Sisters of Treason

3 Oct

I will state right now that Philippa Gregory has SERIOUS competition.  Elizabeth Fremantle is by far the best historical fiction writer I have come across in years.

In “Sisters of Treason” Elizabeth Fremantle tells the story of Lady Jane Grey’s two younger sisters, Katherine and Mary.  Katherine, who was a serious contender as Elizabeth I’s heir, and Mary, who suffered the curse of the Plantagenet’s, scoliosis, are often ignored by historical fiction writers in favour of their cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots.

Interwoven with the story of the Grey sisters is that of artist Levina Teerlinc, a reknowned miniaturist whose work is held in the V&A, amongst other places.

Katherine and Mary are interestingly portrayed.  Katherine as a woman lead by her emotions, and Mary, as one lead by her intellect.  Indeed, from what we know of Mary, she was considered as precocious a scholar as her older sister Jane and her cousin Elizabeth.

Both women lived their lives in the shadow of both their father and sister’s treason, and the displeasure and distrust of their cousin Elizabeth.
Beautifully written and enthralling, Elizabeth Fremantle is a writer to watch.  I’ve read two of her books, and am keen to get my hands on her other two (all she has written – so far).

Highly recommended to all lovers of historical fiction.

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