Sunday, January 27, 2019
Lady Jane Grey, a red-haired, freckle-faced grandniece of Henry the Eighth, read, while still a girl, the Old Testament in Hebrew and Plato in Greek. She was remarkable; she was untoward. A royal tutor once found her shut in her room reading an account of Socrates's execution for heresy, "with as much delite, as some jentleman wold read a merie tale." She was thirteen. The tutor confessed himself astonished. Why, he asked, did she closet herself in her chamber to study the philosophy of death when she might instead hunt in the park with the duke and his duchess?
She looked up from her book. "They never felt, what trewe pleasure ment," she said.
This scarcely slaked him.
"And howe came you," inquired he, "to this deepe knowledge of pleasure?"
"I will tell you," she obliged: when she was in the company of other than books, she said, "I thinke my selfe in hell."
Jill Lepore, Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin