Val Sanford's Reviews > The Sisters Who Would Be Queen

The Sisters Who Would Be Queen by Leanda de Lisle
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's review
Aug 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: british-history, history, womens-history
Read from July 26 to August 01, 2012

At 15, Lady Jane Grey ascended the throne becoming the first woman to rule England in her own right. Only for nine days, but that was enough.

de Lisle's work The Sisters Who Would Be Queen takes head on the mythology around Jane's innocence and helplessness and puts her, along with her sisters, right in the middle of the conflict as willing and willful participates.

Caught in the wreckage of religious and political maelstroms, the Grey sisters were not innocent; they knew many of their actions-- like secret marriages --- were in direct conflict with the wishes of those in power and would likely lead to death or imprisonment.

de Lisle drowns the reader in names and places and it is hard for an American with minimal British History study to follow all the Lord this and Lady that. Yet the story of the Grey women as the backdrop for the rule of Elizabeth I and the fight for religious control of England is fascinating. de Lisle focuses on the Grey sisters as a way to frame and examine the political machinations and the power struggles to rule after Henry VIII's death

Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots are portrayed as complex and challenging young women fighting for the future they want and for their freedom and their lives.

Complex and challenging to read at times, The Sisters Who Would Be Queen is original and compelling.


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Reading Progress

07/28/2012 page 109
27.0% "Lots of names and dates!"

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