"Jane Grey's tragedy was her royal blood. As Henry VIII's great-niece she stood perilously close to the throne and from her early childhood was used as a pawn in the deadly power game of Tudor politics. Jane was not happy at home - she once famously remarked that she thought herself in hell in her parents' company - and sought consolation in her studies and the uncompromising Protestantism fashionable in the 1550s." "When it became clear that her cousin Edward VI was dying Jane was forced into marriage with a son of the powerful John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and confronted with the news that the king had made her his heir. So began her reign as the Nine Days Queen, leading to her imprisonment in the Tower and execution at the age of sixteen." "The circumstances of her life and death inevitably made her a martyr and have so coloured posterity's view of her that it is difficult now to see beyond the familiar image of Protestant saint and heroine. But the real Jane, small, red-haired and freckled, was surely a more disturbing personality than the sentimental myths suggest." "It is forty years since the last full-length study of Jane Grey and this is another look at the brilliantly gifted child who was developing into a passionate, forceful young woman. While there is no doubt that Jane was the sacrificial victim of Tudor realpolitik, Alison Plowden reveals, with insight and skill, the complex intensity of the woman behind the myth."--BOOK JACKET.