For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Documents of Lady Jane Grey,
Nine Days Queen of England 1553
  • James D. Taylor, Jr.
Reviews Table of Contents Introduction «Back
Documents of Lady Jane Grey, .  Nine Days Queen of England 1553
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Seeking to inform our understanding of one of history's most poignant, little-known heroines, Taylor has pulled together all of Lady Jane's literary remains, including some which may be apocryphal.


About the Author

James D. Taylor, Jr. is an independent scholar. He has published four books with Algora pulling together all the available documentary evidence relating to important figures from Elizabethan history. In a new series, he is profiling actresses involved in creating beloved characters like Betty Boop who have been entertaining America since the 1930s.

About the Book

Published information on Lady Jane is scant and contradictory; here, primary sources including Jane's own letters illustrate the drama of a high-born, high-minded and intelligent young lady sacrificed on the pyre of ambition by her kin. The...

Published information on Lady Jane is scant and contradictory; here, primary sources including Jane's own letters illustrate the drama of a high-born, high-minded and intelligent young lady sacrificed on the pyre of ambition by her kin. The teenaged Lady Jane faced her shocking fate with shocking fortitude; her own performance is inspirational, while some of those around her showed themselves to be the very embodiment of treachery and betrayal.
This work is the result of a seven year investigation into the story of Lady Jane. The author includes a controversial "collection of letters" that William Lane purchased from an unidentified source while he was at the Minerva Press, possibly in 1790 or 1791. Well-recorded events in history correlate with some of the events indicated in these previously unpublished letters, thus tying them to the figures of the time and providing insight into the turbulent Tudor period. Another tantalizing item is an intimate, perhaps apochryphal, letter Lady Jane wrote to Queen Mary in August of 1553. Rarely seen and little studied, it is available only in an 1594 Italian translation.
The author has indicated the primary source for each document and noted supporting sources when available. The resulting study of Lady Jane Grey and her short reign, through primary and secondary sources and material that displays the color of the era, that will stimulate new questions in the mind of readers and researchers alike.


Introduction

I undertook this project in 1995 because of my frustration after reading two colorful books about Lady Jane Grey that embellished a few well-known facts and contradicted one another. Curiosity prompted further investigation over the next seven years and I reviewed the available sources of information and literary remains from the period only...

I undertook this project in 1995 because of my frustration after reading two colorful books about Lady Jane Grey that embellished a few well-known facts and contradicted one another. Curiosity prompted further investigation over the next seven years and I reviewed the available sources of information and literary remains from the period only to encounter further inconsistencies. Several factors, such as the literacy of the scribe or printer, may account for the inconsistencies. One important factor was the condensing or summarizing of information done by early authors. I chose to compile all the known letters and documents by or about Lady Jane Grey and present them together for the first time in this volume. I have chosen to use modern versions of some of the letters, for the sake of easier readability. The original letters were written in High Renaissance English and use many archaic words and terms that can be very difficult for readers without special training. The letters and documents contained in this volume were compared to the original material, when available, and best represent the primary material. In the majority of these, the only difference between the original and the edited version is limited to changes to a few words. To avoid burdening the text with extensive and redundant footnotes, parenthetical notes are included in reference to the bibliography.

Fortunately, those years of research produced occasional rewards. Among the gems I uncovered, and perhaps the most valuable, is a collection of letters that William Lane purchased from an unidentified source while he was at the Minerva Press, possibly during the year of 1790 or 1791. Though these letters are not dated, I feel confident that I was able to place them within a narrow margin by correlating well-recorded events in history and some of the events indicated in the letters. These letters provide particular insight into the turbulent Tudor period.

My intent is to provide a complete and accurate study of Lady Jane Grey’s short reign through primary and secondary sources and to stimulate new questions in the mind of readers. Each letter or document has been reviewed at its original source level, translated from another language, or transcribed and presented in that form. I have also indicated the primary source for each document, and noted any supporting source or sources if available or known.


More . . .
A Bit of Background on Lady Jane

In a New Yorker article about two portraits, both purportedly of Lady Jane Grey, the writer gives a brief history of Lady Jane Grey, the cousin of King Edward VI, who, as he lay dying, made Jane Queen. Her reign lasted only nine days, and ultimately she and her husband, Guilford Dudley, were executed. Zarin mentions Grey as an inspiration for playwrights, songwriters and movies, including Bob Dylan, the...

A Bit of Background on Lady Jane

In a New Yorker article about two portraits, both purportedly of Lady Jane Grey, the writer gives a brief history of Lady Jane Grey, the cousin of King Edward VI, who, as he lay dying, made Jane Queen. Her reign lasted only nine days, and ultimately she and her husband, Guilford Dudley, were executed. Zarin mentions Grey as an inspiration for playwrights, songwriters and movies, including Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and in the 1986 film, "Lady Jane," and notes that when we think of Princess Diana, we see her in photographs, whereas the elusive Jane Grey is the only English monarch since Henry VII for whom no contemporary image is known to exist.

In 2006, however, the so-called Streatham portrait was discovered in a London suburb. Shortly thereafter, a miniature in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art, in New Haven, was sent to London for an exhibition called "Lost Faces," highlighting recent finds from the Tudor period. Controversy surrounds the two images, each of which has supporters and detractors who seek to demonstrate that it is (or is not) a portrait of Jane.

The article concludes with a comment by "Sir Roy Strong, who wrote about the miniature for the Victoria and Albert show, about the latest dispute over Jane Grey....'There's an industry, always, for distinguished, educated women who get their heads chopped off."

From an Abstract in the New Yorker Archives at http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/10/15/071015fa_fact_zarin, link:


More Information

Sound Bite

Published information on Lady Jane is scant and contradictory; here, primary sources including Jane's own letters illustrate the drama of a young, intelligent and high-minded lady tossed to the lions by her kin.

Sound Bite

Published information on Lady Jane is scant and contradictory; here, primary sources including Jane's own letters illustrate the drama of a young, intelligent and high-minded lady tossed to the lions by her kin.
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Pages 208
Year: 2004
LC Classification: DA345.1.D9D63
Dewey code: 942.05'3'092—dc22
BISAC: HIS015000
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-334-4
Price: USD 21.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-335-1
Price: USD 27.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-336-8
Price: USD 21.95
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