The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: The Tragedy of Mary, Katherine & Lady Jane Grey

Published by HarperPress on 13th October 2009

Lady Jane Grey is an icon of innocence abused. Remembered as the “Nine Days Queen”, she has been mythologized as a child-woman sacrificed to political expedience. But behind the legend lay a rebellious adolescent who became a leader, and no mere victim. Growing up in her shadow, Jane’s sisters Katherine and Mary Grey would have to tread carefully to survive.

The dramatic lives of the younger Grey sisters remain little known, but both women became heirs and rivals to the Tudor monarchs, Mary and Elizabeth I. To gain Queen Mary’s trust the teenage Katherine ignored Jane’s final request not to change her religion, only then to risk her life with a marriage that threatened Queen Elizabeth’s throne.

While Katherine’s friends fought to save her, the youngest Grey sister, Mary, remained at court. Considered too poor and plain to be significant, Mary Grey looked set to escape the burden of her royal blood. But then she too fell in love and incurred the Queen’s fury.

Exploding the many myths of Lady Jane Grey’s life, and casting fresh light on Elizabeth’s reign, acclaimed historian Leanda de Lisle brings the Grey sisters’ tumultuous world to life: a time when a royal marriage could gain you a kingdom or cost you everything.