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England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life And Death Of Lady Jane Grey

Review posted on BBC’s website in December 2017. Episode 1:

“In this three-part series for BBC Four, historian Helen Castor pieces together the astonishing true story of Lady Jane Grey – the first reigning Queen of England.

We may think we know the history: an innocent teen thrust onto the throne and beheaded as a traitor after reigning for just nine days. But Helen discovers original documents that reveal a Tudor thriller – an epic story of dynastic rivalry, intrigue and betrayal. A young woman manipulated by older men who ends up losing her life as a result.

In July 1553, Tudor England is rocked by a constitutional crisis. Henry VIII’s young son Edward dies with no male heir to inherit the throne. Having never had a reigning Queen, England now has two who claim the title. Two women prepared to fight for the throne – the 37 year-old Catholic Mary Tudor and the teenage Protestant Jane Grey.

In this first episode, Helen Castor reveals an incendiary document, written in Edward’s spidery handwriting on his deathbed, which cuts his sister Mary out of the line of succession and leaves the throne to his cousin Jane. It forms the basis of a constitutional crisis that dragged the country to the edge of civil war.

But was it Edward’s idea? Or was the boy king manipulated by sinister forces behind the throne? Fearing a return to Catholicism, a cabal of rich and powerful men led by the Duke of Northumberland – the ‘Wicked Duke’ – covered up the King’s death for several days and staged a coup, placing Lady Jane Grey on the throne without even telling her.

Within a day of Jane being told she is to be Queen she enters the Tower of London, whilst Mary goes on the run to avoid capture and plan her revenge.

Confirmed for BBC Four on 9 January at 9pm to 10pm.

Pictured: Dr Helen Castor in front of the Delaroche painting, The Execution Of Lady Jane Grey.”

 

Article taken from BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2018/02/lady-jane-grey-ep1

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