Book Review
Lady Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey

by Simonetta Carr
63 pages

This book joins four we have in the well written, beautifully illustrated, and nicely produced hard-back series called "Christian Biographies for Young Readers".  I'm not quite sure what "young readers" means.  This is certainly for readers older than those who read Make Way for Ducklings.  And it is certainly worthwhile reading for some "young" 73 year-old history-of-Christianity buffs.

To interest you in this book and show you what it is like, I quote the first words in the book:

"Lady Jane Grey lived almost seventeen years and ruled England for less than two weeks."

About her childhood with Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's last wife:

"Jane and Katherine shared a passion for books, fine clothes, and jewels, music, art, and dancing.  Most of all, however, they both loved the message of the gospel."

At about age twelve:

"Her main teacher...was a kind and gentle man who appreciated women's talents at a time when some people thought women were not fit to study or write.  She learned all the basic school subjects, including Latin and Greek...she also learned some Hebrew, so she could read the Old Testament of the Bible as it was originally written..."

At age sixteen:

"She had, in fact, determined to live her last days and die as a true Christian, not only keeping her faith but also showing confidence in God...As she waited, she wrote a long prayer to God...In spite of all her sins, His 'Son Christ shed His precious blood on the cross' for her...'I am absolutely persuaded that all Thou doest can only be well,' she said."  'I ground my faith on God's Word and not upon the church.'

Her last words were,

"Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit."

The book includes helpful extras, a map, a timeline, a letter to her sister, and various notes about the times, including,

"Younger children played many of the same games we still enjoy today.  In winter, they like to throw snowballs and play with sleds and ice skates."

This isn't a "feel-good" book.  It clearly isn't for younger children.  But don't think of it as for youth, only.  Anybody can find this interesting and rewarding.