Debut author Fox sheds new light on the lesser-known life of Anne Boleyn’s sister-in-law.
The author vividly captures a pivotal moment in English history in an engrossing text that dances with devilry, opulence and deception as Tudor court intrigue swirls around Henry VIII and his various queens. After Henry dispensed with Catherine of Aragon so that he could marry Anne, Jane was privy to dazzling displays of pageantry, and she witnessed the entrance of a new queen, a new religion and ultimately the Reformation. This account of her life as an intimate of the doomed Anne offers an intensely personal look inside the day-to-day rhythms of court life. Fox is especially deft at conveying the walking-on-eggshells sensation experienced by all Henry’s women, who knew only too well that they were expendable. Although Jane is something of a bit-player in the book’s first half, after both Anne and her brother George (Jane’s husband) are put to death, her own story and personality come into sharper focus. Living to serve as lady-in-waiting to two more of Henry’s wives, Jane’s own path to the executioner’s block was paved by Catherine Howard, the king’s ill-fated fifth wife.
A sparkling chronicle, fine-tuned to the personal stories that lend texture and emotion to a biography.