By the #1 New York Times bestselling author, a novel of passion and power at the court of a medieval killer, a riveting new Tudor tale featuring King Henry VIII’s sixth wife Kateryn Parr.
Kateryn Parr, a thirty-year-old widow in a secret affair with a new lover, has no choice when a man old enough to be her father who has buried four wives—King Henry VIII—commands her to marry him.
Kateryn has no doubt about the danger she faces: the previous queen lasted sixteen months, the one before barely half a year. But Henry adores his new bride and Kateryn’s trust in him grows as she unites the royal family, creates a radical study circle at the heart of the court, and rules the kingdom as Regent.
But is this enough to keep her safe? A leader of religious reform and the first woman to publish in English, Kateryn stands out as an independent woman with a mind of her own. But she cannot save the Protestants, under threat for their faith, and Henry’s dangerous gaze turns on her. The traditional churchmen and rivals for power accuse her of heresy—the punishment is death by fire and the king’s name is on the warrant...
From the bestselling author who has illuminated all of Henry’s queens comes a deeply intimate portrayal of the last: a woman who longed for passion, power, and education at the court of a medieval killer.
In this absorbing Tudor historical, Gregory (The White Queen) traces the relationship between Henry VIII and Kateryn Parr, his sixth wife, from the time of the king's marriage proposal in 1543 until his death four years later. Kateryn is a beauty: learned, kind, twice-widowed yet young enough to bear the sons crucial to securing the succession; she is also passionately in love with another. Her dutiful tolerance of Henry's bad breath, corpulence, ulcerous leg, and fumblings in bed make pitiable the personal cost of his proposal. Gregory balances Kateryn's sensual responses to royal life the smell of her predecessor's furs, the king's sweat-drenched clothing with the religious controversy that dominated the 1540s. Initially naive to court factions, Parr is guided by her sister and develops enormous satisfaction from scholarly examination of the Bible. Expressing her own Reformist views when pro-Catholic forces are ascendant, Kateryn risks the king's extreme displeasure and is "tamed" to save her life; the process bleaches the marriage of its satisfactions. Tracing Kateryn's path to intellectual independence requires more religious discussion than some readers will prefer, but Gregory's portrait of the complex, aging king and his sensual, scholarly bride will satisfy Tudor enthusiasts.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The first half of the book is reduntant and often tedius. However, it picks up and becomes a “cant put it down” book.
The Taming of the Queen
Like many of the other reviewers, I have read many of Gregory's novels. I did not enjoy this as much as some of her others. It was very long and repetitive. We didn't need to read about the queen's nightmare more than once. We get the picture...Henry is old and fat and smells bad and if we have read about him we know he is going to die soon. Katherine Parr was a woman ahead of her time and we don't know quite as much about her as we do about Henry's other wives, so from that point it was enjoyable. Still my least favorite of her books.
Couldn't put it down!
One of the best books in the Tudor series!