. I felt disgusted after reading it because Anne Boleyn was abused enough in her lifetime by the lies that were heaped upon her head which resulted in its being chopped off. She should be allowed the dignity of the truth, even in fiction.

And I never read another Gregory novel for that reason. If you want to know more about the period I would highly recommend Weir's nonfiction which reads like fiction. She's a brilliant historian and highly respected. I recommend her nonfiction to everyone because it is not dry or boring like most people assume history is. She really brings such life to everything she writes.

Here's my review of The Other Boleyn Girl:

Unfortunately, I read Innocent Traitor before I started this current blog so I don't have a review for it but I'd give it four stars. And seriously, if you enjoy this novel read her nonfiction. It's just as easy to read and so insightful and informative. Just great fun to read.

Karla Sounds wonderful, who doesn't like a fictional twist to add excitement and passion in a time in history that was so proper and rigid. It is a good way to learn something completely by surprise. I can't wait to read some of her novels now thanks so much for all the information Satia really appreciate it. I really haven't read that much of this colorful era. Always thought a good king was hard to find back then they seemed like nasty pompous pigs back then.

message 7: by Irena (new) - added it

Irena I have read several of P. Gregory's novels and liked them for the entertainment value knowing that they are not historically accurate. I have heard of A. Weir and will give her books a try after reading your comments. BTW have you watched The Tudor series? They really got me and my husband hooked!

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