ARC Review: Jane Seymour

(click to pre-order!)

I’m going to begin by saying that I was kind of dreading this one given that I absolutely loathed the one about Anne Boleyn. I suppose I’m biased, given how much I like Anne. I feel as though history paints her as “the whore” but we need to remember that Henry was the king. Women back then didn’t get much of a say in how things went. But let us not dwell on semantics. I could get legnthy.

Regardless, here we go!

I actually came away liking Jane a bit more after having read this. Weir brings us an imagined version of Jane as to why she didn’t marry earlier–she wanted to be a nun. Whilst we have no way in knowing why in reality Jane didn’t marry earlier, it was an interesting take upon it. One wonders if that is the truth or if she really was plain and had trouble finding someone willing. Her family wasn’t in the poorhouse, so it would seem peculiar that a woman of good stock and was of marrying age wasn’t married. Not to mention her younger sister married before her.

The book, of course, introduces us to the entire Seymour clan and brings us to Wulfhall (Wolf Hall for Hilary Mantel fans) leading us though Jane’s life, the history of the family, their joys and sorrows..it’s a lively take on the family life and it’s interesting to see how things worked then.

Once Jane gets to court, first serving Katherine of Aragon, then Anne Boleyn, we get a good viewing of what life was like back then. I was amused by Jane’s naivety sometimes but was also irritated in some moments. I also found Sir Francis Bryan trying to woo her as a bit odd. But, that was court life. A young, unattached woman with access to the Queen? Always a draw for this hoping to reach high levels.

It was interesting to get an idea of how Jane may have felt about the swiftness of her courtship with the King and how fast Anne had her downfall. There are moments where Jane really pondered her part in the whole thing and it was easy to feel sympathy for her. At least I did.

We, of course, know what happens to Jane, so I won’t bore you with that. But I think you’ll be surprised that you will see more to ‘Plain Jane’ than you thought.

This book has made Jane rise like her personal device, a phoenix. We often dismiss her for being plain and otherwise useless but I think Jane Seymour is quite admirable, given how she risked her neck for trying to save the monestaries, people in the tower as well as trying to reconcile Henry and the Lady Mary.

Sometimes, it’s the quiet ones who really surprise us all.

Additional Notes:

  • Iā€™d give it ā˜…ā˜…ā˜… stars.
  • I was provided a copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. šŸ˜€
  • I would recommend this to a friend! (I know, surprising!)

8 thoughts on “ARC Review: Jane Seymour”

  1. I’m glad you liked this! Was it better than her Anne Boleyn one? (For reference, I absolutely despised it. But, I often dislike Weir’s fiction ventures. And even her non-fiction since she’s so shoddy.)

    – Caidyn

    Liked by 1 person

      1. One of my friends got an ARC of it (she’s a historian and has published some stuff and is an author for a Tudor magazine) and she said the same thing about both books. Anne was bad, Jane was better. I’m hesitant about the book, though. I don’t trust Weir anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s very cool! Your friend is living my dream, haha. I was approved and I admit I was like, “Oh.” I didn’t mind this one, really. I liked that Jane was given a bit more of a personality than history gives her. I don’t entirely trust her. I hope she does Anne of Cleves justice. What pisses me off about her is that she’ll write this stuff…and then people swear it’s gospel. -_-

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah! I read her book, too, which is how we know each other. I just hate how Weir falls into the gap like all historians with Jane being a goody-goody when she was just as conniving as Anne. And, I agree about Anne of Cleves. I have a feeling it’s going to be awkward since she outlives Henry by a long time.

        And, your whole gospel thing: That’s how I feel about Philippa Gregory. Alison Weir technically doesn’t have a degree in history. Same with Gregory. They kind of gloss that over. And Weir twists history just like Gregory.

        Liked by 1 person

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