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Condition: Used: Good
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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Murder Most Royal: The Story of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard Paperback – January 24, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
Book 5 of 11 in the Tudor Saga Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

About the Author

Jean Plaidy is the pen name of Eleanor Hibbert; she was also known as Victoria Holt. More than fourteen million copies of her books have been sold worldwide. Visit maidenscrown.com for a list of other historical novels available from this prolific author.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Novel of the Tudors
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400082498
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400082490
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #772,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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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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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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
"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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