Jane Seymour, the Haunted Queen

Alison Weir. Ballantine, $28 (576p) ISBN 978-1-101-96654-9
This third volume in the Six Tudor Queens series, following books on Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, is a sumptuous historical novel anchored by its excellent depiction of Jane Seymour, Henry the VIII’s third queen. Weir begins the story of Jane, the daughter of a wealthy knight, by exploring a historical but unclear family scandal from Jane’s youth, which Weir imagines to be an affair between Jane’s father and sister-in-law. Throughout, she paints Jane as a fairly innocent young woman, even imagining that she may have entertained life as a nun when she was a girl. Weir devotes most of the plot to Jane’s time as a maid of honor, first to Queen Katherine and then, after Katherine’s divorce, to Queen Anne. A church traditionalist, Jane attempts to use her influence on Henry (once they do finally marry) to restore Princess Mary to his good graces and to limit the divestitures of the monasteries. Of course, being a novel of the Tudors, there is a great deal of description devoted to the lavish clothing, foods, architecture, and pageantry of the royal court. Weir also does not stint on the various scandals and uproars of the time. This is a must for all fans of Tudor fiction and history. (May)
Reviewed on: 07/16/2018
Release date: 05/15/2018
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 608 pages - 978-1-101-96656-3
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-4854-5
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