Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lady Jane Grey 4: Book & Movie Reviews

In a previous post about Lady Jane Grey, I’ve mentioned about ‘Innocent Traitor’ and ‘Lady Jane’, a book and a movie based on Lady Jane’s life. In this post I will do a brief review of both.

Book Title: Innocent Traitor
Author: Alison Weir

Review: I especially enjoyed reading ‘Innocent Traitor’. It describes the life of Lady Jane Grey in detail, and gives the readers an insight of her life. As Alison Weir is a well-known historian who has done much research, it can be assured that the details in this book are historically accurate. Well, most of it, anyway.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lady Jane Grey 3: Summary

Lady Jane Grey 2: Facts and Fiction

So Lady Jane was dead; but her story lives on. As time passed, more and more details were added to it, to make her image suit the ideals of the times. She was depicted as the very first Marian martyr, an innocent Protestant maiden who was good, devout and pious, ready to die for her faith. 

The famous painting by Paul Delaroche depicts a beautiful maiden, dressed in a flowing white dress, her eyes bound by a white cloth. She is guided to the block; two ladies are overwhelmed with grief, while the executioner waits, axe in hand. The beauty of the maiden with her helpless form contrasts with tragic atmosphere of the painting. The grey walls behind suggests a closed room, which is historically inaccurate, as Jane was executed in the open on a scaffold. In reality, her hair would probably be bound up (imagine how those flowing tresses would get in the way), and she is said to have worn black—the same dress that she had worn to her trial. But nevertheless, it does picture how many have come to view Jane throughout the years—a helpless victim, the ideal embodiment of female purity and submission.

Lady Jane Grey 1: The Nine-Days Queen

She was innocent; yet she was beheaded as a traitor. She was young, yet she was firm in matters regarding religion. She was crowned a monarch, yet she was often referred to as ‘Lady’, rather than ‘Queen.’
The details of her reign are shaky. Can she be considered as England’s first queen? Or should the title go to Mary I, the rightful heir to the throne? Many only know her as the ‘nine-days queen’, Interestingly, some take her reign as ’13 days’—that is, if you take the days between Edward I’s death (6 July 1553) to the day Jane was declared as queen (9 July 1553) into account. Her reign ended drastically on 19 July, when Mary I was declared as queen instead.

 There are so many details of Lady Jane’s life that remain shrouded in mystery. Her life was exceedingly coloured with the ideals of later historians, many who pictured her as an innocent, helpless young girl who was pushed onto the throne—and eventually, the block, by her ambitious parents and father-in-law. Yet, how big was her role in deciding her fate? Was she truly the passive victim that many thought her to be? 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Beauty of Xiaohe

Non-Asian looking mummies were found in China. These mummies are approximately 4000 years old. There was one particular mummy, even though dead, have turned the heads of many. The implications of the European features (many details are still in tact, such as eyelashes)? I'm not so sure. This article consists of pictures only, because I'm not very clear about the details. Good to share though!  She is the most beautiful mummy on Earth!
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