Tuesday, December 11, 2012
The Sisters Who Would Be Queen
My mom asked me, "Would you like to wash that down with some water?" and I, of course, said yes. My lips had no sooner touched the rim of the water bottle when she said, "Oh, maybe you shouldn't drink that since I haven't been feeling so good." I literally paused...my lips touching the bottle and thought to myself that since I'd already touched the bottle, I wasn't going to be able to undo any damage I'd already succumbed myself to by not taking a drink. When I told David, he repeated the old adage, "In for a penny, in for a pound." So very true.
So, as I type this post...be thankful that germs can't be spread via the internet and blog reading. Because my throat is feeling fantastic and let's just say the fireplace might get it's inaugural lighting tonight because somebody's got the chills in this household. Oh yea, and I'm probably going to beg off cooking supper...don't want to spread this on to David, if at all possible.
Speaking of feeling miserable, why don't I give you a review of this Tudor tragedy that I finished last week?
This audiobook was my most recent listen via my local library's digital archive. This book is the true story of Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey. I'll first say that if you decide to read this book, it would probably be best to get a character map or genealogy map so that you're not confused. I actually got a little mixed up when I was explaining this book at book club on Friday night. A lot of my jumble stemmed from the fact that there's more than one Mary within this history lesson...3 actually.
What this book focuses on is how each of these sisters' lives were irreparably ruined simply because of their blood and where they stood in the royal family tree. We all know how Henry VIII created a huge problem when he could not produce a male heir...so, he started chopping his wives' heads off. These sisters were grand-nieces of Henry VIII...and therefore, had as much right to the throne as who actually ended up with it...(the Virgin) Queen Elizabeth.
Lady Jane Grey actually held the throne for a short period of time before her rivalry with Mary I (Elizabeth's older sister) did not end well...for Lady Jane Grey. Then, Mary I became ill and died. Who takes the throne now? Elizabeth did, of course. But, from day one her parliament tried to get her to name an heir, which she refused to do. And with good reason. There was more than one assassination attempt on Elizabeth within her reign, why would she give rivals' supporters even more cause?
What saddened me most about this book was that both Katherine and Mary ended up wanting (logically) to marry and have children, which Elizabeth was vehemently against. Elizabeth didn't want them producing heirs or marrying men who might try to usurp her. Both sisters ended up going behind her back...and had to live out the rest of their lives within towers away from their husbands and children as punishment.
When I'm hunting for a non-fiction book to work into my rotation, I always seem to default to history. It isn't always my favorite to begin with, but when I'm finished, I'm always a little amazed by the storyline. This stuff really happened...someone lived it. I enjoyed this book, but I wouldn't say it's a page turner. However, I'll be remembering what I learned while reading this book for quite some time. I would definitely recommend if you're into this kind of stuff!