The new novel from the bestselling author of THE SIXTH WIFE.
When 12-year-old Katherine Howard comes to live in the Duchess of Norfolk's household, poor relation Cat Tilney is deeply suspicious. The two girls couldn't be more different: Cat, watchful and ambitious; Katherine, interested only in clothes and boys. Their companions are in thrall to Katherine, but it's Cat in whom Katherine confides and, despite herself, Cat is drawn to her. Summoned to court at 17, Katherine leaves Cat in the company of her ex-lover, Francis, and the two begin their own, much more serious, love affair.
Within months, the king has set aside his Dutch wife Anne for Katherine. The future seems assured for the new queen and her maid-in-waiting, although Cat would feel more confident if Katherine hadn't embarked on an affair with one of the king's favoured attendants, Thomas Culpeper.
However, for a blissful year and a half, it seems that Katherine can have everything she wants. But then allegations are made about her girlhood love affairs. Desperately frightened, Katherine recounts a version of events which implicates Francis but which Cat knows to be a lie. With Francis in the Tower, Cat alone knows the whole truth of Queen Katherine Howard – but if she tells, Katherine will die.
'Dunn gives the story a vivid, contemporary feel, and Katherine's conversations with her closest friend, Cathryn Tilney, are gossipy and intimate, full of sly innuendo and confidences.' Marie Claire
'Those who have fallen in love with the drama of the Tudor period will devour the Confession of Katherine Howard…an insightful foray into the life of one of Henry VIII's most misunderstood yet fascinating wives.' Scottish Sunday Herald
‘Gripping, a pageturner, a thriller … Dunn’s book has an incisive insight into how manipulative people work.’ Dublin Evening Herald
About the author
Suzannah Dunn is the author of ten previous books, all of which have been critically acclaimed. She has written three historical novels: ‘The Queen of Subtleties’, ‘The Sixth Wife’ and ‘The Queen’s Sorrow’. She lives in Shropshire.
A historically obscure lady-in-waiting provides a window into the rise and fall of Henry VIII's young fifth queen in the competent latest from Dunn (The Sixth Wife). The teenage Cat Tilney is raised in the company of the attractive and sexually precocious Katherine Howard in the household of a distant relation, the well-connected dowager duchess of Norfolk. Cat becomes Katherine's confidante and eventually follows her to court when she is made queen, and, as one of the few privy to the queen's secret affairs, Cat lands in a dangerous position when Katherine's romantic history becomes known and a ruthless investigation spreads to include Cat's own lover, Francis Dereham. Working from only a few references in the surviving records of the investigation, Dunn constructs the tale of a teenage girl in thrall to a more charismatic friend and the test of her loyalty. Though Dunn's modernization of the language can result in anachronistic turns of phrase, this is a convincing portrayal of young women made pawns in the dangerous politics of the Tudor court.