9 thoughts on “The Frock Flicks Guide to Lady Jane Grey on Film

  1. Nothing really substantive to say other than… I forgot how beautiful Cary Elwes was.

    (Also, that red gown in the Streatham portrait is astounding!)

  2. I love how Helena’s Jane is really “not having” her husband’s behavior all through the wedding feast. She sits there rolling her eyes and disapproving.

    I have to stand up a little bit for her mother. Apparently, while she was strict with Jane (as a lot of parents are), her beating her daughter into submission may have been exaggerated; the most recent book I read about the family suggested there’s no proof of that extreme of an abuse level. Unfortunately, the movie / popular rumors always paint her as beating Jane to within an inch of her life, which isn’t entirely fair if it’s untrue. :P

    Not that… Hollywood cares for telling the truth. Please see: the Tudors and anything adapted from PFG novels. :P

    1. The picture of the Greys as abusive parents comes from an account, some time after the fact, by Roger Ascham of a conversation with Jane in which she complains of her parents’ mistreating her. Ascham is using Jane to make a point about corporal punishment being counterproductive so maybe not totally factual. Our other main source on Jane’s relationship with her parents is the letter she wrote to Queen Mary in which she is making a case for her life and so engaging in ‘spin’ if not outright lying.

      Jane certainly was not the moving spirit behind the plot to put her on the throne but by contemporary accounts she didn’t put up much resistance. Indeed she threw herself into her new role which is understandable given her religious convictions. Jane was a fiery little thing, highly opinionated and intolerant. She was probably difficult to live with.

      Jane doesn’t seem to have had anything against Guildford personally. Her problem with the marriage was John Dudley. She was terrified of the man, even accusing him of trying to poison her. It is significant that Jane clung to her parents for protection from Dudley.

      Henry Grey was an incompetent political intriguer but a sincere supporter of the Protestant religion and there are some indications he and Jane were close, or at least in sympathy religiously. When they were both in the Tower after the Wyatt rebellion Grey was full of grief and guilt over what he’d done to his daughter and Jane wrote him quite a nice, forgiving letter assuring him that she wasn’t sorry to die and she would pray for him in heaven. Her father made a good end himself, strongly stating his devotion to the Protestant religion. Jane would have been proud of him.

  3. I love this post! I’ve found Lady Jane fascinating ever since I read “The Nine Days Queen” by Karleen Bradford in my early teens. This post has reminded me that I really need to pull that book out (i kept it all these years!) and reread it as an adult – and track down all these films as well!

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