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The Tower of London - William Harrison Ainsworth - Vintage - c.1900s

The Tower of London - William Harrison Ainsworth - Vintage - c.1900s

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The Tower of London

Written by William Harrison Ainsworth

Published by W Nicholson & Sons Ltd;  c 1900s, 390pp


Fine condition red cloth hardback. Gold gilt text on cover and spine. Boards and pages are clean and in fine condition. There is some cracking to the guttering at various points, most prevalent on back end page and board. Fine copy.


The plot begins with Lady Jane Grey, wife of Guilford Dudley and daughter-in-law to the Duke of Northumberland, as she enters the Tower of London on 10 July 1553. Prior to her entrance into the Tower, she ruled as Queen of England for nine days after she and her husband were put on the throne by the Duke of Northumberland. Soon after, Mary I was able to take control of England and sent the Duke to be executed. Dudley, to gain back the kingdom, formed a rebellion, which results in failure and the imprisonment of both himself and his wife. After the imprisonment, Simon Renard, the Spanish Ambassador to England, arranges a marriage between Mary and Philip of Spain to bring a Catholic take over of England.

The events of the book alternate between historical background and the plot of Lady Jane. In Book II, incidents throughout the history of England from William the Conqueror to the 1820 Cato Street conspiracy are mentioned. The novel returns to Lady Jane busying herself with prayer as she awaits her execution with her only hope for freedom is to become a Catholic. There are conspiracies over Mary's rule of England, which come from those who supported the imprisoned Lady Jane and also those who wish to put Elizabeth, the Protestant daughter of Henry VIII, on the throne. However, neither of these two sides succeed before the novel ends, and Lady Jane is executed.
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