It is over. My trial has ended, and I am now back in the Tower of London, this place that was once my palace and is now my prison.
Yes, I know Corey called Alison Weir ‘slightly fluffy’ last week, and she’s not wrong. In fact, she’s more than likely absolutely correct, being a history student and extremely intelligent. But as an English major, I really enjoyed Innocent Traitor, fluff aside.
This book is about Lady Jane Grey, a sixteen-year-old girl who sat on the English throne for nine days in 1553, making her the shortest-reigning English monarch in history. My knowledge of the English crown being somewhat limited to whatever I gleaned from Philipa Gregory novels, I naturally didn’t know much about this girl, or in fact how she got to be on the throne at all.
Weir makes Lady Jane’s claim to the throne and her succession crystal clear in this smart, but readable, historical novel. At least, as crystal clear as anything can be when politics are involved, and when the veil of history makes motives and exact events a little blurry. To her credit, Weir notes at the end of her story that she has delved into speculation and even a little psychology in order to make her story ring true, and the intentions and emotions she assigns to her characters may not be entirely accurate. This admission only underscores Weir’s dedication to historical accuracy, and in fact increased my respect for her as an author.
Anytime I can learn something from an historical novel, I have to admit I’m enthralled. Weir kept me reading her book almost every waking minute until I turned the last page. Overall, Innocent Traitor was an amazing virtual trip to the pre-Elizabethan age, and well worth at least borrowing for any fan of the period.