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вторник, 6 декабря 2011 г.

People of England: The Nine Days' Queen

At some point in her life this noble woman was declared Queen of England, but following the short period of her reign her residence was moved to the Tower of London. Her time in power lasted only nine days; at the end of this period she was convicted of high treason and ultimately executed. Consequently, she is often referred to as the "Nine Days' Queen." Who was this mysterious queen?

Her name was Lady Jane Grey. After the death of King Henry VIII his son, Prince Edward VI, inherited the throne. Being extremely sick and weak, the newly established King did not manage to remain in power for a long time. Professing the Protestant faith and leaving "The Common Book of Prayer" as one of his most significant accomplishments, Edward nominated Lady Jane Grey, his first-cousin-once-removed, to be the successor to the Crown. 

In his attempt to uphold Protestantism in England, Edward was not willing to allow his half-sister Mary, who was Catholic, to succeed him. However, shortly after his death, the news of Edward's plans regarding Lady Jane's reign spread, and Mary arrived in England from Spain to reclaim the throne. Thus Lady Jane Grey was convicted of high treason and executed 6 months after she had been dethroned.

Here's an interesting historical program about her short life as the English Queen. Watch it and complete the assignments below:

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  1. Watch the video and then fill out the blanks:

    The defining moment was probably 1840 with the 1)__________ of this book by Harrison Ainsworth The Tower of London: A Historical Romance, thick 2)__________ based around the rise and fall of Lady Jane Grey. Here you will find the 3)_________ to the … “the soil being soaked with the best 4)________ in the country” etcetera, etcetera. This is what they came to see – a Tower of London which was 5)________ and foremost a grim fortress 6)_________. And this confused the real and the fiction, but in the process became everyone’s idea of what the Tower of London 7)_____ ______ _______.

    The heroine of Harrison Ainsworth’s lurid tale was Lady Jane Grey, Queen for just 9 days in 1554. Edward VI was 8)_______. Powerful Protestants wanted one of their own to take their 9)_________ instead of Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s Catholic daughter. Fifteen-year-old Jane was thrust into the limelight and 10)___________ Queen at the Tower.

    She 11)__________ to have enough popular 12)_________ and was quickly surpassed by Mary. The Tower became her prison. After six months in captivity here Jane paid with her life. It was the image the Victorians loved. This famous 13)___________ of her execution was created by the Frenchman Paul De la Roche but just how accurate did the artist create the scene for his Victorian 14)__________?

    We have an 15)________ description by someone who saw the real bloody events unfold. “What this account makes clear first of all is that Lady Jane Grey is 16)___________ outside… She isn’t executed in a cellar or in a …sort of drooping room full of … 17)__________ architecture as is shown in the painting, but it does happen outside, and the account says “the scaffold…” on which she was executed “was made upon the green over against the white tower.”
    “So this means that somewhere in the area in front of me here, there’s a white tower, this is what remains of the tower green in front of me now… So this event is not taking place in the 18)__________ of a dark corner in the Tower but it’s happening very publically in the most open area that there is in the Tower.

    However, having said all of that the account that we have of this execution is actually 19)_____________ because what it shows us is that that moment De la Roche is dramatizing in the painting of lady Jane Grey, fumbling for the block with her, with her blindfold on is actually exactly what happened on that day and my 20)__________ is that De la Roche had read the account that there is of this moment and dramatized it in that painting.”

    “She tied the kerchief about her eyes, then feeling for the block said, ‘What shall I do? Where is it?’ One of the 21)__________ guided her there. She laid her head down upon the block and stretched forth her body and said, ‘Lord, into Thine hands I commend my 22)_________.’ And so she ended.”

    “So although your suspicion might be on first looking at that painting that it is a completely Victorian 23)_________ actually it seems that it is really trying to give an 24)__________ of that actual moment that does happen here when Lady Jane Grey is executed.”

    So, surprisingly, the melodrama of De la Roche’s painting is not far from the real events at the execution of Lady Jane Grey 280 years earlier.