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Historical Fiction Review – Her Highness, The Traitor

Her Highness, the Traitor by Susan Higginbotham

Review by Jerelyn (I-F-Letty)


Susan Higginbotham’s Her Highness, the Traitor, is what great historical fiction should always be.  Ms. Higginbotham is not a litigator but she is a lawyer and has a lawyer’s sensibility, and I think that is why she is uniquely qualified to present a case about historical people who have been so maligned or misunderstood, and why she is so good at it.  Her research as always, is impeccable. While I do not always agree with her conclusions I trust that she has been diligent in her fact finding.  Her hypothesis is always thought provoking and very interesting to read.

Now about the book, I had only a pedestrian’s knowledge of the reign of Edward VI, and then Lady Jane Grey’s, tragic nine day reign.  I have read that the parents of Lady Jane had brutally forced her into a marriage with Guildford Dudley, and then forced them to claim the throne as the Queen and her consort.  I heard that Jane was intelligent, but I never realized just how intelligent, nor did I know that she had nearly become a martyr to the Protestant cause (had they had such things.)  Nor did I realize her writings on the reformation where so widely published.

Ms. Higginbotham is just the author to strip away all the salacious nonsense.  Jane’s parents have been portrayed by the “poor Jane” camp as abusive and uncaring.  Guildford Dudley’s parents have been portrayed as murderous, power hungry, opportunists. The question here is: was The Duke of Northumberland following his King’s last wishes to see his Protestant cousin Lady Jane on the throne, opposed to his “illegitimate”, Catholic half sister the Lady Mary on the throne? Ms. Higginbotham thankfully gives a balanced portrayal of these two powerful protestant families. Where they ambitious?  Well yeah! Was that unusual? NO!

My only criticism is a small one.   I had to go back and forth in the beginning to see who was telling the story, but I ironed that out early on, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 4 stars

Her Highness, the Traitor will be released on June 1, 2012.


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One Response to “Historical Fiction Review – Her Highness, The Traitor”

  1. Brenna B. (demiducky25) says:

    Thanks for the great review, I’m adding it to my wishlist! 🙂

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