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The Confession of Katherine Howard Paperback – April 5, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been interested with King Henry VIII and his wives for a long time. It was nice reading about Katherine from her point of view instead of someone else's for a changePublished 19 months ago by Barb
I really enjoyed this book always have been fascinated by Henry the III's wives what made them think they would be the one.Published on November 5, 2012 by Kindle Customer
When 12 year old Katherine comes living with the Duchess of Norfolk, she meets Cat Tilney and they become friends despite having very little in common. Read morePublished on August 25, 2012 by Elysium
The Confession of Katherine Howard is a retelling of the rise and fall of Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII by her girlhood friend and later Lady in Waiting, Cat... Read morePublished on May 9, 2011 by Darlene @ Peeking Between the Pages
In childhood, Catherine Tilney and Katherine Howard became best friends when both were wards of the Duchess of Norfolk. Read morePublished on April 6, 2011