This not my favorite portrayal of Henry the 8th and his 5th wife, Katherine Howard. I didn't like the narrator and how she laid out the story. Definitely not on the same level of Phillipa Gregory, Carolly Erickson, or Alison Weir. I almost wonder if the novel was meant to be for young adults? If you're used to the descriptions of the Tudor Era or in-depth characters, this book will not be appealing to you at all. I actually checked it out twice. Once because after reading a few chapters I thought it was utter nonsense. The second time was because I wanted to give the book a second chance and finish it from cover to cover....and I was still left with the same feeling as the first time I checked it out from the library.
Definitely lesser Tudor fiction, nothing to compare with the sublime Phillipa Gregory or Carolly Erickson. It doesn't help that this episode deals with some of the stupidest and least appealing characters in the Tudor saga: hot-to-trot teen queen Katherine Howard and her far too merrie men. Kate's girlhood companion and frenemy, Catherine Tylney recounts the familiar tale of their debauched upbringing in the Howard household, of Kate's scheming ways, her unexpected elevation to queen, and the adulterous scandal that eventually trapped not only Kate and Catherine, but Catherine's beloved Francis. The naivete and innocence of the protagonists might be believable for those unfamiliar with the real story, but for Tudor-philes it will be hard to swallow. The real life Catherine and Francis were both accomplished schemers as well, who played loose and fast with the truth when it suited them. Neither had the slightest scruple about betraying Kate once their own lives were threatened.
A fictionalized account of a young queen from the point of view of her lady-in-waiting, this book fails to generate excitement or tension. The language, vocabulary and characters remain inauthentic and Katherine comes across as empty and boring.
Richard and Judy Book Club Pick: "This irresistible novel tells the dramatic story of Katherine Howard’s extraordinary rise to become Henry V111’s ill-fated fifth wife. Only 19, and an orphaned minor aristocrat (her uncle was the odious Duke of Norfolk) she became the Queen of England because Henry, then in his forties, took a huge shine to her, treating her like a pretty little porcelain doll.
The story unfolds through the eyes of Cat Tylney, who was one of Katherine’s oldest friends. From the age of 12 they were brought up together in the house of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk. In those days, it was common for well-bred young girls to join aristocratic households, where they shared bedrooms with their companions, and received an education of sorts. When Katherine became Queen, she sent for Cat to become part of her retinue, along with several other girls who were brought up alongside her.
Much of the story enfolds within the new Queen’s private quarters, which inevitably become quite febrile and intense, unsurprising with all those teenage girls cooped up together. In the evenings, they would be visited for dancing by the King’s Men, Henry’s handsome, carefully-selected favourites.
To her horror, Cat discovers that Katherine is having an affair with Thomas Culpepper, for whom the King has a particularly soft spot. Katherine believes it is her right to make love to a handsome young man, since she also has to sleep with the King, who she regards as a hideous, fat old man. She naively believes she is quite safe and that no-one other than her best friend will ever know.
Of course, she is quite wrong."
This story is very good. I do not like the style in which she writes, she can a charather who is speaking And you sometimes lose track.
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