Lady Jane Grey

Nine-day queen

Christian biographies for young readers
By Simonetta Carr
Reformation Heritage Books. 64 pages. 13.99
ISBN 978 1 601 781 901

What a delight to see and handle this beautifully illustrated book! Lady Jane Grey’s moving story forms a part of a new series of biographies of men and women of faith specially designed for young people.

Simonetta Carr untangles this complicated period of Tudor English history as she shows how Lady Jane, 15-year-old cousin of young King Edward VI, was declared Queen of England at Edward’s death. But just nine days later, Mary Tudor, supported by the vast majority of the people, claimed the throne, asserting that she was the rightful successor in accordance with the Act of Succession passed by Parliament under her father Henry VIII. Lady Jane, who had initially been unwilling to accept the throne in any case, was accused of treason, imprisoned in the Tower of London for six months, and subsequently executed.

Although the circumstances and sorrows of Jane’s life are muted at times for the sake of her young readers, Mrs. Carr winds her way skilfully through all the intrigues of both scheming politicians and Jane’s ambitious parents, who used the girl for their own advantage. Mrs. Carr presents an attractive picture of a young person whose courage and faith shine out from the narrative, forming a challenging example for her readers today.

With at least 14 evocative full-page illustrations by artist Matt Abraxas, plus numerous other photographs and historical illustrations, this book would make an excellent Christmas present for young people aged between eight and 12.

Faith Cook

This review was first published in Evangelical Times and is used with permission.