I found my copy of this book last summer at an antique store near my house, where I got it for a toonie. I noticed it first because it was red (what is it with me and red books?), second, because it was old (I'll discuss the amazingness of old books later in the post), third I noticed the name that is the title, and finally, I noticed how fancily the title was printed. My copy is the second printing, from December 1952. Fun Fact: That means that the book was printed 398 years and 10 months after Lady Jane died. The first printing was in September of the same year. I think that it was maybe a library book at some point, and it's not in the best shape ever, but I love it.
To be fair, she did not really want the crown (note the 'Reluctant' in the title of the book), and I think her sentence was sort of harsh, considering she had sort of been led into it like a blind sheep. But, what's done is done, and I can't change it, so there's no point in dwelling.
I do agree that Mary was the rightful heir to the throne, and that it was totally within her rights to take it. I would also like to point out that it is totally within my rights to not like her. I don't know what would have happened if Jane had stayed Queen, but I suspect that there would have been a lot less burnings and torturing going on (Mary had a nasty habit of killing off anyone who professed a Protestant faith). So, if I could remodel history, I would make Jane Queen, and then pass the crown to Elizabeth. I realize that that would have been difficult to engineer, unless Jane had no children (Mary died in 1558, 4 years after Jane became Queen, so there would be no worries that the crown would pass to her instead of directly to Elizabeth), but it would have saved so many lives. Anyways, no use in re-engineering English history to be better to my liking (England would totally have ended up in the same place, monarchy-wise, so it wouldn't be hurting anything).
I really like this book. I don't know whether to classify it Historical Fiction or Historical Non-Fiction, because it reads like a story, but it is just full of history facts! The description is beautiful, it's full of detail, the facts are all bang-on, and it is engaging. It really makes you feel for poor Jane. I recommend that you all go, right now, and figure out where you can find this book. Wait, no. Finish reading this, and then go find a copy. 'Kay? 'Kay. I'm sure that you could find it through Amazon or Ebay or something, and if all else fails, go to your local antique shop, town bazaar, or library book sale, and pray that it's there.
Now, about the amazingness of old books: what isn't there to love? They look cool, they smell nice, and it feels like you are holding a piece of history! You just can't help but wonder who else has loved this book, and where it's been. Also, the chances of you getting a book that is amazing that nobody else has heard of, and you getting to re-introduce it to the world (or at least your friends) greatly increases. If you were wondering if you read the above correctly, yes, I did say that they smell nice, and I will stand by that. Unless you get one that hasn't been well taken care of and smells like old mold and must, old books, as a rule, smell nice. I'm just saying. I promise that I do not go around smelling books, honestly, I don't.
So, what do you think about old books? Have you ever heard of this one before? Are you also a fan of English history (specifically the Tudor royal family)? What do you think of my remodeled history? How would you like to have seen it all go down? Tell me in the comments below!