1/5 – DNF at 52%
Let this review be a not so fond farewell to Alison Weir’s fiction. Au revoir! I won’t miss you one bit.
The last two books (not including this one) I’ve read by Weir have been huge misses for me. I hated Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession because Weir just used it as a place to fudge details and, generally, air her dislike for the Boleyn family. I mean, she titled her book about Katherine of Aragon The True Queen if that tells you anything about her thoughts.
Then, Henry VIII: The King and His Court was a boring meander about nothing that actually mattered to his reign and, when she did get into things that mattered, she used primary sources that are seen to be highly biased and went with them as gospel.
This book is a culmination of my growing dislike of Weir. I tried this only because friends I trust about this said it was a lot better than her Anne Boleyn book.
But this was so boring because Jane was boring.
Let me back that up a step. Jane Seymour obviously had something interesting going for her if Henry took her as a queen (even if I think it was a reactionary choice; he wanted something different than his fiery first two wives and she fit the bill). She played the same game that Anne Boleyn played. She used her honor and dignity like Anne did, but Jane made herself out to be meek and mild while Anne was a literal fireball.
But there’s not a lot written about Jane. She had a quiet upbringing. She wasn’t a great beauty. She was just kind of… there. She served as a maid for Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Didn’t catch his eye.
And this book stayed true to her not having a huge role in anything until the moment Henry decides that he wants her. Yet, it, like many other accounts of Jane, put the blame on her family. She’s so pure that she can’t have pursued him herself and that it was all her wicked family making her do all of this.
What a boring take on this woman’s life.
I found it so boring and predictable that I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. Three hundred pages in and I still had over two hundred to go.
Too long of a book for such a boring woman. Too bad Weir didn’t take advantage of her usual fact fudging to make her a super interesting woman to read a nearly six hundred page book about.
Am I just being an ass about Alison Weir?
Who’s your favorite historical figure?