Queen for a Day: Book Review of Lady Jane Grey
Okay… so this isn’t my book review… it belongs to Irene Huizing: lover of Christ, elder’s wife, editor extraordinare, servant of the church. Sometimes I put Irene up to things… like writing book reviews. Here is a short book review of Lady Jane Grey, a book that you should buy for your children, children’s children, and all that are afar off. I really appreciate what reformed authors such as Simonetta Carr are doing to bring vibrant church history to our children. Have a look…
Queen For a Day: A Review of Lady Jane Grey
Reviewer: Irene Huizing
Lady Jane Grey was queen for more than a day, but not much more, such a short time that history remembers her not as Queen Jane, but Lady Jane as she was called most of her short life. Through the skillful pen of author Simonetta Carr, young readers acquire a picture of court life in 16th century England as they learn about the godly life of Lady Jane Grey. Photographs interspersed throughout the book and beautifully crafted Illustrations by Matt Abraxas, as well as a helpful timeline and fact sheet at the end, further help today’s reader understand the very different life Lady Jane would have led and appreciate more fully her faithful commitment to the glory of God.
Shortly after Lady Jane Grey’s birth in 1937, King Henry VIII and his wife, Jane Seymour, had a son, Edward, who later became king in 1547 at the age of 9 following King Henry’s death. In God’s providence, both Edward and Jane were raised under the influence of Protestant Reformers and Carr illustrates in the book their growing desire to glorify God and promote Reformed Protestant faith throughout their short lives. In her pursuit of a godly life, Lady Jane never sought the crown, but was willing to follow God’s call on her life. Upon King Edward’s death at the age of 16, Jane was informed of the king’s declaration that Lady Jane should succeed him on the throne, in part to assure the continuation of Protestantism in England during a time when the country was making a painfully slow transition from Roman Catholicism to the Protestant Church of England. Confused and reticent at first, in the end “she asked God to help her rule to His glory and service and for the good of the kingdom—if that was His will.” (p. 32)
History has already informed us that her rule ended less than 2 weeks after her coronation when Mary Seymour successfully overthrew the throne. After a time under house arrest, Lady Jane was sent to her execution at the young age of 17. Carr paints a beautiful, though bittersweet, picture of Lady Jane as she steps up to the execution block, selflessly dying to the glory of God just as she had lived. Through Lady Jane’s life in this newest book in the “Christian Biographies for Young Readers” series published by Reformation Heritage Books, Carr challenges young readers to seek even in their youth to live godly lives, resolutely serving and glorifying Christ in whatever circumstances He brings before them. And as is true with all classic children’s books, Carr’s message resonates with the older generation as well. I heartily recommend this excellent book, due to be released in August 2012.
Order Lady Jane Grey from: Reformation Heritage Books here.
Due to be released in August 2012
Review by Irene Huizing