25 January 1549
Dorset Place

I hate them! They are trying to make me talk, to force me to tell them what I saw at Chelsea. I told them I saw nothing. And it is the truth. Would they have me lie? They brought me up to tell the strictest truth and I pray I will always have the courage to do so. Mother shook me by the shoulders until I felt my bones rattle. There was fear in her eyes and it frightened me. I have never seen Mother afraid before.

'Are you sure?' she demanded. 'You truly saw nothing?' Does she think I will be questioned too? Father has already been questioned three times by the Council. He was the Admiral's close friend - though you would not know that if you heard how he talked about him now.  Mother says Father has been a fool. 'Why must you throw in your lot with fools and knaves?' I heard her cry. 'Think of us, if not yourself.' I feel sick. What if Father is arrested?  What would we do?  I cannot concentrate on my studies with such fear hanging over us.  I can barely eat or  sleep. Oh, to be at peace again.

Lady Jane Grey

It's 1547. King Henry VIII is dead and nine-year-old Edward is crowned. Meanwhile his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, is used as a pawn in her parents' dangerous political schemes.  And when the young king is taken ill and dies, Jane's life takes a dramatic, tragic turn . . .

Sue Reid on the background to Lady Jane Grey . . .

Writing the diary of a girl who lived such a long time ago was never going to be easy. Girls in Tudor times – even noble girls like Lady Jane Grey - were not considered very important, until they married, so little is known about them. To make things even more difficult, in recent times historians have begun to question much of what we thought we knew about Jane Grey. Was Jane the saintly girl who was bullied by her parents, forced into a marriage she didn't want, and made queen against her will? Or is the truth rather different? (If you want to know more about that, read the historical note at the back of the book.) In the end, all I could do was try to stay true to what facts we have, and fill in the gaps as best I could.

Girls in Tudor times didn't write diaries, and I had to try and imagine how Jane might have felt and thought about things, and the people in her life. Of course it is impossible to know for sure, but from what I'd read about her and the little that survives of what we know she wrote and said, I built up a picture of the sort of girl she might have been - strong-willed, clever and determined - a girl who liked to have her own way. Of course it's important to remember that this is only my interpretation!

After you've read the book, you might want to visit some of the places Jane knew. You can still walk round Bradgate Park in Leicestershire, and see the ruins of the Tudor house where Jane grew up. You can also visit Sudeley Castle, in Gloucestershire, where Jane lived for a time, the ward of Sir Thomas Seymour and Katherine Parr. The chapel where Katherine Parr is entombed is in the grounds, and you can also see Katherine's Privy Chamber in the house.

Somerset House still stands, but the great mansion you can see today on the banks of the River Thames was rebuilt long after both the Duke of Somerset, its original builder, and Jane Grey were dead. And of course you can visit the Tower of London where Jane arrived in state as a young queen, and where she was subsequently imprisoned and her short life so tragically ended, under the executioner's axe on Tower Green.

Publisher: Scholastic
Language: English
ISBN-10: 140713017X
ISBN-13: 978-1407130170
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