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The Sisters Who Would Be Queen The Tragedy of Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey by Leanda de Lisle

The Sisters Who Would Be Queen The Tragedy of Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey


The Sisters Who Would Be Queen The Tragedy of Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey by Leanda de Lisle

`Leanda de Lisle brings the story of nine days' queen, Lady Jane Grey and her forgotten sisters, the rivals of Elizabeth I, to vivid life in her fascinating biography' Philippa Gregory The dramatic untold story of the three tragic Grey sisters, all heirs to the Tudor throne, all victims to their royal blood. Lady Jane Grey is an iconic figure in English history. Misremembered as the `Nine Days Queen', she has been mythologized as a child-woman destroyed on the altar of political expediency. Behind the legend, however, was an opinionated and often rebellious adolescent who died a passionate leader, not merely a victim. Growing up in Jane's shadow, her sisters Katherine and Mary would have to tread carefully to survive. The dramatic lives of the younger Grey sisters remain little known, but under English law they were the heirs - and rivals - to the Tudor monarchs Mary and Elizabeth I. The beautiful Katherine ignored Jane's dying request that she remain faithful to her beliefs, changing her religion to retain Queen Mary's favour only to then risk life and freedom in a secret marriage that threatened Queen Elizabeth's throne. While Elizabeth's closest adviser fought to save Katherine, her younger sister Mary remained at court as the queen's Maid of Honour. Too plain to be considered significant, it seemed that Lady Mary Grey, at least, would escape the burden of her royal blood. But then she too fell in love, and incurred the queen's fury. Exploding the many myths of Lady Jane's life and casting fresh light onto Elizabeth's reign, acclaimed historian Leanda de Lisle brings the tumultuous world of the Grey sisters to life, at a time when a royal marriage could gain you a kingdom or cost you everything. This is the true story behind Philippa Gregory's The Last Tudor and the only authoritative history book about the Grey sisters.


`A deep and fascinating account. Leanda de Lisle's close focus draws us into palace corridors, country houses and city streets where the excitement, intrigue and danger of the times are palpable.
Jane Dunn

`Utterly Lisle reminds us on each page what terror felt for those in the 16th century...This is a marvellously told and quite terrifying biography.
Daily Telegraph

`A thrilling read that could sit comfortably beside any novel by Philippa Lisle wears her learning lightly, though the details are carefully crafted and researched.

` The Sisters Who Would Be Queen brings the Tudor world to life in a story about siblings Katherine, Mary and Lady Jane Grey.... The author rehabilitates [Lady Jane Grey] as less a victim of history than a headstrong individual with a sense of her own destiny....this fascinating tale relates how her plucky sisters adapted to life at court in an atmosphere of distrust and paranoia....It was a miracle they lasted as long as they did.
Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler

About the Author

Leanda de Lisle is the author of `After Elizabeth'. She was educated at Somerville College, Oxford, where she took an honours degree in Modern History. A successful journalist and writer she has been a columnist for `The Spectator', the `Guardian', `Country Life' and the `Daily Express' as well as writing for the `Daily Mail' and the `Sunday Telegraph'. She lives in Leicestershire with her husband and three children.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th March 2010


Leanda de Lisle

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HarperPress an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


352 pages


Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700



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