Long live the queens
Three new books, one fiction and two nonfiction, bow to Britain's royal personages.
The Lady of Misrule (Pegasus) by Suzannah Dunn is a novel about Lady Jane Grey, grandniece of Henry VIII, who ruled as England's queen for nine days — and was executed for high treason at about age 16.
Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture (University of California Press) by Cele C. Otnes and Pauline Maclaran is a fascinating look at the marketing of the royal brand, from Elizabeth II's televised coronation in 1952 to the madness over Princess Diana and the media-friendly charms of baby royals George and Charlotte.
The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor (Pegasus) by historian Elizabeth Norton focuses on the early life of Elizabeth I, the "Virgin Queen," and her scandalous flirtation (starting at age 14) with Sir Thomas Seymour, her stepmother's husband. She would survive the scandal and rule for 44 years; he would be beheaded.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor