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The Nine Day Queen of England

The following is a review my mother wrote on Faith Cook’s book The Nine Day Queen of England.

It is the year 1547 in England. A baby is born to the royal family of  King Henry VIII.  He is the long awaited Prince Edward who will one day inherit the throne. Within twelve days, his mother, Jane Seymour, third wife of the king, will be dead. By the time Edward is nine years old, he will see three step mothers come and go, lose his own father and become king of England and head of the church. At age sixteen, he will succumb to tuberculosis, leaving the English throne in question to a country bitterly torn between Catholic and Protestant.

The same year, about a hundred miles to the north, another baby is born. Jane Grey is fourth in line for the throne, being a cousin of Edward. She becomes the political and religious pawn of  English nobles in one of the greatest travesties of modern history. By the time she is sixteen, she will be forced into  marriage, crowned Queen of England, and martyred for her faith.

This book explains the history and intrigue surrounding one of the most innocent victims of the Protestant Reformation, Lady Jane Grey. Although neglected and abused as a child, Jane had been educated past her station, excelling in music, knowing seven languages and regularly corresponding with the reformers of her day in Latin and Greek.  Her marriage rights were sold by her parents and she was forced to wed the son of Edward’s Lord Protector, Guildford. When Edward died, a royal coup put her on the throne in a quick chess move, only to be trumped by (Bloody) Mary nine days later. Jane was imprisoned in the tower of London until her answer to remain faithful to her God and His Scriptures brought her to the executioner’s block. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Its accurate quotations and insightful history introduce you to a teenager worthy of emulating. Poised, mature and stalwartly faithful to the end, Jane is inspiring in her response to the trials God allows in her life. You will read no complaints about a dysfunctional home, unfair parents, mean peers, evil teachers or intrusive government. What you will read is how a young teenage woman deals with a set of overwhelming circumstances in a way that exposes true character, glorifies God, and with her life on the line, puts Him first when it really counts.

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