Monday, June 2, 2014

Sisters of Treason - Elizabeth Freemantle ~ 5 stars


Elizabeth Freemantle has done painstaking research on the Grey sisters and woven a very believable story of their family. It has always troubled me that Jane Grey's parents pushed her to the throne and then abandoned her to her fate, and this gentler narrative rings true to me.

Nothing good or easy occurred in the lives of the daughters of Francis Brandon and Henry Grey. All know that Lady Jane Grey was the "Nine Day Queen" and went to her death through no fault of her own. 

Her sister Catherine Grey was married to Henry Herbert by her parents and that marriage was annulled when political fortunes changed. She then met Edward Seymour,Earl of Hertford through his sister and they married clandestinely. Hertford was sent abroad and Catherine was pregnant and was incarcerated by the Queen They had 2 sons but Catherine was kept in captivity until her early death at 27.

Lady Mary Grey, who was said to be small and with a spinal defect was a lady in waiting to the Queen, married Thomas Keyes, the Queen's Sergeant Porter with out permission. Married a short time, Mary and Keyes were separated and kept in captivity. Not as much is known of Mary's later years and she did have a few years of happiness although living alone, Thomas Keyes having died of illnesses acquired in the Fleet prison.

A very poignant and said look at this family but Fremantle feels that some of the negative aspects of their early lives were possible not accurate, an outlook I agree with. Catherine Grey's oldest son had heirs that live on in the royalty of today, a happy thought. Recommended for Tudor and other historical novel fans for a different aspect to the story of the Greys. 

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