Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Dangerous Inheritance: A Novel of Tudor Rivals and the Secret of the Tower-Alison Weir

A Dangerous Inheritance: A Novel of Tudor Rivals and the Secret of the Tower

Alison Weir

Ballantine, Oct 2 2012, $27.00

ISBN: 9780345511898

Katherine Plantagenet believes her father Protector Richard Plantagenet is a great man though she is illegitimate. She detests the rumors she hears about him at his court while her stepmother fears what Richard will do to his nephews. When Katherine falls in love, though she is a bastard, her beloved is unacceptable to her father; and when the princes vanish inside the Tower with her father named monarch in 1483 she loses faith in her sire King Richard III.

Her family pushed her older sister Lady Jane Grey on the thrown after King Henry VIII died. Lady Jane lasted less than a fortnight as Queen. Her younger sister Katherine Grey is somewhat persona non grata due to her family’s machinations though she is heir to the throne of Queen Elizabeth I. When she marries without her Majesty’s permission she becomes pregnant and Elizabeth incarcerates her in the Tower to insure no male threatens her still uncertain rule.

Rotating the tales, Alison Weir provides a fascinating historical as each shares in common being too close to the throne for the respective royals to ignore. Separately the plots are well written with plenty of the Ms. Weir trademark sense of readers being there. However, the move back and forth between the lead females, who lived several decades apart, requires constant adaptation to whose tale is being told; I would have preferred the first half being Katherine and the end of the Plantagenet reign, and the latter part focused on Katherine Grey and the rise of Elizabeth. Still Ms. Weir provides a strong look at the fate of two women with one deadly degree of separation from the throne.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: