Jane Grey's tragedy was her royal blood. As Henry VIII's great-niece she stood perilously close to the throne and from early childhood was used as a pawn in the deadly power game of Tudor politics. Jane was not happy at home - she once famously remarked that she thought herself in hell in her parents' company - and sought consolation in her studies and the uncompromising Protestantism fashionable in the l550s.
When it became clear that her cousin Edward VI was dying she was forced into marriage with a son of the powerful John Dudley Duke of Northumberland and confronted with the news that the king had made her his heir. So began her reign as the Nine Days Queen, leading to her imprisonment in the Tower and execution at the age of sixteen. Alison Plowden reveals with insight and skill the complex intensity of the woman behind the myth, the brilliantly gifted child who was developing into a passionate, forceful young woman.