This book is in first person which I m always wary of, but it worked well in this case Poor Katherine Howard, Henry VIII s fifth wife, was not the sharpest pencil in the box Plaidy is not afraid of showing that and showing Katherine s own awareness of it Instead, KH comes across as a sweet kid who really liked men and sex She just had the bad luck to attract Henry VIII s attention as well as the naivety and immaturity to make some pretty stupid decisions after her marriage Wrong place, wrong time.
I give this three stars because of her relationship with Culpepper The author does not spend much time on it They hardly see other at court, hardly spend any time together in the whole book, but are so attracted to each other they are willing to risk death to sleep together Nah, that came out of nowhere, so three stars, but three well earned stars.
ok, well, let s make it 3.
Pros This author has experience and thus is a better writer than Gregory, being much older and wiser by this point in her career it s Victoria Holt using a pen name She paints a lovely picture of those days and times my favorite part was Katherine s sweet yet haphazard childhood.
Cons Granted, the times were far difficult than the author would lead you to believe This book is great for fans of Katherine Howard who are ready to apply a lot of suspension of disbelief to her character as well as nearly everyone in this book Also though not Holt s problem at all a lot of the information is either distorted or outdated, seeing as this book was written in 1993.
From The Pen Of Legendary Historical Novelist Jean Plaidy Comes An Unforgettable True Story Of Royalty, Passion, And Innocence LostBorn Into An Impoverished Branch Of The Noble Howard Family, Young Katherine Is Plucked From Her Home To Live With Her Grandmother, The Duchess Of Norfolk The Innocent Girl Quickly Learns That Her Grandmother S Puritanism Is Not Shared By Katherine S Free Spirited Cousins, With Whom She Lives Beautiful And Impressionable, Katherine Becomes Involved In Two Ill Fated Love Affairs Before Her Sixteenth Birthday Like Her Cousin Anne Boleyn, She Leaves Her Grandmother S Home To Become A Lady In Waiting At The Court Of Henry VIII The Royal Palaces Are Exciting To A Young Girl From The Country, And Katherine S Duties There Allow Her To Be Near Her Handsome Cousin, Thomas Culpepper, Whom She Has Loved Since ChildhoodBut When Katherine Catches The Eye Of The Aging And Unhappily Married King, She Is Forced To Abandon Her Plans For A Life With Thomas And Marry King Henry Overwhelmed By The Change In Her Fortunes, Bewildered And Flattered By The Adoration Of Her Husband, Katherine Is Dazzled By The Royal Life But Her Bliss Is Short Lived As Rumors Of Her Wayward Past Come Back To Haunt Her, And Katherine S Destiny Takes Another, Deadly, Turn When I saw this book at the library I thought it might give me some new information on Katherine I know of her life at court and what brought her downfall, but was hoping for a new look into her childhood and what made her make the decisions she made This is also my first Plaidy novel This book was not fluffy, but not heavy either I felt it was accurate, from Kat s poor upbringing due to her great grandfather fighting for Richard III, to her moving into her aunt s house where there was little supervision This is where Katherine s life started to turn for the worse I liked Plaidy s portrayal of her She wasn t the dim wit we tend to know her as, but simply a naive, uneducated girl who was looking for love and fulfillment The only part that I wasn t sure about was where Plaidy added that Katherine knew Thomas Culpepper as a child since he was her cousin and was later almost betrothed to him, until of course Henry saw her A lot of this book can be skimmed as Plaidy recalls a lot of the history which I was already familiar with Overall Plaidy did help me look at Katherine in a new light I recommend this for people who want to learn about her story and are interested in the Tudor period.
I read quite a few of the books by Jean Plaidy in the Queen s of England series when I was younger They re hard to come by since they are out of print I decided to collect the rest still missing one and catch up on my royal reading I m hoping my feelings for this book have to do with the fact that I ve read a better one about Katherine Howard than I may no longer like the writing style It started out fine, although I was a little disgusted by the way Katherine was allowed to behave when she moves to her grandmother s house I would think a Duchess of the court would have better sense of what was going on in her household But, history seems to have proven otherwise I also felt that the author made Katherine seem much simple than she really was But, maybe her families ambitions were just way outside of her knowledge The book also lacked the terror that must have been going through the young queen s mind towards the end of her life What a tragic ending for a young women who had almost no hope from the start I would recommend reading The Queen s Mistake by Diane Haeger over this one.
First let me say this I don t care what anyone else says about Katherine Howard She was definitely a VICTIM of her time period and the patriarchal traditions of England at the time She was not a dumb blond, a slut, or any other derogatory name given to women who might be a little too friendly with the opposite sex From a young age, Katherine has been a VICTIM, and I absolutely commend Jean Plaidy for portraying her thus Jean Plaidy made Katherine Howard a strong character where usually she is portrayed as a materialistic dumb blonde Yes, she was naive and innocent, but she didn t know any better When she was brought to be raised in her grandmother s home, Katherine was immediately forgotten and left to her own devices She was never given a true education except in music and was left in the care of girls who scorned her because she was of a noble family and had what can be known as parties in their dormitory with young men of the household At the age of around 11, Katherine was taken advantage of by her much older music teacher She believed she loved him, but still their relationship was squicky After that was over, she fell in love with a man considered below her who she could never marry and her grandmother paid enough attention to her then to put an end to that When she came to court, he was tired of his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, and wanted something newand Katherine was that something new because she was young and lively It was never proven that she did have an affair with Thomas Culpepper, but if she did who could blame her Let s face it she wasn t executed for adultery, she was executed because she was damaged goods and Henry VIII threw a hissy fit because he wasn t the first one Her story has always made me extremely sad because she was so young when she died and when she married Henry VIII, she had no idea what she was getting into.
I love Jean Plaidy s ability to tell a story of the history in her novels and I liked the way she has articulated Katherine Howard Plaidy has made Katherine likeable Katherine is naive, and comes of age very quickly at a time when one needed to fully understand the world around them The story starts out with Katherine Howard talking to a scribe friend, and it is all presented as the story she is telling to that person in the days leading up to her death.
Although the story is not a new one, it has been presented in a new way In that Katherine knew her actions were dangerous and she gave into them heedless of the consequences Perhaps Plaidy has made her simpler than she really might have been, but I enjoyed Katherine in this novel, over the whiny, hyper sexual, and just purely unlikable Katherine I ve seen in some other books.
Although Jean Plaidy s novel are instructive, I find them highly repetitive and sometimes written in a very simple manner, that accentuates the repetitiveness of it all These novels are well documented though and really help you understand English royalty of the XVIth century, particularly noble women.
In the books about Katherine Howard she is either portrayed as the sluttish Queen who cheated on Henry VIII or a young and hapless girl who was never taught proper behaviour and ended up dead at her family s ambition The author casts Katherine in this book as a bit silly, over enthusiastic with her feelings and a victim.
I have always liked Jean Plaidy as a Tudor writer because she really brings the characters to life and takes time to develop them through the story This book is the same Katherine is sent away from her family to live a better life with the Dowager Duchess who barely remembers she is there and has little time to bother about her education She is much focused on Anne Boleyn s rise and fall from power She knows nothing of what is happening at Court, has not had the same education or life experience as the other girls and feels stupid all the time It is easy to see how she fell for the flattery of Henry Mannox She feels betrayed and used when she discovers what his intentions really are and you feel as if you are watching a sad puppy as poor Katherine vents her feelings.
Her misery leaves her ripe for the seduction of Francis Dereham and her lack of guile means she tells everything to the other girls, including the decision to marry The portrayal of Francis in this book is not the boastful braggart who gets Katherine into trouble at Court, but instead is a man who loves her deeply and will do nothing to betray her or cause her trouble I liked seeing a different version of him Of course the relationship is broken up and the Duchess will hear nothing of Katherine s pleas about being betrothed, telling her to pretend none of it happened Katherine is broken heartedfor about five minutes, and then the excitement of a real betrothal to Thomas Culpepper and a position at Court serving Anne of Cleves has her forgetting Francis and being ashamed of her behaviour with him.
Katherine is shocked to discover that she was used to bait the King and that he will be her new husband Despite her growing love for Thomas, Katherine finds herself as a mostly happy wife, treated well by Henry I liked the portrayal of Henry as a sad and lonely old man who thinks that nobody could love him as a man if her wasn t King Katherine has sympathy for his feelings and does everything to make him feel young and happy Thomas and Katherine are portrayed as being deeply in love and conflicted over whether to start an affair, which is different from a lot I ve read about the cruelty of Culpepper It can be nice, however, to see these different versions of a person in the different books.
The other interesting character in the book is Jane Boleyn, who befriends Kathrine as soon as she comes to Court Jane is shown here as someone who loves to gossip and meddle, and who is excited by the intrigue of helping Katherine meet Thomas It is a dangerous game made worse when people from Katherine s murky past come looking for work at Court She is horrified to have Mannox and Dereham anywhere near her for fear of the gossip from her women who knew her at the home of the Duchess As her past catches up with her, Katherine fears for everyone she cares about, Jane included.
The story is well told and kept me interested the whole time I had sympathy for a lot of the characters including Henry and the crusty old Duchess I recommend all of this author s Tudor books very highly.
This is the first Jean Plaidy book that I have read The story is told from the perspective of Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry the VIII I picked it up after watching season 3 of the The Tudors, where she is introduced I realized I knew nothing about her and thought the way she was portrayed was totally scandalous and I needed to know This book isn t quite as titillating as the TV show, of course, but it is probably closer to the truth I found the writing very repetitive I know the family trees and history are complicated, but I really don t need the same paragraph, word for word every time a character shows up explaining who he is Sometimes I literally thought I had lost my place and was re reading the same page again Totally irritating It is a very quick read, though, so I wasn t irritated for very long.
This might be better for a younger reader who is just getting into historical fiction The sex scenes are fairly mild I d say this is a PG kind of a book.