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Murder Most Royal: The Story of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard (A Novel of the Tudors) [Kindle Edition]

Jean Plaidy
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $4.96 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC


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Book Description

One powerful king. Two tragic queens.

In the court of Henry VIII, it was dangerous for a woman to catch the king’s eye. Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were cousins. Both were beautiful women, though very different in temperament. They each learned that Henry’s passion was all-consuming–and fickle.

Sophisticated Anne Boleyn, raised in the decadent court of France, was in love with another man when King Henry claimed her as his own. Being his mistress gave her a position of power; being his queen put her life in jeopardy. Her younger cousin, Catherine Howard, was only fifteen when she was swept into the circle of King Henry. Her innocence attracted him, but a past mistake was destined to haunt her.

Painted in the rich colors of Tudor England, Murder Most Royal is a page-turning journey into the lives of two of the wives of the tempestuous Henry VIII.

Look for the Reading Group Guide at the back of this book.

Also available as an ebook.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


“Plaidy excels at blending history with romance and drama.” —New York Times

From the Trade Paperback edition.


"Plaidy excels at blending history with romance and drama." --"New York Times"

Product Details

  • File Size: 728 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1400082498
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (January 24, 2006)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,635 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative and moving January 28, 2006
By Franny
I first read this novel when I was thirteen and I found it utterly evocative of the Tudor period and it began a long love of all historical novels. I have devoured every book I could find about Anne Boleyn since and this is still the best. Plaidy created a spirited, proud, desirable Anne and the scenes in the novel really bring her to life. The way she weaves the lives of the two cousins together is very clever and I think it is a very well written piece of fiction.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Historical Novel! November 15, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read many Plaidy novels, but this delves deeper than the others and represents, in my opinion, absolutely the best of Plaidy, and probably the best on the period. What I don't like about modern historicals is the way they play with history. Plaidy sticks to the facts as they are known and provides insights and details that make the story come alive. The characters are real people, and the facts can't be disputed. In this book, she gives a fairly graphic portrayal of the torture used to extract the false confessions of Henry VIII's hapless victims, and after reading it, I found Plaidy gave me a new understanding of what this era in history, and this dynasty in particular, stood for, and it is even more horrific than I ever imagined. Plaidy's Henry VIII goes about his grotesque and bloody deeds with a good conscience, patting himself on the back for being such a fine and righteous fellow, which makes him even more appalling to our civilized mind. It is a look into the black mind of a serial killer, and a gripping read. Once you pick up the book, you can't put it down again until you're done. Despite the graphic parts, I recommend this novel even for teens, because they won't get a twisted view of history, and besides, Catherine was only a child when this ogre chose her for his queen, so this book would appeal to them. I think everyone who reads it will probably pause and give thanks for being born at a time in history when a monster like this can't roam the highest echelons of power stuffing his bloody mouth with the flesh of saints and sinners alike. That is the beauty of a great historical novel. It makes us understand the past, and appreciate our present even more.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Glaring error made me quit reading March 13, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read more books- both fiction and non fiction- than I can shake a stick at (about Anne & Catherine). This book jumps around from Anne to Catherine and back again with seemingly no structure. One paragraph is about Catherine and the next is Anne. I could probably get over that but I put the book down for good when I arrived at Anne's execution and saw that Plaidy has her kneeling at a block with her hands restrained. In every historical account I have read Anne is exectued in the French fashion- no block, unrestrained, with a sword. The whole execution sccene is totally at odds with the strong non fiction sources I have previously read. Why? I'm sure Plaidy is famailiar with the history so why mess with it? There are other liberties taken with the truth but this one doesn't streamline the story or advance the plot in any way- so why? I would suggest reading separate books on the two Queens. I had hoped she would address the similiarites between them- their political factions etc in a more intresting way but it felt more like two books smooshed together. I usually really enjoy her work.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the worst I've read! January 9, 2010
This novel instantly attracted me because it had to do with Henry VIII. I have become such an avid learner of the Tudor period that I'm willing to read anything about them. I had a couple of problems with this book. The historical inaccuracies aren't the worst I've come across, but some of the time, I was wondering if Plaidy had done any research on AB at all. Something that is really really getting to me, though, is how Henry is portrayed. In every Tudor novel he is seen as this incredibly selfish, sex crazed, easily manipulated, easily angered monarch. (A nice respite from this was Margaret George's The Autobiography of Henry VIII.). Yes, Henry was selfish and one-track minded when it came to an heir. But he was also shrewd, smart, and devout (despite breaking from Rome, he remained a Catholic). If you are looking for a good story about AB and CH, this is a decent retelling. If you are a fanatic for accuracy, this might not be to your taste.
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Most Intriguing December 25, 2003
"Commend me to His Majesty, and tell him that he hath been constant in his career of advancing me, from private gentlewoman he made me a marchioness, from a marchioness a queen, and now he hath left no higher degree of honor, he gives my innocency the crown of martyrdom!" declared Anne Boleyn before she was executed. She was the daughter of a mere knight, but became Queen of England. By doing so, she displaced Henry VIII's faithful and loving wife and daughter, broke England from Rome, and changed the course of history. But, she failed to give Henry VIII his much-desired son, and went the way of those he didn't like - the axe.
Her cousin, Catherine Howard had a similar fate. She was secretly not a virgin when she married Henry VIII, and once it was discovered, as well as the fact she was having an affair with Thomas Culpepper, she too went to the execution block.
This is my least favorite Jean Plaidy book. Her others are painstakingly historically accurate, yet this one is shockingly not so. She says that Anne Boleyn was Henry's mistress 4 years before she really was. Also, Jane Seymour is said to have been his mistress before marriage and pregnant at the time of marriage, when all historical information says the opposite. And perhaps the worst offense, it makes Thomas Cramner look terrible, and even goes as far as to call him a coward on several occasions. He is one of my heroes, and the very fact that he was burned at the stake for refusing to embrace Catholicism shows he was no coward. For a more historically accurate portrayal of these times, try The Lady in the Tower, also by Jean Plaidy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard
Very interesting book about tow of my Tudor favorites, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard written as historical fiction, and thus giving a personal look into the thoughts and lives... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Moira Lauren
5.0 out of 5 stars well written
Plaidy (RIP) was a superb historical fiction author. This book, like her other novels didn't deteriorate into bodice ripping erotica (not that I don't love bodice rippers as well,... Read more
Published 5 months ago by lilibet
4.0 out of 5 stars Pay attention!
One would think if a first cousin was be-headed by her husband, the second cousin of the family would run far, far away. Oh well,
who says fact is boring?
Published 8 months ago by Paula Fischer
5.0 out of 5 stars Far better than The Other Boleyn Girl
Nobody writes British historical fiction better than Jean Plaidy and this is one of her classics.
First published in 1949, it is NOT AT ALL dated. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gary Selikow
5.0 out of 5 stars Plaidy is superb
Excellent read. Well researched. Reads like a novel, but good history. Learned much about Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard & the contradicting personality of Henry VIII.
Published 17 months ago by TudorFan
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written but very graphic
I can overlook small errors in a novel. However, the vivid descriptions of the torture chambers made me have to skip over some parts. Read more
Published 18 months ago by ElenaOSH
3.0 out of 5 stars Murder Most Royal
I guess I knew most of the material as I have read a lot about Anne Boleyn. It's definitely not the best one I've read about her. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Jeri Witzany
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder Most Royal
This is book is fantastic. I love Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn's characters. They are so equal to each other. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Yuliya
3.0 out of 5 stars This Book and I Have Aged, And Not Too Well
I read and loved Murder Most Royal when I was young, in the 1970s. I have read several books about Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard since. Read more
Published 21 months ago by microfiche
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder Most Royal:Story of AnneBoeyln&CatherineHoward
I enjoyed this book very much. Not written like a history lesson, but the story of these two women lives. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Connie L. Morris
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