Thursday 13 May 2021

πŸ“– Publication Day Book Review ~ Katharine Parr: The Sixth Wife by Alison Weir


Headline Review
13 May 2021

Six Tudor Queens #6 

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book 
and the opportunity to complete the series

Two husbands dead; a life marred by sadness. And now Katharine is in love for the first time in her life.

The eye of an ageing and dangerous king falls upon her. She cannot refuse him. She must stifle her feelings and never betray that she wanted another.

And now she is the sixth wife. Her queenship is a holy mission yet, fearfully, she dreams of the tragic parade of women who went before her. She cherishes the secret beliefs that could send her to the fire. And still the King loves and trusts her.

Now her enemies are closing in. She must fight for her very life.

KATHARINE PARR – the last of Henry’s queens.

Alison Weir recounts the extraordinary story of a woman forced into a perilous situation and rising heroically to the challenge. Katharine is a delightful woman, a warm and kindly heroine – and yet she will be betrayed by those she loves and trusts most. Too late, the truth will dawn on her.

πŸ“– My Thoughts..

I've followed this series of historical novels, which chronicle the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII, from the first book, and whilst we think we know all there is to know about these ill fated wives, every author, who writes about them, gives us something a little bit different. Such is the case with this book about Katharine Parr the last of Henry's Queens and the only one of two wives to outlive him, although it must be said that Anne of Cleves, Henry's fourth wife, survived him by a mere six months.

In Katharine Parr : The Sixth Wife, the author brings to life the character of this fiercely intelligent Queen, whose interest in the new religion would almost bring about her downfall. Katharine has already been widowed twice when she catches the eye of the King, and whilst her previous two marriages have brought her a modicum of contentment, and some security, Katharine has never experienced the giddy excitement of being in love. By a cruel quirk of fate she meets, Thomas Seymour, the man who makes her heart beat faster just weeks before the King, entranced by Katharine's kind and caring nature, asks her to be his wife and, as it turns out, the last Queen Consort of Tudor England. 

Marriage to the irascible, and capricious, English King was no bed of roses but with Katharine's compassionate nature and her ability to bring out the best in people she set about creating a stable environment for Henry's children, and Katharine's ability to cajole and comfort the aging King was to her credit. However, the Tudor court is a fickle place and there are always shadowy people who seek to do harm.

Beautifully written and impeccably researched this last book in this wonderful series is every bit as good as I knew it would be. Tudor England shines brightly and the complicated process of social climbing, with advantageous marriages being made, and broken, comes alive in the imagination. I especially enjoyed reading of Katharine's early years spent at Rye House with her aunt and uncle whilst her widowed mother made her way at the royal court, and of Katharine's subsequent ill-fated first marriage which took her into the north of England and set her on the path of destiny. Regardless of how her life ended there is something quite poignant about Katharine's short life, that, after three dutiful marriages of convenience, she eventually found a brief moment of happiness with a man of her own choosing.
I'm really sad to see the conclusion of this wonderful series of Tudor Queen novels. Each book has been such an absolute joy to read and has brought one of Henry's six wives to life in a meaningful and very readable way. Each novel has been a fascinating insight into the lives of six very different women who lived their eventful and short lives in the full glare of Tudor politics.

About the Author

Alison Weir is the top selling female historian in the UK and has sold over 3 million books worldwide, She has published nineteen history books including her most recent, Queens of the Crusades, the second in her England's Medieval Queen's quartet.

Katharine Parr; The Sixth Wife is Alison Weir's eleventh published novel and the final book in the Six Tudor Queens series about the wives of Henry VIII which was launched in 2016. All five previous novels in the series were Sunday Times bestsellers.

Twitter @AlisonWeirBooks #SixTudorQueens


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