Katheryn Howard, The Scandalous Queen

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Katheryn Howard, The Scandalous Queen

Katheryn Howard, The Scandalous Queen

  • Author : Alison Weir
  • ISBN :
  • Category : Fiction
  • Publisher : Ballantine Books
  • Pages : 480
  • Release Date : 2020-05-12

Bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir tells the tragic story of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, a nineteen-year-old beauty with a hidden past, in this fifth novel in the sweeping Six Tudor Queens series. “A vivid re-creation of a Tudor tragedy.”—Kirkus Reviews In the spring of 1540, Henry VIII is desperate to be rid of his unappealing German queen, Anna of Kleve. A prematurely aged and ailing forty-nine, with an ever-growing waistline, he casts an amorous eye on a pretty nineteen-year-old brunette, Katheryn Howard. Like her cousin Anne Boleyn, Katheryn is a niece of the Duke of Norfolk, England’s premier Catholic peer, who is scheming to replace Anna of Kleve with a good Catholic queen. A flirtatious, eager participant in the life of the royal court, Katheryn readily succumbs to the king’s attentions when she is intentionally pushed into his path by her ambitious family. Henry quickly becomes besotted and is soon laying siege to Katheryn’s virtue. But as instructed by her relations, she holds out for marriage and the wedding takes place a mere fortnight after the king’s union to Anna is annulled. Henry tells the world his new bride is a rose without a thorn, and extols her beauty and her virtue, while Katheryn delights in the pleasures of being queen and the rich gifts her adoring husband showers upon her: the gorgeous gowns, the exquisite jewels, and the darling lap-dogs. She comes to love the ailing, obese king, enduring his nightly embraces with fortitude and kindness. If she can bear him a son, her triumph will be complete. But Katheryn has a past of which Henry knows nothing, and which comes back increasingly to haunt her—even as she courts danger yet again. What happens next to this naïve and much-wronged girl is one of the saddest chapters in English history.

Bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir brings her Tudor Queens series to a close with the remarkable story of Henry VIII's sixth and final wife, who manages to survive him and remarry, only to be thrown into a romantic intrigue that threatens the very throne of England. “A superb read and a remarkable end to a brilliant series.”—Historical Novel Society Having sent his much-beloved but deceitful young wife Katheryn Howard to her beheading, King Henry fixes his lonely eyes on a more mature woman, thirty-year-old, twice-widowed Katharine Parr. She, however, is in love with Sir Thomas Seymour, brother to the late Queen Jane. Aware of his rival, Henry sends him abroad, leaving Katharine no choice but to become Henry’s sixth queen in 1543. The king is no longer in any condition to father a child, but Katharine is content to mother his three children, Mary, Elizabeth, and the longed-for male heir, Edward. Four years into the marriage, Henry dies, leaving England’s throne to nine-year-old Edward—a puppet in the hands of ruthlessly ambitious royal courtiers—and Katharine's life takes a more complicated turn. Thrilled at this renewed opportunity to wed her first love, Katharine doesn't realize that Sir Thomas now sees her as a mere stepping stone to the throne, his eye actually set on bedding and wedding fourteen-year-old Elizabeth. The princess is innocently flattered by his attentions, allowing him into her bedroom, to the shock of her household. The result is a tangled tale of love and a struggle for power, bringing to a close the dramatic and violent reign of Henry VIII.

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In this second novel of Alison Weir’s epic Six Tudor Queens series, the acclaimed author and historian weaves exciting new research into the story of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s most infamous wife, a woman ahead of her time whose very life—and death—forever changed a nation. Born into a noble English family, Anne is barely a teenager when she is sent from her family’s Hever Castle to serve at the royal court of the Netherlands. This strategic move on the part of her opportunistic father also becomes a chance for the girl to grow and discover herself. There, and later in France, Anne thrives, preferring to absorb the works of progressive writers rather than participate in courtly flirtations. She also begins to understand the inequalities and indignities suffered by her gender. Anne isn’t completely inured to the longings of the heart, but her powerful family has ambitious plans for her future that override any wishes of her own. When the King of England himself, Henry VIII, asks Anne to be his mistress, she spurns his advances—reminding him that he is a married man who has already conducted an affair with her sister, Mary. Anne’s rejection only intensifies Henry’s pursuit, but in the absence of a male heir—and given an aging Queen Katherine—the opportunity to elevate and protect the Boleyn family, and to exact vengeance on her envious detractors, is too tempting for Anne to resist, even as it proves to be her undoing. While history tells of how Anne Boleyn died, this compelling new novel reveals how fully she lived. Praise for Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obession “Superb . . . page-turning biographical fiction, hauntingly and beautifully told . . . psychologically penetrating.”—Historical Novels Review “Immaculately researched and convincing . . . This tale of Anne’s ascent and demise cannot escape comparisons with Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall series.”—The Times “A tragic, misrepresented figure, one of history’s original nasty women . . . Weir’s fictional Anne is ferociously smart and guilty of nothing but craving the power that's rightfully hers to claim.”—NPR “One of historical fiction’s most compelling and exciting portraits of the enduringly fascinating and mysterious Anne Boleyn.”—Lancashire Evening Post “As always, Weir demonstrates a keen eye for crafting dramatic scenes of beautiful, accurate detail, instilling in the reader a vivid sense of being there.”—Booklist

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New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir explores the turbulent life of Henry VIII’s mother, Elizabeth, the first queen of the Tudor dynasty, in this stunning historical novel. Elizabeth of York is the oldest daughter of King Edward IV. Flame-haired, beautiful, and sweet-natured, she is adored by her family; yet her life is suddenly disrupted when her beloved father dies in the prime of life. Her uncle, the notorious Richard III, takes advantage of King Edward’s death to grab the throne and imprison Elizabeth’s two younger brothers, the rightful royal heirs. Forever afterward known as "the Princes in the Tower," the boys are never seen again. On the heels of this tragedy, Elizabeth is subjected to Richard’s overtures to make her his wife, further legitimizing his claim to the throne. King Richard has murdered her brothers, yet she feels she must accept his proposal. As if in a fairy tale, Elizabeth is saved by Henry Tudor, who challenges Richard and defeats him at the legendary Battle of Bosworth Field. Following his victory, Henry becomes king and asks Elizabeth to be his wife, the first queen of the Tudor line. The marriage is happy and fruitful, not only uniting the warring houses of Lancaster and York—the red and white roses—but producing four surviving children, one of whom, Henry VIII, will rule the country for the next thirty-six years. As in her popular Six Tudor Queens series, Alison Weir captures the personality of one of Britain’s most important consorts, conveying Elizabeth of York’s dramatic life in a novel that is all the richer because of its firm basis in history.

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'An impressive revisionist biography' The Times Looming out of the encroaching darkness of the February evening was London Bridge, still ornamented with the severed heads of Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham; the terrible price they had paid for suspected intimacy with the queen. Katherine now reached the Tower of London, her final destination. Katherine Howard was the fifth wife of Henry VIII and cousin to the executed Anne Boleyn. She first came to court as a young girl of fourteen, but even prior to that her fate had been sealed and she was doomed to die. She was beheaded in 1542 for crimes of adultery and treason, in one of the most sensational scandals of the Tudor age. The traditional story of Henry VIII's fifth queen dwells on her sexual exploits before she married the king, and her execution is seen as her just dessert for having led an abominable life. However, the true story of Katherine Howard could not be more different. Far from being a dark tale of court factionalism and conspiracy, Katherine's story is one of child abuse, family ambition, religious conflict and political and sexual intrigue. It is also a tragic love story. A bright, kind and intelligent young woman, Katherine was fond of clothes and dancing, yet she also had a strong sense of duty and tried to be a good wife to Henry. She handled herself with grace and queenly dignity to the end, even as the barge carrying her on her final journey drew up at the Tower of London, where she was to be executed for high treason. Little more than a child in a man's world, she was the tragic victim of those who held positions of authority over her, and from whose influence she was never able to escape.

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Bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir takes on what no fiction writer has done before: creating a dramatic six-book series in which each novel covers one of King Henry VIII’s wives. In this captivating opening volume, Weir brings to life the tumultuous tale of Katherine of Aragon, Henry’s first, devoted, and “true” queen. A princess of Spain, Catalina is only sixteen years old when she sets foot on the shores of England. The youngest daughter of the powerful monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, Catalina is a coveted prize for a royal marriage—and Arthur, Prince of Wales, and heir to the English throne, has won her hand. But tragedy strikes and Catalina, now Princess Katherine, is betrothed to the future Henry VIII. She must wait for his coming-of-age, an ordeal that tests her resolve, casts doubt on her trusted confidantes, and turns her into a virtual prisoner. Katherine’s patience is rewarded when she becomes Queen of England. The affection between Katherine and Henry is genuine, but forces beyond her control threaten to rend her marriage, and indeed the nation, apart. Henry has fallen under the spell of Katherine’s maid of honor, Anne Boleyn. Now Katherine must be prepared to fight, to the end if God wills it, for her faith, her legitimacy, and her heart. Praise for Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen “Alison Weir starts off her fictional series about the wives of Henry VIII with a nuanced portrayal of Katherine of Aragon.”—The Christian Science Monitor “Weir is excellent on the little details that bring a world to life.”—The Guardian “As always, Weir demonstrates a keen eye for crafting dramatic scenes of beautiful, accurate detail, instilling in the reader a vivid sense of being there. . . . If this greatly impressive inaugural installment is any indication, Tudor lovers have much to look forward to.”—Booklist (starred review) “Vividly detailed . . . Weir brings considerable expertise to her fictional retelling of the life of Katherine of Aragon. . . . [The author] portrays her sympathetically as both credulous and steely.”—Kirkus Reviews “An illuminating and engaging portrait of ‘the true queen.’”—Historical Novels Review “[Weir’s] fresh approach to Henry’s first wife [is] a wonderful place to start for those unfamiliar with Katherine’s story. Weir’s portrayal is far from that of a weak, victimized woman, but one of a courageous, strong, devoted queen fighting for her life and rights. An easy, quick read to begin the series.”—RT Book Reviews “In this first novel of the Six Tudor Queens series, Alison Weir dazzlingly brings Katherine of Aragon to life. Based on extensive new research, it is a portrayal that shatters the many myths about Henry VIII’s long-suffering first wife. Far from being the one-dimensional victim of history, she emerges as a charismatic, indomitable, and courageous heroine whose story never fails to enthrall.”—Tracy Borman, author of Thomas Cromwell “Yet again, Alison Weir has managed to intertwine profound historical knowledge with huge emotional intelligence, to compose a work that throws light on an endlessly fascinating figure. But her real gift in all of this is making it feel so fresh and alive.”—Charles Spencer, author of Killers of the King

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“A sumptuous historical novel anchored by its excellent depiction of Jane Seymour, Henry the VIII’s third queen . . . This is a must for all fans of Tudor fiction and history.”—Publishers Weekly Ever since she was a child, Jane has longed for a cloistered life as a nun. But her large noble family has other plans, and as an adult, Jane is invited to the King’s court to serve as lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine of Aragon. The devout Katherine shows kindness to all her ladies, almost like a second mother, which makes rumors of Henry’s lustful pursuit of Anne Boleyn—also lady-in-waiting to the queen—all the more shocking. For Jane, the betrayal triggers memories of a haunting incident that shaped her beliefs about marriage. But once Henry disavows Katherine and secures Anne as his new queen—forever altering the religious landscape of England—he turns his eye to another: Jane herself. Urged to return the King’s affection and earn favor for her family, Jane is drawn into a dangerous political game that pits her conscience against her desires. Can Jane be the one to give the King his long-sought-after son, or will she be cast aside like the women who came before her? Bringing new insight to this compelling story, Alison Weir marries meticulous research with gripping historical fiction to re-create the dramas and intrigues of the most renowned court in English history. At its center is a loving and compassionate woman who captures the heart of a king, and whose life will hang in the balance for it. Praise for Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen “Bestselling [Alison] Weir’s impressive novel shows why Jane deserves renewed attention [and] illustrates Jane’s unlikely journey from country knight’s daughter to queen of England. . . . From the richly appointed decor to the religious tenor of the time, the historical ambience is first-rate.”—Booklist (starred review) “Deft, authoritative biographical fiction . . . a dramatic and empathic portrait of Jane Seymour.”—Kirkus Reviews

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Written with an exciting combination of narrative flair and historical authority, this biography of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard, is “a stunning achievement” (The Sunday Times, London), and “a masterly work of Tudor history that is engrossing, sympathetic, suspenseful, and illuminating” (Charlotte Gordon, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography). On the morning of July 28, 1540, a teenager named Catherine Howard began her reign as queen of an England simmering with rebellion and terrifying uncertainty. Sixteen months later, she would follow her cousin Anne Boleyn to the scaffold, having been convicted of adultery and high treason. The broad outlines of Catherine’s career might be familiar, but her story up until now has been incomplete. Unlike previous biographies, which portray her as a naïve victim of an ambitious family, Gareth Russell’s “excellent account puts the oft-ignored Catherine in her proper historical context” (Daily Mail, London) and sheds new light on her rise and downfall by showing her in her context, a milieu that includes the aristocrats and, most critically, the servants who surrounded her and who, in the end, conspired against her. By illuminating Catherine’s entwined upstairs/downstairs world as well as societal tensions beyond the palace walls, Russell offers a fascinating portrayal of court life in the sixteenth century and a fresh analysis of the forces beyond Catherine’s control that led to her execution. Including a forgotten text of Catherine’s confession in her own words, color illustrations, family tree, map, and extensive notes, Young and Damned and Fair is “a gripping account of a young woman’s future destroyed by forces beyond her control…an important and timely book” (Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and A World on Fire). This account changes our understanding of one of history’s most famous women while telling the compelling and very human story of complex individuals attempting to survive in a dangerous age.

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From Suzannah Dunn, the critically acclaimed author of The Queen of Subtleties, The Sixth Wife and The Queen’s Sorrow, comes the tragic, gripping, and intensely moving story of Katherine Howard—the fifth wife of England’s King Henry VIII—and the best friend she nearly took down with her. The Confession of Katherine Howard is masterful historical fiction, ideal for fans of Phillipa Gregory and Allison Weir, bringing to rich, lustrous life the sights and sounds of the royal Tudor court while telling a story of passion, intrigue, betrayal, and destiny that will live in the reader’s memory long after the final page is turned.

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Over the years Katherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife, has been slandered as a ‘juvenile delinquent’, ‘empty-headed wanton’ and ‘natural born tart’, who engaged in promiscuous liaisons prior to her marriage and committed adultery after. Though she was bright, charming and beautiful, her actions in a climate of distrust and fear of female sexuality led to her ruin in 1542 after less than two years as queen. In this in-depth biography, Conor Byrne uses the results of six years of research to challenge these assumptions, arguing that Katherine’s notorious reputation is unfounded and redeeming her as Henry VIII’s most defamed queen. He offers new insights into her activities and behaviour as consort, as well as the nature of her relationships with Manox, Dereham and Culpeper, looking at her representations in media and how they have skewed popular opinion. Who was the real Katherine Howard and has society been wrong to judge her so harshly for the past 500 years?

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In her remarkable new book, Alison Weir recounts one of the greatest love stories of medieval England. It is the extraordinary tale of an exceptional woman, Katherine Swynford, who became first the mistress and later the wife of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. Katherine Swynford's charismatic lover was one of the most powerful princes of the 14th century, the effective ruler of England behind the throne of his father Edward III in his declining years, and during the minority of his nephew, Richard ll. Katherine herself was enigmatic and intriguing, renowned for her beauty, and regarded by some as dangerous. Her existence was played out against the backdrop of court life at the height of the age of chivalry and she knew most of the great figures of the time - including her brother-in-law, Geoffrey Chaucer. She lived through much of the Hundred Years War, the Black Death, and the Peasants' Revolt. She knew loss, adversity, and heartbreak, and she survived them all triumphantly. Although Katherine's story provides unique insights into the life of a medieval woman, she was far from typical in that age. She was an important person in her own right, a woman who had remarkable opportunities, made her own choices, flouted convention, and took control of her own destiny - even of her own public image. Weir brilliantly retrieves Katherine Swynford from the footnotes of history and gives her life and breath again. Perhaps the most dynastically important woman within the English monarchy, she was the mother of the Beauforts and through them the ancestress of the Yorkist kings, the Tudors, the Stuarts, and every other sovereign since - a legacy that has shaped the history of Britain

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From one of the world's foremost popular historians, a detailed and intricate portrait of the last days of one of the most influential and important figures in English history. The imprisonment and execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, was unprecedented in the annals of English history. It was sensational in its day, and has exerted endless fascination over the minds of historians, novelists, dramatists, poets, artists, and filmmakers ever since. Mystery surrounds the circumstances leading up to Anne's arrest and imprisonment in May 1536. Was it Henry VIII who, estranged from Anne, instructed Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell to fabricate evidence to get rid of her so that he could marry Jane Seymour? Or did Cromwell, for reasons of his own, construct a case against Anne and her faction, and then present compelling evidence before the King? Following the coronation of her daughter Elizabeth I as queen, Anne was venerated as a martyr and heroine. Over the centuries, she has inspired many artistic and cultural works and has remained ever-present in England's, and the world's, popular memory. Alison Weir draws on her unsurpassed expertise in the Tudor Period to chronicle the downfall and dramatic final days of this influential and fascinating woman.

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One of the most powerful monarchs in British history, Henry VIII ruled England in unprecedented splendour. In this remarkable composite biography, Alison Weir brings Henry's six wives vividly to life, revealing each as a distinct and compelling personality in her own right. Drawing upon the rich fund of documentary material from the Tudor period, The Six Wives of Henry VIII shows us a court where personal needs frequently influenced public events and where a life of gorgeously ritualised pleasure was shot through with ambition, treason and violence. 'At last we have the truth about Henry VIII's wives. This book is as reliable and scholarly as it is readable' Evening Standard

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From the bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory, comes a wonderfully atmospheric evocation of the court of Henry VIII and his final queens.

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England's Tower of London was the terrifying last stop for generations of English political prisoners. A Dangerous Inheritance weaves together the lives and fates of four of its youngest and most blameless: Lady Katherine Grey, Lady Jane's younger sister; Kate Plantagenet, an English princess who lived nearly a century before her; and Edward and Richard, the boy princes imprisoned by their ruthless uncle, Richard III, never to be heard from again. Across the years, these four young royals shared the same small rooms in their dark prison, as all four shared the unfortunate role of being perceived as threats to the reigning monarch. Weaving together their lives and fates into a dark mystery of thwarted love and ruthless ambition, Alison Weir has written the most suspenseful, large-scale novel of her career.

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For historical fiction readers, a tantalizing new novel from New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir about the passionate and notorious French queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Renowned for her highly acclaimed and bestselling British histories, Alison Weir has in recent years made a major impact on the fiction scene with her novels about Queen Elizabeth and Lady Jane Grey. In this latest offering, she imagines the world of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the beautiful twelfth-century woman who was Queen of France until she abandoned her royal husband for the younger man who would become King of England. In a relationship based on lust and a mutual desire for great power, Henry II and Eleanor took over the English throne in 1154, thus beginning one of the most influential reigns and tumultuous royal marriages in all of history. In this novel, Weir uses her extensive knowledge to paint a most vivid portrait of this fascinating woman.

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‘Alison Weir's sound scholarship and storyteller's gift for rich, telling detail constantly engages and enthrals the reader’ The Times The captivating life of Margaret Douglas - a life of scandal, political intrigue and royal romance that spanned five Tudor reigns. Royal Tudor blood ran in her veins. Some thought Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, should be queen of England. She ranked high at the court of her uncle, Henry VIII, and was lady of honour to five of his wives. Beautiful and tempestuous, she created scandal - twice - by falling in love with unsuitable men. Throughout her life her dynastic ties to two crowns proved hazardous. A born political intriguer, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London three times, once under sentence of death. Her husband and son were brutally murdered, she warred with two queens, and proved instrumental in securing the Stuart succession to the throne of England for her grandson. Alison Weir brings Margaret Douglas's captivating character out of the shadows for the first time.

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The #1 New York Times bestseller from “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory is a rich, compelling novel of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue surrounding the Tudor court of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and the infamous Boleyn family. When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of the handsome and charming Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane, and soon she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. With her own destiny suddenly unknown, Mary realizes that she must defy her family and take fate into her own hands. With more than one million copies in print and adapted for the big screen, The Other Boleyn Girl is a riveting historical drama. It brings to light a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe, and survived a treacherous political landscape by following her heart.

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For fans of Wolf Hall, Alison Weir’s New York Times bestselling biography of Henry VIII brilliantly brings to life the king, the court, and the fascinating men and women who vied for its pleasures and rewards. BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alison Weir’s Mary Boleyn. Henry VIII, renowned for his command of power, celebrated for his intellect, presided over the most stylish—and dangerous—court in Renaissance Europe. Scheming cardinals vied for power with newly rich landowners and merchants, brilliant painters and architects introduced a new splendor into art and design, and each of Henry's six queens brought her own influence to bear upon the life of the court. In her new book, Alison Weir, author of the finest royal chronicles of our time, brings to vibrant life the turbulent, complex figure of Henry VIII and the glittering court he made his own. In an age when a monarch's domestic and political lives were inextricably intertwined, a king as powerful and brilliant as Henry VIII exercised enormous sway over the laws, the customs, and the culture of his kingdom. Yet as Weir shows in this swift, vivid narrative, Henry's ministers, nobles, and wives were formidable figures in their own right, whose influence both enhanced and undermined the authority of the throne. On a grand stage rich in pageantry, intrigue, passion, and luxury, Weir records the many complex human dramas that swirled around Henry, while deftly weaving in an account of the intimate rituals and desires of England's ruling class—their sexual practices, feasts and sports, tastes in books and music, houses and gardens. Stimulating and tumultuous, the court of Henry VIII attracted the finest minds and greatest beauties in Renaissance England—poets Wyatt and Surrey, the great portraitist Hans Holbein, "feasting ladies" like Elizabeth Blount and Elizabeth FitzWalter, the newly rich Boleyn family and the ancient aristocratic clans like the Howards and the Percies, along with the entourages and connections that came and went with each successive wife. The interactions between these individuals, and the terrible ends that befell so many of them, make Henry VIII: The King and His Court an absolutely spellbinding read. Meticulous in historic detail, narrated with high style and grand drama, Alison Weir brilliantly brings to life the king, the court, and the fascinating men and women who vied for its pleasures and rewards. NOTE: This edition does not contain illustrations.

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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alison Weir's Mary Boleyn. Handsome, accomplished, and charming, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, staked his claim to the English throne by marrying Mary Stuart, who herself claimed to be the Queen of England. It was not long before Mary discovered that her new husband was interested only in securing sovereign power for himself. Then, on February 10, 1567, an explosion at his lodgings left Darnley dead; the intrigue thickened after it was discovered that he had apparently been suffocated before the blast. After an exhaustive reevaluation of the source material, Alison Weir has come up with a solution to this enduring mystery. Employing her gift for vivid characterization and gripping storytelling, Weir has written one of her most engaging excursions yet into Britain’s bloodstained, power-obsessed past.

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“If anyone is going to explore a future version of our high-tech, internet-obsessed culture, please let it be Megan Angelo. Followers is pure gold.” —Abbi Jacobson, bestselling author and cocreator of Broad City “An intricate and brave story of friendship, ambition, and love and the lengths people will go to protect it all.” —Booklist, *starred review* “Spectacular… the tale skillfully builds to a terrifyingly believable climax…Angelo delivers a strong, consistently fascinating debut.” —Publishers Weekly, *starred review* “Endless clever details and suspenseful plotting make this speculative-fiction debut an addictive treat.” —Kirkus Reviews, *starred review* An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the stunning moment that changes the world as we know it forever Orla Cadden is a budding novelist stuck in a dead-end job, writing clickbait about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Then Orla meets Floss—a striving, wannabe A-lister—who comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they dream about. So what if Orla and Floss’s methods are a little shady—and sometimes people get hurt? Their legions of followers can’t be wrong. Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity—twelve million loyal followers—Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is based on a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks. Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

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Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine was one of the leading personalities of the Middle Ages and also one of the most controversial. She was beautiful, intelligent and wilful, and in her lifetime there were rumours about her that were not without substance. She had been reared in a relaxed and licentious court where the arts of the troubadours flourished, and was even said to have presided over the fabled Courts of Love. Eleanor married in turn Louis VII of France and Henry II of England, and was the mother of Richard the Lionheart and King John. She lived to be 82, but it was only in old age that she triumphed over the adversities and tragedies of her earlier years and became virtual ruler of England. Eleanor has exerted a fascination over writers and biographers for 800 years, but the prevailing myths and legends that attach to her name still tend to obscure the truth. By careful research, Alison Weir has produced a vivid biography with a fresh and provocative perspective on this extraordinary woman.

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The new novel from the New York Times bestselling historian Alison Weir tells the story of one of history's most scandalous love affairs: the romance between the new, young "Virgin Queen" Elizabeth I and her handsome married courtier, Lord Robert Dudley. He is her dashing Master of Horse. She is the 25-year-old newly crowned English Queen, a title she holds only because there is no male heir to inherit it. Yet in spite of her tenuous hold on the throne, young Queen Elizabeth begins a flagrant flirtation with the handsome but married Lord Robert, taking long unchaperoned horseback rides with him and constantly having him at her side. Many believe them to be lovers, and over time the rumors grow that Elizabeth is no virgin at all, and that she has secretly borne Lord Robert's child. When Robert's wife is found dead, lying at the bottom of a staircase with her neck broken, there is universal shock followed by accusations of murder. Picking up where Alison Weir's bestselling novel to date, The Lady Elizabeth, left off (but standing completely alone), The Marriage Game tells the dramatic story of the "Virgin Queen's" reign, framed by Elizabeth's long and tumultuous relationship with Lord Robert. Did they or didn't they? Rivers of ink have been spilled in determining the answer to this burning historical question, and you can be sure Alison Weir has strong opinions about Elizabeth's questionable virginity, based on a lifetime of research. But fiction gives her a free hand to explore this intriguing love affair in its every colourful detail, and the resulting novel is one of her best.

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A shy wallflower meets her dream man--or does she?--in the next book in New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James' Wildes of Lindow series. Miss Viola Astley is so painfully shy that she’s horrified by the mere idea of dancing with a stranger; her upcoming London debut feels like a nightmare. So she’s overjoyed to meet handsome, quiet vicar with no interest in polite society — but just when she catches his attention, her reputation is compromised by a duke. Devin Lucas Augustus Elstan, Duke of Wynter, will stop at nothing to marry Viola, including marrying a woman whom he believes to be in love with another man. A vicar, no less. Devin knows he’s no saint, but he’s used to conquest, and he’s determined to win Viola’s heart. Viola has already said Yes to his proposal, but now he wants her unruly heart…and he won’t accept No for an answer.

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You Let Me In delivers a stunning tale from debut author Camilla Bruce, combining the sinister domestic atmosphere of Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects with the otherworldly thrills of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Cassandra Tipp is dead...or is she? After all, the notorious recluse and eccentric bestselling novelist has always been prone to flights of fancy—everyone in town remembers the shocking events leading up to Cassie's infamous trial (she may have been acquitted, but the insanity defense only stretches so far). Cassandra Tipp has left behind no body—just her massive fortune, and one final manuscript. Then again, there are enough bodies in her past—her husband Tommy Tipp, whose mysterious disembowelment has never been solved, and a few years later, the shocking murder-suicide of her father and brother. Cassandra Tipp will tell you a story—but it will come with a terrible price. What really happened, out there in the woods—and who has Cassie been protecting all along? Read on, if you dare... At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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'Warning: this book may well take over your summer. Think Gillian Flynn meets The Miniaturist' Waterstones ______________ London, 1615. Robert and Frances Carr are imprisoned, accused of murder. Their friend and confidante Thomas Overbury is dead. And they both have a motive for killing him . . . Frances, rescued from an abusive marriage, is determined to make a new life for herself . . . and will stop at nothing and no one to make sure she does. Robert is now one of the most powerful men in the land. But to get to the top he couldn't help but make enemies. One of them did it. But who? Because one of them will pay with their life. ______________ 'A Jacobean GONE GIRL. Dark and deeply satisfying, a tale of monstrous intrigue and murder' M. J. Carter 'A twisting psychological thriller based on a real Jacobean murder. Unputdownable' The Times

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“Smart, sensual and suspenseful as a thriller, Queen’s Gambit is a must-read for Philippa Gregory fans—and heralds a brilliant new player in the court of royal fiction” (People). Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived: This is the story of the one who survived. Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one Katherine Parr falls deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love. Instead, she attracts the amorous attentions of the ailing, egotistical, and dangerously powerful Henry VIII. No one is in a position to refuse a royal proposal so, haunted by the fates of his previous wives—two executions, two annulments, one death in childbirth—Katherine must wed Henry and rely on her wits and the help of her loyal servant Dot to survive the treacherous pitfalls of life as Henry’s queen. Yet as she treads the razor’s edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love.

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The surprising and dramatic life of the least known of King Henry VIII’s wives is illuminated in the fourth volume in the Six Tudor Queens series—for fans of Philippa Gregory, Hilary Mantel, and The Crown. Newly widowed and the father of an infant son, Henry VIII realizes he must marry again to ensure the royal succession. Forty-six, overweight, and suffering from gout, Henry is soundly rejected by some of Europe's most eligible princesses. Anna of Kleve, from a small German duchy, is twenty-four, and has a secret she is desperate to keep hidden. Henry commissions her portrait from his court painter, who depicts her from the most flattering perspective. Entranced by the lovely image, Henry is bitterly surprised when Anna arrives in England and he sees her in the flesh. Some think her attractive, but Henry knows he can never love her. What follows is the fascinating story of an awkward royal union that somehow had to be terminated. Even as Henry begins to warm to his new wife and share her bed, his attention is captivated by one of her maids-of-honor. Will he accuse Anna of adultery as he did Queen Anne Boleyn, and send her to the scaffold? Or will he divorce her and send her home in disgrace? Alison Weir takes a fresh and astonishing look at this remarkable royal marriage by describing it from the point of view of Queen Anna, a young woman with hopes and dreams of her own, alone and fearing for her life in a royal court that rejected her almost from the day she set foot on England’s shore.

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The story of Anne Boleyn's early life, told in detail for the first time

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'An impressive revisionist biography' The Times Looming out of the encroaching darkness of the February evening was London Bridge, still ornamented with the severed heads of Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham; the terrible price they had paid for suspected intimacy with the queen. Katherine now reached the Tower of London, her final destination. Katherine Howard was the fifth wife of Henry VIII and cousin to the executed Anne Boleyn. She first came to court as a young girl of fourteen, but even prior to that her fate had been sealed and she was doomed to die. She was beheaded in 1542 for crimes of adultery and treason, in one of the most sensational scandals of the Tudor age. The traditional story of Henry VIII's fifth queen dwells on her sexual exploits before she married the king, and her execution is seen as her just dessert for having led an abominable life. However, the true story of Katherine Howard could not be more different. Far from being a dark tale of court factionalism and conspiracy, Katherine's story is one of child abuse, family ambition, religious conflict and political and sexual intrigue. It is also a tragic love story. A bright, kind and intelligent young woman, Katherine was fond of clothes and dancing, yet she also had a strong sense of duty and tried to be a good wife to Henry. She handled herself with grace and queenly dignity to the end, even as the barge carrying her on her final journey drew up at the Tower of London, where she was to be executed for high treason. Little more than a child in a man's world, she was the tragic victim of those who held positions of authority over her, and from whose influence she was never able to escape.

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Over the years Katherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife, has been slandered as a ‘juvenile delinquent’, ‘empty-headed wanton’ and ‘natural born tart’, who engaged in promiscuous liaisons prior to her marriage and committed adultery after. Though she was bright, charming and beautiful, her actions in a climate of distrust and fear of female sexuality led to her ruin in 1542 after less than two years as queen. In this in-depth biography, Conor Byrne uses the results of six years of research to challenge these assumptions, arguing that Katherine’s notorious reputation is unfounded and redeeming her as Henry VIII’s most defamed queen. He offers new insights into her activities and behaviour as consort, as well as the nature of her relationships with Manox, Dereham and Culpeper, looking at her representations in media and how they have skewed popular opinion. Who was the real Katherine Howard and has society been wrong to judge her so harshly for the past 500 years?

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The scandalous true story of Mary Boleyn, infamous sister of Anne, and mistress of Henry VIII.

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Swords of the Spirit is historical fiction set in 16th century England and Scotland. It is the sequel to A Rose Without a Thorn. This epic novel begins in the 1540s. It is set at the powerful but contentious Royal Courts of their Catholic Majesties James V and Queen Marie of Scotland, and Protestant Englands infamous King Henry VIII. An aging Henry VIII is James Vs royal uncle. Yet will blood-ties prove thicker than water as, with half drawn swords, Scotland and England stand on the brink of war? Protestant England is also secretly making a pack with the Holy Roman Empire to cross swords with Catholic France. It is an age where treachery and deceit prove deadlier than the point of a sword. Both the Scottish and English Royal Courts are embroiled in dangerous intrigues and betrayals. In hopes of gaining power over one another Catholics and Protestants hatch deadly plots designed to bring down the other. As the reformation of church perilously rages on, many innocent lives become at stake in Scotland and England, and also throughout Christendom. Chief Catholic and Protestant ministers at the English Royal Court scheme to wed a woman of their own choosing to the widower, Henry VIII. Yet while England schemes to find a new queen, the in fighting between Catholics and Protestants has torn the Scottish Royal Court into two embittered factions. Will James V successfully unite his realm in time before Englands army thunders across the border with swords raised high above their heads? This riveting story brings to life a host of new compelling characters coupled with many of the original characters from A Rose Without a Thorn. All are soon joined together through much courtly intrigue as the exciting saga continues in Swords of the Spirit.

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Through an analysis of the marriage patterns of thousands of aristocratic women as well as an examination of diaries, letters, and memoirs, this book demonstrates that the sense of rank identity as manifested in these women's marriages remained remarkably stable for centuries, until it was finally shattered by the First World War.

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Niece to Henry VIII, heir to the throne, courtier at risk of being killed, spy-mistress, and ambitious political player, Lady Margaret Douglas is a vital new character in the Tudor story. Amidst the Christmas revels of 1530, a fifteen-year-old girl arrived at the court of King Henry VIII. Half-English, half-Scottish, she was his niece, the Lady Margaret Douglas. For the next fifty years, Margaret held a unique and precarious position at the courts of Henry and his children. As the Protestant Reformations unfolded across the British Isles and the Tudor monarchs struggled to produce heirs, she had ambitions of her own. She wanted to see her family ruling a united, Catholic Britain. Through a Machiavellian combination of daring, spying, and luck, Margaret made her son into a suitor to her niece Mary, Queen of Scots. Together, they had a powerful claim to the English throne--so powerful that Queen Elizabeth I feared they would overthrow her and restore both England and Scotland to the Catholic faith. The marriage cost Margaret her position, her freedom, and her beloved son's life. From the glittering Tudor court to the Tower of London, Lady Margaret Douglas weathered triumphs and tragedies in an era of tremendous change. Yet she never lost hope that she would see her family rule throughout the British Isles, which eventually happened when King James (I of England, VI of Scotland) united the crowns in 1603. Drawing on previously unexamined archival sources, So High a Blood presents a fascinating and dramatic portrait of this forgotten Tudor.

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This study of early modern queenship compares the reign of Henry VII’s queen, Elizabeth of York, and those of her daughters-in-law, the six queens of Henry VIII. It defines the traditional expectations for effective Tudor queens—particularly the queen’s critical function of producing an heir—and evaluates them within that framework, before moving to consider their other contributions to the well-being of the court. This fresh comparative approach emphasizes spheres of influence rather than chronology, finding surprising juxtapositions between the various queens’ experiences as mothers, diplomats, participants in secular and religious rituals, domestic managers, and more. More than a series of biographies of individual queens, Elizabeth of York and Her Six Daughters-in-Law is a careful, illuminating examination of the nature of Tudor queenship.

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A must-buy book for everyone interested in history and skeletons in the regal cupboards. Discover fascinating facts about lust, greed, murder, envy and just plain stupidity. Read King Henry VIIIs scurrilous letters to Anne Boleyn (thought he was interested in her mind? Think again). Whilst King Charles II was known as the Merry Monarch and Queen Elizabeth Is nickname, the Virgin Queen was rumored to be a misnomer, there was a darker side to the royal family, including murder and regicide was Queen Victorias son really Jack the Ripper or did her surgeon do it? History will come alive with this fact-filled book.

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A Spellbinding Tale of England's Most Passionate Queen-and the Three Men Whose Destinies Belonged to Her Alone. "Fast-paced...one of the most fascinating monarchs in history." -New York Times Book Review "A stupendous achievement...a book that captures Queen Elizabeth I completely." -Mainstream Historical Beloved for its stunning storytelling, Legacy offers an exquisite portrait of the queen who defined an era. Tracing the unlikely path from her tragic childhood to her ruthless confrontations with Mary, Queen of Scots, and capturing in all its glory her brilliant reign as Europe's most celebrated queen, Legacy peels back the layers from a mysterious monarch and satisfies the questions of history. Winner of the Georgette Heyer Historical Novel Prize and the Betty Trask Award, Legacy gives us Elizabeth the woman: proud, passionate, and captivating in her intensity. She inspired men to love her with bewitching devotion, no matter what the cost, but the depth of her love for England required a sacrifice that would haunt her to the grave. "Full of dramatic twists and turns, not to mention a scintillating central character and colorful supporting cast. Readers will lose themselves for hours in this richly entertaining novel." -Booklist Includes Bonus Reading Group Guide

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Arriving in Hollywood in 1950 to launch her American film career, Jean Simmons (1929-2010) had already appeared in 18 British films and was best known for her portrayal of Ophelia in Laurence Olivier's Hamlet. She soon became a favorite female face working with some of filmmaking's greats and acted opposite many Hollywood A-listers. Two of her most popular films--Guys and Dolls (1955) and Spartacus (1960)--were international box-office hits, and in her seven decades-long career she collected numerous awards and honors including a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and two Oscar nominations as Best Actress. Despite the accomplishments and accolades, radiant beauty, and stunning versatility, Simmons is considered by many to be an underrated artist, too often handed more comfortable leading female roles than those that could've elevated her to the level of super stardom experienced by some of her peers. This, the first full-length biography of Simmons, fills a gap in film and performing arts studies, and includes extensive notes and photographs.

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Since it first aired in 2011, Game of Thrones galloped up the ratings to become the most watched show in HBO’s history. It is no secret that creator George R.R. Martin was inspired by late 15th century Europe when writing A Song of Ice and Fire, the sprawling saga on which the show is based. Aside from the fantastical elements, Game of Thrones really does mirror historic events and bloody battles of medieval times—but how closely? Game of Thrones versus History: Written in Blood is a collection of thought-provoking essays by medieval historians who explore how the enormously popular HBO series and fantasy literature of George R. R. Martin are both informed by and differ significantly from real historical figures, events, beliefs, and practices of the medieval world. From a variety of perspectives, the authors delve into Martin’s plots, characterizations, and settings, offering insights into whether his creations are historical possibilities or pure flights of fantasy. Topics include the Wars of the Roses, barbarian colonizers, sieges and the nature of medieval warfare, women and agency, slavery, celibate societies in Westeros, myths and legends of medieval Europe, and many more. While life was certainly not a game during the Middle Ages, Game of Thrones versus History: Written in Blood reveals how a surprising number of otherworldly elements of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy are rooted deeply in the all-too-real world of medieval Europe. Find suggested readings, recommended links, and more from editor Brian Pavlac at gameofthronesversushistory.com.

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