Crown of Blood
Nicola Tallis

Crown of Blood

‘Good people, I am come hither to die, and by a law I am condemned to the same’. These were the heartbreaking words of a seventeen-year-old girl, Lady Jane Grey, as she stood on the scaffold awaiting death on a cold February morning in 1554. Minutes later her head was struck from her body with a single stroke of a heavy axe, and her soul winged its way to the Protestant heaven in which she had so vehemently believed. Her death for high treason sent shockwaves through the Tudor world, and served as a gruesome reminder to all who aspired to a crown that the axe could fall at any time.

Jane is known to history as ‘the Nine Days Queen’, and while her story has been told, historians often ignore the human and emotional aspects of it. Furthermore the recent trend of trying to highlight her achievements and her religious faith has in fact further obscured the real Jane, a young religious radical who saw herself as an advocate of Protestantism, and ultimately became a martyr for her faith. Crown of Blood is an important and significant retelling of an often misread tale: set at the time of Jane’s fall and following her journey through to her trial and execution, each chapter moves between the past and the ‘present’ in order to unravel the grim tapestry of Lady Jane Grey’s life, and chart the deadly intrigues that led inexorably to its horrific and searing climax. 

Book Details:

  • Author: Nicola Tallis
  • On Submission
  • Rights Sold
    • US: Pegasus
    • UK: Michael O'Mara

Nicola Tallis

Nicola Tallis graduated from Bath Spa University with a first class BA Hons. degree in History, and has an MA in Public History from Royal Holloway College, University of London. She is currently conducting research for her PhD at the University of Winchester, where her thesis investigates the jewellery collections of the queens of England between 1445 and 1548. She has been passionate about English history all of her life, and has worked as a historical researcher, and with Historic Royal Palaces and the National Trust. Nicola currently works as the Curator at Sudeley Castle, and featured...
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Book Reviews

  • "Crown of Blood is authoritative, thoughtful, and elegantly written. Telling use of original sources makes fresh and vivid—as well as moving—the story of a girl too often dismissed as a mere blank canvas onto which others could write. A genuinely impressive debut."
    Sarah Gristwood, author of Blood Sisters and Game of Queens
  • "Through meticulous research, Nicola Tallis pieces Lady Jane Grey’s fascinating story together, and in so doing brings this extraordinary young woman vividly to life.  Engagingly written and utterly compelling throughout.  A stunning debut."
    Tracy Borman, author of The Private Lives of the Tudors and Thomas Cromwell
  • "Popular myths and earlier historical interpretations of key events receive fresh analysis aided by diligent research…Tallis’s clear writing and well-paced narrative heighten the story’s climactic and tragic ending."
    Publishers Weekly
  • "stunning...throws new light on the dramatic life of one of the most tragic figures in history...Drawing on new research, Tallis presents Jane as complex, intelligent, charismatic, radical and, ultimately, courageous."
    BBC History Magazine 'Books of the Year'
  • "  Nicola Tallis has succeeded in bringing Lady Jane Grey out of the shadows, and is thoroughly deserving of all the praise she has thus far received. Crown of Blood is an enlightening and outstanding debut.  "
  • "narrates these dramatic events with all the verve and excitement that they deserve…Nicola Tallis combines Jane’s virtues as a scrupulous scholar herself, with a colourful background of how Tudor England looked, sounded and smelled. She has succeeded in drawing Jane out of the shadows…"
    The Spectator
  • "A highly intelligent and hugely enjoyable study which brings us as close to a flesh-and-blood Lady Jane Grey as we may ever come. The sources are scant but Tallis has uncovered some additional evidence – a few letters and legal documents – which casts new light on Jane’s character and motivation. Skilfully sifting and weighing the factual material, she has pieced together a convincing narrative which she unspools with verve."
    History Today
  • "a well-written, well-footnoted and obviously well researched look at the life of Lady Jane Grey… Tallis has written a very comprehensive bibliography which is a valuable resource for Tudor historians. I cannot recommend this book enough. It was hard to put it down."
    The Freelance History Writer: Notes and Reviews