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Her Highness, the Traitor Paperback – June 1, 2012


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Her Highness, the Traitor + The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England + Four Sisters, All Queens
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; 1ST edition (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402265581
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402265587
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Higginbotham brings the court to life, including vividly described costumes and customs, while producing a fresh view of the people closest to the top in those turbulent times. Fans of her earlier work or that of Philippa Gregory will enjoy this story about the women of position in an age ruled almost entirely by men." - Booklist

"Along with historical accuracy, a swift-moving plot and little family details that any mother would remember and treasure, such as Lady Dudley's talking parrot and Lady Grey's dismay at her daughter's surprising lack of common sense, the novel includes characterizations at which this author excels. She takes the infamous villains of history and presents them as relatable human characters.

This book at times made me smile and then cry with the tragedy. I very much recommend it." - Historical Novels Review

"Susan Higginbotham is one of the best accessible historical fiction authors out there and will soon be well known for very enjoyable and well-researched novels." - Burton Book Review

"Author Susan Higginbotham's take on the tale is one of the most complete, most polished, and most well-told versions of the Jane Grey story I've ever read. Not only is Higginbothan an incredibly gifted writer and researcher, but her approach to the subject is unlike any others I've read. " - Diary of a Book Addict

"Higginbotham magnificently weaves together the events leading up to the disinheritance of two royal princesses and the coronation of a young girl more to devoted to books and prayer." - Fresh Fiction

"In Her Highness, the Traitor, Susan Higginbotham turns the story of Jane's short life into a fascinating novel." - Shelf Awareness

"I feel that the author did a very good job of making these women their own and really getting the reader to care about them. " - The Maiden's Court

"Susan's very true to her historical detail. I never fail to come away from one of her books having immensely enjoyed her writing, her story, and most of all that I've learned more about that vast world of history out there so thank you for that Susan!" - Peeking Between the Pages

"This is my first Susan Higginbotham novel, and I look forward to more of her historical narratives." - jaffareadstoo....

"Susan Higginbotham really managed to bring history to life with Her Highness, the Traitor and I loved seeing the 'villains' of history from another perspective." - The Broke and The Bookish

About the Author

Susan Higginbotham is the author of four historical novels, including The Stolen Crown, The Queen of Last Hopes, and Hugh and Bess. The Traitor's Wife, her first novel, is the winner of ForeWord Magazine's 2005 Silver Award for historical fiction and is a Gold Medalist, Historical/Military Fiction, 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards. She writes her own historical fiction blog and is a contributor to the blog Yesterday Revisited. Higginbotham has worked as an editor and an attorney, and lives in North Carolina with her family.

More About the Author

Susan Higginbotham's meticulously researched historical fiction brought to life by her heartfelt writing delights readers. Higginbotham runs her own historical fiction/history blog, History Refreshed by Susan Higginbotham, and owns a bulletin board, Historical Fiction Online. She has worked as an editor and an attorney and lives in Apex, North Carolina, with her family.

Customer Reviews

How she could equate what she did to the love of her God is difficult for us to understand.
EHH
I really enjoyed this book and especially like the author's notes at the end that explained each character and their history more fully.
LHBrown
The author gives us the story of The 9 Day Queen through the eyes of Frances Grey and Jane Dudley.
Rio

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 80 people found the following review helpful By M.Jacobsen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Oh, what a fabulous rendition of the tale of Lady Jane Grey, the young Tudor girl who would rule England for a short nine days before losing her head for her efforts. Some years back, author Alison Weir wrote a lovely novel about Jane Grey, but it was told from Jane's POV in first person narrative, making it impossible to ascertain whether or not Jane really was as perfect and innocent as she was made to be in that novel.

Higginbotham brilliantly solves that problem by alternating viewpoints between Jane's mother, Frances Grey, and Jane Dudley, the mother of Guildford Dudley who would become Jane Grey's erstwhile young husband in an attempt to reconcile two of England's most competitive noble families of the time. This narrative technique allows Higginbotham to present a much more balanced portrait of the young Jane Grey, who was only a teenager when the sickly Edward VI passed away, allegedly adjusting his will at the last moment to name Protestant Jane as his successor rather than his Catholic older sister, Mary (oh yes, *that* Mary). The young age of both Jane and Guildford makes the narrative use of their mothers quite engaging, as childhood personalities and family biases are easily revealed.

Higginbotham makes no judgements in this novel, leaving that job for her readers. She presents the known information about the Grey and Dudley family machinations of the time, leaving you to decide what was rumor, what was likely true, and whether the punishment later meted out fit the crime. Like many historical fiction novels that revolve around royalty, there are the inevitable jumble of titles, names, and convoluted relationships. Higginbotham does an admirable job keeping everything straight for the reader without compromising accuracy.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia McArthur on June 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is not the story of the nine-day Queen, Lady Jane Grey, but of her family, her husband Guildford Dudley's family, and how they were affected by King Edward VI's device for the succession. It is told from the points of view of Lady Jane Dudley and Lady Frances Grey, the mothers of the would-be ruling couple. Here the infamous Duke of Northumberland, John Dudley, becomes a devoted and attentive husband; he is a firm leader for England and peaceful about meeting his gruesome end. Lady Frances becomes not a mean, ambitious mother, but a woman who loved but could not relate to her intelligent teenage daughter, Jane.

The story begins with Henry VIII's death and recaps all of the classic anecdotes from this time: Katherine Parr's shocking remarriage and death, Lady Mary Tudor's failed attempt to escape England and her imagined religious persecution, and the feud between Northumberland and Somerset, resulting in Somerset's demise against the English population's wishes - all leading up to Edward VI's plans to make his Protestant cousin Jane the queen of England. But it also provides the stories behind the stories, told from the fresh perspectives of the mothers involved.

Along with historical accuracy, a swift-moving plot and little family details that any mother would remember and treasure, such as Lady Dudley's talking parrot and Lady Grey's dismay at her daughter's surprising lack of common sense, the novel includes characterizations at which this author excels. She takes the infamous villains of history and presents them as relatable human characters.

This book at times made me smile and then cry with the tragedy. I very much recommend it.

My review courtesy of the Historical Novel Society.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Colleen T. on August 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
For lovers of Tudor fiction, Her Highness, the Traitor presents two unique voices that describe the struggle for power that occurred after the death of Henry VIII: Jane Dudley, Duchess of Northumberland and Francis Grey, Duchess of Suffolk. As different as these women are they are forced together in the battle for the throne of England and both will learn that much must be sacrificed for the chance at greatness, whether you want it or not. This is their story.

Jane Dudley, the daughter of a knight, was not raised in grandeur but on the periphery of the sparkling court of King Henry VIII. Having been raised with her future husband, John Dudley, since he became the ward of her family when his father was executed as a traitor to the King, their marriage was a love match that never fizzled and which produced 13 children that lived beyond childhood. There house is a happy home, full of love, laughter and loyalty to their King. When the King dies, leaving his nine-year-old son, Edward VI, as heir, her husband John is placed on the council lead by the Lord Protector, the young king's uncle Edward Seymour, that is set up to help oversee the kingdom until he reaches his majority. As John's influence and favor with Edward VI continues to rise so do the titles, riches and favors for his family. But the higher he rises the more enemies the Dudleys collect, placing them all in a tenuous balance between greatness and destruction.

Francis Grey, the daughter of a queen and the niece of Henry VIII, has always done what she must as a credit to her royal blood. Her arranged marriage to Henry Grey was never about love but advancement and while he is not cruel to her he rarely consults her on matters outside the running of their household.
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