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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Confession of Katherine Howard Paperback – April 5, 2011

3.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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. (Apr.)
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'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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062011472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062011473
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,166,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There are two approaches you can take in assessing the life of Katherine Howard. Either she was a silly little girl who got led out of her depth, or she was a knowing, sexual girl - a sort of Tudor Ladette if you like. The former approach is more usually taken by the history books, but with some foundation, Dunn takes the latter view. I don't have an issue with that. Neither do I particularly object to the modern language used - in fact I think it can help to bring these lives to life in a fun way - the use of nicknames for the servants is mildly amusing. This is much like the BBC's Tudors TV series, but without all the heaving bosoms.

But the problem with this book, which combines the final days of Katherine's position as Henry VIII's fifth wife with flashbacks of her upbringing, is that it's told from the point of view of Catheryn Tilney (a real life member of Katherine's household) although the depth of friendship and Catheryn's relationship with Dereham is Dunn's own creation. And, as if to emphasise the shift away from seeing Katherine as a silly little girl, here Dunn makes Tilney so desperately dull and naïve that the bulk of the book, instead of being about Katherine, is a poor romance of Tilney's sexual naïvity and her wondering about sex.

Given that what we know about Katherine is so richly lurid (her relationships with music teacher Manox and Dereham prior to her wedding and then, while married, with Culpeper) due to the investigation that took place, it's a heck of an achievement to make this such a dull read. Perhaps there is just too much known about this aspect of her life (but little else of it) to excite Dunn's imaginative juices. So she concentrates on her fictionally enhanced Tilney - who is a crashing bore and a drip of the highest order.
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Format: Hardcover
I have no wish to hurt the author's feelings but I did not enjoy this book at all and got very little out of it.
The writing is so dull that I actually lost concentration many times. The author is trying hard to be the new Philipa Gregory but the dialogue and characterization is poor.
In fact I never liked Philipa Gregory's hatchet job on Anne Boleyn, I like Dunn's hatchet job on Katherine Howard even less.
I personally believe that Katherine Howard, while indeed was a sexually promiscuous girl and perhaps simple , had a loving heart which was why she loved more than one man . But she was NOT the pathologically selfish schemer that Dunn paints her as and various other books and films have done.
At any rate its time we dropped the portrayal of sexually adventurous girls as being wicked and deserving a nasty fate while men who do the same are seen as much admired and many rakes. It should have no place any-more , though it seems to be being imported back into Britain by Islam. Now the best novels about Katherine Howard is Murder Most Royal: The Story of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard and The Rose Without a Thorn: The Wives of Henry VIIIby Jean Plaidy. Read that instead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not much longer than the life of Katherine Howard herself. However, it does present Katherine in a different light. In previous biographies and historical fiction, Katherine seems more of a pawn for her family than a woman who is capable of making calculated decisions. Philippa Gregory captured this very well in The Boleyn Inheritance. However, Susannah Dunn portrays Katherine as a very calculating girl - at least as far as calculating her own effect on others and what it will bring her. While the book is entertaining, since it concentrated on Katherine and her relationship with her friend Cat, it downplays Jane Rochford, who surely had a bigger role than she was given in this book, given that she was executed for her role in Katherine's downfall. But the scenes of Katherine's arrest and confinement, and her reaction of fury and fear, are believable, and make a character who is not altogether sympathetic throughout the earlier pages someone to be pitied in the end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I realize that being a queen in medieval England was the dream of many a young lady. But the thought of being queen to Henry VIII should give only nightmares. Yet, Katherine Howard lived that dream and turned it into a nightmare. But for the queen to take a lover requires guile on he part and Katherine had none. Ms. Dunn captures the innocence of Katherine and the political greed of her family. It is another glimpse into Tudor England.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This read like a Young Adult romance book rather than history. The young characters were too modern in their speech and manners. They said things like "Yup", "you bet", and Katherine as Queen even used the F-word. Even though I was put off early in the book, I forced myself to finish it. Not sure it was worth my time in the end.
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Format: Paperback
What with the torrent of movies, miniseries and novels set in the age of Henry VIII, the monarch's ill-fated queens have become a media industry in the last few years. There are high points, certainly. Hilary Mantel's prize-winning WOLF HALL is a masterly evocation of Henry's reign, as are the superb historical mysteries by C.J. Sansom. And Philippa Gregory's many novels of the period are colorful, absorbing reads with a satisfyingly authentic feel.

If Suzannah Dunn's latest historical novel, her fourth, isn't quite up to those lofty standards, it is an entertainingly frothy gloss on the story of Henry's unlucky fifth wife. THE CONFESSION OF KATHERINE HOWARD's particular distinction is its emphasis on the youthfulness of the queen and her friends (her precise birth date is disputed, but in Dunn's book she is 17 when she marries Henry). Katherine is that recognizable Popular Girl --- there's one in every high school class; I can remember mine with dead accuracy --- whose enigmatic cool and sexual sophistication other girls envy and admire, love and hate. Kat Tilney, the novel's narrator, positively radiates ambivalence. A girl from a solid but hardly aristocratic family, she meets Katherine when both have been farmed out to the Duchess of Norfolk's household to be educated and made marriageable.

Kat is a good foil for Katherine. She is much more naïve, her rather medieval notions of love ("A lady could only love one man --- romantically --- at a time") colliding with her friend's taste for sexual variety. Although she is able initially to resist the Howard girl's seductive powers, ultimately they become close friends (they even fall in love, consecutively, with the same man). When Katherine becomes queen, she appoints Kat as one of her ladies-in-waiting.
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