- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (December 20, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312616961
- ISBN-13: 978-0312616960
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 23.6 x 228.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Katherine the Queen: The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr, the Last Wife of Henry VIII Paperback – December 20, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Although often depicted by the Victorians as a matronly nurse to an elderly king, Katherine Parr (1512–1548), according to Porter, was a stylish trendsetter of 30, sensual, confident, dynamic, exceptionally educated and cultured, and able to perform with aplomb on both an English and international stage. Born into a prominent, northern family of Yorkist sympathies, Katherine was widowed twice before marrying Henry VIII: a brief first marriage thrust her into a troubled family; her second husband, John Neville, Lord Latimer, put his life and fortune at risk when he became embroiled on the side of the rebels in the 1536 northern uprising, known as the Pilgrimage of Grace. Probably already in love with seasoned diplomat and soldier Sir Thomas Seymour, the king's brother-in-law, when she married Henry, the pragmatic Katherine embraced her royal role with enthusiasm. British historian Porter (The Myth of "Bloody Mary") claims Elizabeth I's education, religious beliefs, and consciousness of personal image owed much to her loving stepmother. Rich, perceptive, nuanced and creative, this first full-scale biography gives one of Britain's best but least-known queens her due. 16 pages of color illus. (Dec.) (c)
Copyright © PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Published almost simultaneously with a biography of Henry VIII’s first queen (Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII) comes this one on his last. Katherine Parr had already been wed and widowed twice when Henry asked her to be his wife. Although she was in love with another man, the swashbuckling Thomas Seymour, she agreed to marry the king because she thought it was “God’s will.” Her new position enabled her to develop close relationships with the king’s children, and she was a role model for Elizabeth, in particular. It also enabled her to promote the cause of religious reform and even undertake several literary projects. Her intellectual pursuits may have been part of what got her into hot water with the king, who was disappointed (again) by the lack of a son and in any case was quickly bored by wives. Not long after Henry’s death in 1547 Katherine raised eyebrows by marrying Thomas Seymour, and in 1548 she herself died after giving birth. This readable study fills another hole on the growing Tudor bookshelf. --Mary Ellen Quinn --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
There has not been that much written about her life however - until now. This book is a really well written,thoroughly researched and utterly captivating glimpse into the life of this remarkable Queen. Linda Porter has a remarkable way with biographies. They come to life under her pen. I have been a life long fan of historical fiction - based on British history. Some time ago I decided that I wanted to fill in the fictitious gaps with non-fiction. This book reads as easily as fiction. It's a pleasure - not pedantic, not dry - but completely easy and pleasurable to read. It took me only a few days to read this book and it is a book that will remain in my collection.
The book covers :
The early life of Katherine Parr,
Her two previous marriages (I had not heard much about the first before reading this book)
How she made her way into Court life and how Henry decided to make her his sixth wife.
Her relationship with Henry's three children and her own step-daughter from her second marriage (another fact that had not registered in my head before)
How she narrowly missed being another statistic for murdered Queens of England.
Her life after Henry's death.
Life with Thomas Seymour and the kerfuffle with Princess Elizabeth and Thomas Seymour.
Her death giving birth to her longed for child.
This book covers it all and does so in a most enjoyable way. If you are an Anglophile as I am this book is, simply, a must read. It's a should read for anyone who enjoys biographies, British Royalty and British history.
Katherine was a good stepmother to Henry's three children: Mary, Elizabeth and Edward. All three was ascend the throne. All three loved Katherine. Following the death of Henry she married Admiral Thomas Seymour. Seymour may have been in love with Princess Elizabeth. He was executed for treason. Katherine died as the results of giving birth to a girl Mary.
Katherine is important for several reasons:
a. She strongly influenced Queen Elizabeth I on how to govern. Katherine served as Regent of England while Henry was away on campaign in France.
b. She was a strong advocate of the Protestant Reformation influencing Edward VI who in his short reign of six years advocated evangelicalism in Great Britain. (Edward I reigned from 1546-53).
c. Katherine was the author of "Lamentations of a Sinner" which espoused Protestant piety and the reading of the Bible in the English language.
Katherine was a tough survivor in a brutal age. She is most deserving of this fine biography by Dr. Linda Porter. This book is Tudor history at its best.