This week we’ll delve into another genre I love: historical fiction. One of my favorite time periods to read about is the time of Henry VIII of England and Queen Elizabeth I. That’s one of the reasons that I enjoy reading Alison Weir.
I first discovered her when I was given Innocent Traitor for my birthday a couple of years ago. The book is about the Lady Jane Grey. If you know anything about this time period, Lady Jane Grey was a protestant who, after the death of Henry VIII’s son Edward VI, became Queen of England for nine days. (Jane was his cousin.) She was set up as queen by the Duke of Northumberland, subverting the claims of Mary and Elizabeth (Henry VIII’s two daughters).
I won’t go into details, but the book was well researched and well written. I devoured it.
The next book by Weir that I picked up was The Lady Elizabeth. This is about Queen Elizabeth I. I read about as many books about Elizabeth I as I can get my hands on, but this one is my favorite of all that I’ve read. Weir, who is a very well-respected historian, writes the fiction while staying true to the history. When you read her novels, you can obviously tell she has done her research.
Now, Weir was first a nonfiction author, writing biographies of England’s kings and queens. She has many (see her Goodreads page) and I’ve bought a few. I’ve read The Life of Elizabeth I and the Princes of the Tower, and while these are definitely nonfiction and more “boring” than her fiction works, they are still good reads if you want to learn more about that time period.