Summer's Hottest TV Show Is Based on a Best-Selling 2016 Book—& You Can Read It in a Weekend

Get to know 'My Lady Jane'

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my lady jane 3
harpercollins; Jonathan Prime/Prime Video

I'm lucky enough to work with some of the smartest, most in-the-know folks around, so I'm constantly filling my Zara shopping cart, Trader Joe's list and Netflix queue with their recommendations. One recent pick that caught my eye was a review of My Lady Jane—a buzzy new Amazon Prime series—by Senior Director of Special Projects and Royals, Rachel Bowie. The show is about the tragic life of Lady Jane Grey, best known as England’s nine-day queen. And get this: It's based on a best-selling 2016 book of the same name by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows.

For a little back story, Lady Jane Grey was born in 1536 or 1537. In 1553, Jane's cousin, the King of England and Ireland, Edward VI, nominated Jane and her male heirs as successors to the Crown in his will, thereby removing his half-sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, from the line of succession. After Edward's death, Jane was proclaimed queen on July 10, 1553. But support for Mary grew rapidly and most of Jane's supporters abandoned her, so just nine days later, Jane was removed as queen, held prisoner for treason and eventually executed in February 1554 at age 16 or 17.

Contrary to the tragic, real-life story, My Lady Jane is billed as a "comical, fantastical, romantical, New York Times bestselling, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey," and readers are obsessed. On Amazon, where the book has racked up an impressive 4.3-star rating based on 1,800 reviews, a brief synopsis reads, "At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be Queen of England."

Readers can't get enough of the silly plot (in this version of England there are Ethians, or humans that can take animal form), charming love story and, per Bowie's review, a "feminist portrayal of a woman hellbent on bucking royal tradition and carving her own path."

And while it does clock in at 512 pages, it's the kind of zippy YA novel you can really plow through. In other words, don't be surprised if I don't get back to you until Monday.

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...