The Last Tudor, by Philippa Gregory

Upon the death of young Kind Edward VI in 1553, the succession was very insecure. King Henry VIII having renounced his heirs and declared them bastards several times, it was uncertain who should reign next. Taking advantage of her position as the king’s cousin, Jane Grey’s father and family contrived to have her declared as Edward’s heir. Jane was queen for nine days until Princess Mary declared herself heir and threatened to take London by force. Jane’s supporters fled, leaving her to face the executioner’s block alone.
“Learn you to die” was the message Jane left behind for her sisters Katherine and Mary. As Elizabeth became queen, both young women were in precarious positions as Elizabeth refused to name an heir. This created a situation of extraordinary tension both in the English court and the rest of Europe. Life for the few remaining Tudor women was to become increasingly dangerous. Read More »