Roger Ascham (1515-1568), English humanist, scholar and tutor to Princess Elizabeth, wrote a widely acclaimed treatise on the teaching of Latin entitled The Scholemaster which was first published in 1570. What largely contributed to its fame, then and now, was its picture of Lady Grey and her love of learning.
Lady Jane Grey (1537-1554), queen of England for only nine days, was beheaded without cause on February 12, 1554. The contemporary English historian, S. T. Bindoff writes that few lovelier heads have worn a crown and no purer a spirit ever inhabited a royal person than Jane Grey's; and if she lacked the divinity which hedges kings, she had more than a touch of sanctity which hallows saints.1
Ascham described his celebrated call on Lady Jane Grey at Brodegate in 1550 in these words:
Before I went into Germany, I came to Brodegate in Leicestershire, to take my Leave of that noble Lady Jane Grey, to whom I was exceeding much beholding. Her parents, the Duke and Duchess, with all the Household, Gentlemen and Gentlewomen, were hunting in the Park. I found her in her Chamber, reading Phaedo Platonis in Greek, and that with as much Delight, as some Gentlemen would read a merry Tale in Boccace. After Salutation, and Duty done, with some other Talk, I asked her, why she would lose such Passtime in the Park? Smiling, she answered me:
"I wist, all their Sport in the Park is but a Shadow to that Pleasure that I find in Plato, Alas! good Folk, they never felt what true Pleasure meant.