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Innocent Traitor

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  31,458 ratings  ·  1,787 reviews
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alison Weir's Mary Boleyn.

I am now a condemned traitor . . . I am to die when I have hardly begun to live.

Historical expertise marries page-turning fiction in Alison Weir’s enthralling debut novel, breathing new life into one of the most significant and tumultuous periods of the English monarchy. It is the story of Lady Jane G
Hardcover, 402 pages
Published February 27th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published 2006)
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Morgaine I think the thing about John Dudley, was that he wanted to get things right. His father, Edmund, was executed by Henry VIII, mostly for show, and he d…moreI think the thing about John Dudley, was that he wanted to get things right. His father, Edmund, was executed by Henry VIII, mostly for show, and he didn't want that to happen to him. I've been reading another book, titled Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery, that seems to show him as loyal but conflicted about Edward VI's will. The most important thing to remember, though, is that John Dudley was the fall guy, so there were many rumors spread about him that are either not true or there is no proof for it.(less)

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The Lady Elizabeth was bad but mildly entertaining, possibly because of the appearance of one of the most interesting figures from history, but Innocent Traitor is just plain bad. It begins with two very dull parallel birth scenes and gets worse from there. The language is tedious and pedestrian, sending me to sleep rather than catching my attention. The plot drags and is utterly predictable, for example, one day after the family has heard news that some heretics are to be burned, Jane’s nurse d ...more
B the BookAddict
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Historical fiction, Tudor history lovers
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Chrissie's review
Shelves: hist-fiction
Lady Jane Grey, born either 1536 or 1537, was highly gifted, precocious and intelligent but she was born into a time when her life was constrained by her parents and their machinations at the royal court. Her birth was a disappointment to her parents who, like most medieval parents, had longed for a son although they soon pinned their hopes on her marrying Henry VIII's son, Edward VI. But during Edward's final illness their choice for Jane changed, due to the machinations of John Dudley, Duke of ...more
Innocent Traitor is what should be a fascinating narrative of the life of the young Lady Jane Grey, the little known queen that reigned for a mere 9 days - yet somehow it isn't. Perhaps it's because it's written by someone who normally sticks to non-fiction, but something is lacking.

It's written from several different perspectives, which reveals Alison Weir's shortcomings. She fails to give her characters strong, unique voices, and they tend to blend together. Though I've found myself consumed
Connie G
Lady Jane Grey (1537-1554) was born during the reign of Henry VIII to ambitious parents who trained her for an important position. She was a quiet, precocious girl who loved learning and was extremely well educated. Jane was a Protestant who spent much of her time on religious studies. Jane always felt that her parents were disappointed that she was not a boy. After forcing Jane into a marriage that she did not want, they hatched a plot to gain power in the royal court.

Henry VIII's heir was Edwa
Mar 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Lady Jane Grey, the grand niece of Henry VIII, and queen of England for just over a week in 1553 is the subject of Innocent Traitor, Alison Weir’s first work of historical fiction. With over ten works of history to her credit, Weir is one of my favorite British Renaissance and Reformation historians mostly because she presents the Catholic and Protestant theological differences of the era in an impartial manner without resorting to inflammatory or stereotypical rhetoric.

Innocent Traitor is a ve
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
I have read lots of books on Catherine, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth, Mary and of course Henry VIII.
But I haven't ventured into his other wives stories/history yet nor any other Tudor relations.
And I really knew very little at all about Lady Jane Grey.
I really enjoyed her story, and found her to be quite a resourceful character.
Loved the part where she had to go to the "Privy" but was to scared to leave, so she just lifted her skirts and let it go and hoped the dogs would be blamed!
As the reader, w
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This is the story of Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for nine days in 1553. Alison Weir normally write historical biographies, this is her first historical novel. I've never read anything about Lady Jane Grey, and thought the detail provided on the major role of religion at this time, in all political decisions was very well portrayed. This was my first multiple narrator audio book and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I think it helped me connect to the different characters. Althoug ...more
Jan 13, 2009 rated it did not like it
I'm not sure what it is, exactly, but Weir's writing style makes me nuts. I can't read her. I've tried three times now and never made it more than a quarter of the way through the book. My s-i-l, normally a woman with decent taste in books, swears by her and in fact loaned me this book and "The Lady Elizabeth." And I know lots of people like her style... I wish I could pin point what about this make me cringe. But her language use just leaves me flat, bored, and irritable. ...more
Atul Sabnis
It’s much better if you love history. Even if you don’t, the format of the book should compensate for the lack of interest in historical books. This is not historical fiction, though the writer (Alison Weir) has taken the liberty of imagination at certain points, and to good effect.

The places where the text adds imaginative adornments are described at the end of the book, so, if you are persnickety about poetic license, you wouldn’t be too upset.

Personally, interest in the life of Lady Jane Grey
Apr 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
I enjoyed this book, sad and flawed as it was. I knew the bare outline of the life of Lady Jane Grey, although, in spite of having read some version or other of Foxe's Book of Martyrs several times in my childhood, had forgotten that she is considered a martyr by the Anglican Church. It was therefore interesting to read a more detailed version of her story. Yes, I know the account is fictional but with such a reknowned historian writing we can be fairly certain that the events, if not the motive ...more
May 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
Hrm. I think I would've enjoyed this more if it had been a straightforward history textbook instead of an attempt at prose. The multiple POVs are mutually indistinguishable, Jane at age 4 sounding the same as her mother as the queen as the duke and so on. The dialogue all sounds scripted, and the emotions are overwrought and rarely wring true.

This, from what I could tell, is much better researched than the usual Tudor trope, but the writing made it less enjoyable than the lesser works. I defini
*****This is a review for the audio book.
This was well-written. I loved how detailed the history was. The author did a lot research and took few liberties with telling the story. I really loved getting to know Lady Jane Grey. This is one of most tragic story I've heard in awhile. However, I would recommend it. I would say this should be read before most of these other books set in the Tudor era, though. This was my first book I've read by Alison Weir, but it definitely won't be my last.
Stephanie ((Strazzybooks))
DNF @ 11%.
I especially couldn't get into the different points-of-view as they all sound the was difficult to distinguish the 4 year old Jane Grey from her nanny or mother. I also don't know if I'm interested in 400+ pages on Jane Grey.
ETA: I later read The Life of Elizabeth I, one of her non-fiction books. I found it much better. I gave it four stars! Amazingly enough it was the non-fiction book that drew me in, where I totally empathized with the characters.


On completion:

So what do I like (and not like) about Innocent Traitor? I like that in a relatively short book one gets a quick summary of Tudor history; Henry VIII, his wives and progeny, are quickly summarized so you can understand how Lady
Jane Grey is one of the most tragic figures of Tudor England. She was the great-granddaughter of Henry VII (her grandmother was Mary Tudor, Queen of France and sister to Henry VIII) and a first cousin of Edward VI. When Edward died, she was crowned Queen of England, but was deposed after just nine days by Mary I, and executed a few months later.
Alison Weir explores Jane's life, from her birth to her early death, in her first work of fiction, Innocent Traitor.

The book is not perfectly accurate.
Steven Peterson
Oct 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Lady Jane Grey was born as a disappointment—a daughter instead of a son. Her mother said upon her birth in this historical novel (Page 5): “I should be joyful, thanking God for the arrival of a lusty child. Instead my spirits plummet. All this—for nothing.” Daughter of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk and Frances Brandon, grand-daughter of King Henry VII and related to King Henry VIII, her parents’ ambition dominated Jane’s life. Her parents’ goal? A marriage that would bring the family power. The or ...more
Jan 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Not quite finished with this, but don't care for it all that much. It utilizes an extremely contrived narrative perspective. It rotates among first-person narration from many perspectives, but the problem is that all narrators speak in the dramatic present, as if the speaker were speaking at the moment of the experience. I don't care for that anyway, but when one of the narrators (the main one), Lady Jane Grey, starts her story when she is three, and the vocabulary, sentence structure, and capac ...more
Caidyn (he/him/his)
9:30AM is too early for my indignant rage. Full disclosure: I skimmed the last 60 pages because I just couldn't do it.

It breaks my heart to rate this book two stars. Honestly, it does. I love Alison Weir. Love her nonfiction books, specifically. Her fiction books? Not really. They just don't do it for me, and I wish I had learned my lesson through The Lady Elizabeth and my attempt at her fiction book about Eleanor of Aquitaine, but how much I enjoyed The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth
May 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Wow...okay just added a new author to my lists of favorites, Alison Weir now joins Phillippa Gregory and Margaret George as some of my favorite historical fiction authors.. This book was about one of my favorite time periods of history--the Tudor dynasty and the drama, romance and royal misdoings by King Henry VII, his wives, and his children. In this novel the King has passed away and the son from Queen Jane Seymour, Prince Edward becomes King, however Edward is a sickly boy and doesnt live pas ...more
lacy white
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction, Lady Jane Grey
Shelves: 2017, 4-stars, library-reads, w
This is a rewrite of the review. The previous one that I written was so god awful, that I didn't like it. So enjoy this one instead.

This is the story about the nine day queen known as Lady Jane Grey. Her life was hard. She had a strict mother who essentially hated her because she wasn't a boy. She had a father that really couldn't care less about her. The only shining parts of her life were her books, Mrs. Ellen and Katherine Parr, King Henry's last wife.

I felt just so awful for poor Jane. Her
Innocent Traitor is good historical fiction that isn't smutted up. The only real problem is the multiple points of view. It is not there are too many speakers, but that too many speakers sound alike. There does not seem to be that much difference in tone between Katherine Parr and Frances Brandon in tone. This could be explained by the education that woman received, but some difference in tone would be nice. The only voice that really stands out in this regard is the voice of Mrs Ellen, Lady Jan ...more
Elizabeth(The Book Whisperer)
I loved this book. his time period has always been a major love of mine, and this one was great. It was told from several points of view which I find interesting. The story of Jane Grey is a sad one and this book portrayed it well.
May 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
of the blood. . .I think i might have mentioned once or twice that i am a tudorphile. As such, i have read (and own) many of Alison Weir’s excellent histories. So i was rather excited to hear of her debut novel Innocent Traitor (which may sound like a Nora Roberts title but is actually the story of the rather tragic nine day reign of Lady Jane Grey). The story is told from multiple points of view from various members of the Tudor court (the prologue, told from Jane's point of view, waiting in th ...more
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: English history lovers
I couldn't put the book down. Alison Weir clearly rather relished being able to speculate what made a person come to the actions and decisions which as a historian she can't do. Nonetheless, she is completely faithful to the history involved.

I rather doubt her last view of Jane Grey's horrendous mother who spends the night before Jane's death regretting being a lousy mother. I never got any impression that she subsequently brought up her other two daughters with kindness (both of whom came to b
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
The different pov’s are interesting, but there are a lot of them. It’s interesting seeing the story form a young Jane’s pov, but it’s hard to believe that at four years old she would have that kind of understanding of what was going on around her. It might have been better for Weir to start using Jane’s pov a little bit later. The chapters from Lady Mary’s pov seem to have had less effort put into them; they make her seem flat and simplistic. Some changes in pov seem useless and confusing (the c ...more
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was such a tragic novel based on a very tragic young lady, the Lady Jane Grey. Every time I read a novel detailing the life of the Tudor court and its aftermath, I can't help coming away with the sense that many fathers and mothers literally prostituted their children for the gain of power. They were so filled with the drug called power that they were willing to sacrifice their own progeny to fulfill their desires. Truly, this was the case with Lady Jane's family. They in their insatiable l ...more
Jan 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
I was excited when I first learned of this book. There is so little known about Jane Grey, so for some reason I was under the impression that this book was the result of years of research. Boy, was I wrong. It doesn't really reveal much more about Jane Grey and her life than what is shown in the movie "Lady Jane"
That would be tolerable, but it just isn't written very well. All of the characters have the same voice. Weir's attempt to tell the story from different angles doesn't work. In an after
Sarah Sammis
Aug 11, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: released
Take my review of Innocent Traitor with a grain of salt. I am an infrequent reader of historical fiction especially ones based around monarchs. So I came to this book already feeling skeptical.

Innocent Traitor covers the life and death of Lady Jane Grey, known sometimes as the "nine day queen" for her brief reign before Mary. With all the political machinations on the various sides all vying for the throne should make for an interesting novel but throughout the novel I found my attention wander
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much that I did not want it to end . I learned a lot about the lady Jane Grey who was only queen for 9 days . I can not believe how our family treated her and used her to make themselves have a better life . They treated that poor girl so bad that I can not believe that she still loved her parents in when she was beheaded for being the queen of England. I also feel sorry for her because of the way her husband treated her and used her to gain flavors of the court. This was a ...more
Bridget Vollmer
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was fantastic from the story to the narration! Even though it is common knowledge how Lady Jane dies, I kept hoping her story would have a happier ending. I feel like the lives of the royalty are akin to being pieces in a chess game.

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Alison Weir is a British writer of history books for the general public, mostly in the form of biographies about British kings and queens, and of historical fiction. Before becoming an author, Weir worked as a teacher of children with special needs. She received her formal training in history at teacher training

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