Lady Jane Grey
The Streatham portrait, discovered at the beginning of the 21st century and believed to be a copy of a contemporary portrait of Lady Jane Grey.

While I liked the book, it was not an easy read. I think it could have benefited *greatly* from an editor. Keep in mind, too, that I am an American reading a book on English history. A Brit might not have so much trouble with it?

This is the first Ives book I’ve read — I have a few more in the TBR pile, though — and I probably should have picked a different one for the first time out. I’ll find out soon enough when I start the next one.

If you aren’t seriously up-to-speed on 16th century English history, geography and naming conventions, you’re going to struggle here. You need to already know what he’s talking about to know what he’s talking about. The first few chapters, especially, are very confusing and seem to assume that “everyone already knows this stuff.” At this point, I considered not finishing the book. I’m glad I stuck with it, though, because it was easier to follow after the first section or two, but it never gets easy.

It was tough enough keeping up with the various Dudleys, Greys, Howards, etc. — not just parents and siblings, but also in-laws, nieces, nephews and distant cousins. But then he refers to them sometimes by their titles, sometimes by their given names, and does this while writing about several people from several families all in the same paragraph — sometimes in the same sentence.

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