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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Book Review: Plain Jane by Laurien Gardner

Cover of Plain Jane by Laurien Gardner
Plain Jane by Laurien Gardner
Book 3 in Tudor Women series
Paperback, 352 pages
Berkley Trade
July 1, 2008
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Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Personal Collection
"With a plain face, Jane Seymour has no suitors and few hopes. Then she is granted a position at court as maid of honor to Queen Catherine. There, Henry VIII ignores his aging wife, showering favor on the dark beauty Anne Boleyn, soon to be his new queen. But he tires of stubborn Anne, and his wandering eye falls on plain Jane. Although she cares for Henry, she must not let herself be swept away by his attentions. For she intends to win not only his heart but also the greatest prize of all--the crown."
Queen Jane Seymour is one of the lesser known Queens of King Henry VIII and most certainly one of the least written about. Plain Jane by Laurien Gardner is the first book that I have read about Queen Jane and it did not disappoint.

The story begins at Wolf Hall, the family home of the Seymour's and we are introduced to Jane as a child. Her parents do not think that there are any prospects for Jane to find a husband and expect they will send her to a nunnery, because she is so plain. When the unlikely invitation is extended for Jane to join the court of Queen Catherine a chain of events are set off ultimately bringing her to the role of Queen.

This novel brings the reader through the reigns of Queen Catherine, Queen Anne, and then Queen Jane. What I found interesting is that these events are seen from the perspective of Jane where as most other books show these events from Anne's or Catherine's perspective. Much of the early portion of Jane's life is fictionalized, as not much is know about her before becoming Queen.

Overall, I found this author to be a very engaging writer. I would say that the writer's style is somewhat similar to Philippa Gregory. The characters are very well developed and the story flows convincingly through the years. I would recommend this to any one who want to know more of the story about Queen Jane Seymour.
Other blogger's reviews of this book:
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Also by Laurien Gardner:
the spanish bride
The Spanish Bride (Book 1 of Tudor Women series)
a lady raised high
A Lady Raised High (Book 2 of Tudor Women series)

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. It's good to 'meet ' another history fan. I do like your blog. I have just bought 'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel , reviews say it will be a good Tudor read.
    Have you seen the Jean Plaidy site , there's a reading challenge too. Check my blog for details, that is if you like Jean Plaidy!

  2. Good review!!! I had wanted to know what someone thought of this book. Need to add this 1 to my TBR list.

  3. Just in case you did not know.. Laurien Gardner is a pen name for THREE Different writers. Arleigh had to tell me that one! I did enjoy Plain Jane (by romance author Jennifer Ashley!) as well so when I bought two others by "Gardner" that's when I found out and I was a bit betrayed! I have not read the other two yet but are on my TBR pile. We'll see how they compare with Jennifer Ashley's writing.

  4. I've had this one FOREVER, but haven't gotten to it yet....might have to bump it up the list! Thanks for the review!


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