The Last Tudor

From History Book By Book
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Last Tudor
Author: Gregory, Philippa
Buy at Amazon |

Time Period: Renaissance
Time Frame: 1550-1573
Geographic Area: Europe
Country: Great Britain
Topics: Tudors, Lady Jane Grey
Genre: Fiction
Reading Age: Adult
Format: Novel
Published: 2017

World History > Renaissance > Tudors

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory features one of the most famous women in history, Lady Jane Grey, and her two sisters, each of whom dared to defy her queen.

Jane Grey was queen of England for nine days. Her father and his allies crowned her instead of the dead king’s half-sister Mary Tudor, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her throne, and locked Jane in the Tower of London. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner’s block, where Jane transformed her father’s greedy power-grab into tragic martyrdom.

“Learn you to die,” was the advice Jane wrote to her younger sister Katherine, who has no intention of dying. She intends to enjoy her beauty and her youth and fall in love. But she is heir to the insecure and infertile Queen Mary and then to her sister Queen Elizabeth, who will never allow Katherine to marry and produce a Tudor son. When Katherine’s pregnancy betrays her secret marriage, she faces imprisonment in the Tower, only yards from her sister’s scaffold.

“Farewell, my sister,” writes Katherine to the youngest Grey sister, Mary. A beautiful dwarf, disregarded by the court, Mary keeps family secrets, especially her own, while avoiding Elizabeth’s suspicious glare. After seeing her sisters defy their queens, Mary is acutely aware of her own danger, but determined to command her own life. What will happen when the last Tudor defies her ruthless and unforgiving cousin Queen Elizabeth?

Emily's Review

I have always found Lady Jane Grey a fascinating and tragic character, so I was excited to read more about her. Alas, she is only in the first 100 or so pages of the book. At first I was disappointed that she got such a small part of the story. But that was fine because the rest of the book was devoted to her two sisters - Katherine and Mary, whom I knew existed, but never read about. That is one thing I appreciate about Gregory's books, she writes about women, many of whom didn't get to have a voice in history.

More than a story about three sisters, this was a story about the jealousy of Queens. First Mary Tudor and then Elizabeth I. I would say the majority of the novel revolved around the moods and whims of a paranoid queen.

I thought the first half of the story was well done, but this novel was a little bit too long and by the end it felt like a rushed recounting of events. If you have read her other books, this one might feel a bit repetitive, as you are getting the same story as The Other Queen and The Virgin's Lover told from a different perspective.

Overall, it wasn't my favorite Philippa Gregory. But I'm glad I read it!

Other Similar Books

Other suggestions on the subject of Lady Jane Grey.