A TV series about Lady Jane Grey was announced at the Edinburgh TV Festival today.
‘Lady Jane Grey: To Kill A Queen’ will be shown on BBC 4 and is presented by Helen Castor (Jane featured in Helen’s book, ‘She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth’ and also in the TV series of the same name).
The series will include well known ‘Jane’ historians Leanda de Lisle and J Stephan Edwards, as well as Tudor authorities John Guy and Anna Whitelock.
The BBC Press Release:
Lady Jane Grey: To Kill A Queen
In 1553 the country is taken to the brink of a bloody civil war when the dying King Edward VI, son of Henry VIII, leaves the throne, not to his elder sister, Mary, but to his cousin, the Lady Jane Grey.
This is a story of intrigue, conspiracy, political manoeuvring and a capital city preparing to be attacked. It is also the story of a young woman, ferociously manipulated by powerful men in the palace, who ends up losing her life as a result.
The life of Lady Jane Grey is a tragic narrative. From the moment Edward VI draws Jane into the line of succession, her terrible fate, on the block in the Tower of London, is sealed.
Helen Castor is a historian and a medievalist who has studied the She Wolves, those women who held power in various ways throughout the medieval period. Now she sets out to take a close look at the first woman to sit on the English throne, not as consort, but as a reigning Queen. But Helen discovers far more than a story about a Tudor Queen. The story of Jane Grey is surrounded by myth, confusion and propaganda. Images turn out not to be Jane, well known stories turn out to be fake and many of the books disagree on the details. Helen asks why the first woman to be proclaimed Queen of England has attracted so much bending of the truth.
Helen discovers some Tudor detective work and turns back to the primary sources in an attempt to separate the truth from the fiction. She builds the real story of Jane Grey and those dark figures that surrounded her, and traces her world, and the nine days she spent on the throne.
Lady Jane Grey: To Kill A Queen, presented by Helen Castor, features some of the best known Tudor historians, including Leanda DeLisle, John Guy, J Stephan Edwards and Anna Whitelock. The film features The Tower of London, Greenwich, Hampton Court, Framlingham Castle and many of the primary sources currently held in leading museums and libraries. It also uses new graphic-drama sequences throughout.
The series was commissioned by Cassian Harrison, channel editor BBC Four and Tom McDonald, Head of commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual. The commissioning editor is Abigail Priddle. The series is being made by Darlow Smithson Productions.’
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