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The Queen's Governess
     

The Queen's Governess

4.1 47
by Karen Harper
 

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The national bestselling author of Mistress Shakespeare delivers the epic tale of Elizabeth I's most trusted companion-a commoner who lived among royals...

Katherine Ashley, the clever, beguiling daughter of a poor country beekeeper, catches the attention of powerful, ambitious Thomas Cromwell-henchman for King Henry VIII. Cromwell secures for Kat

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The Queen's Governess 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
ZQuilts More than 1 year ago
I had anxiously awaited the publication date for this book and was so pleased when it arrived at my door! This book is told through the voice of Elizabeth Tudor's governess, companion and friend, Kat (Katherine) Champernowne Ashley (Astley). The book recounts the story of Kat's life and spans the years 1516-1560; a tour through the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey and Mary Tudor. We follow Kat's story, beginning with Kat as a poor young girl living in the wilds of Devon with a step-mother she hates. We follow Kat as she is first noticed for her with and intelligence by Lord Cromwell - himself and up and coming 'player' in the Tudor Court- and we follow her journey as she rises withing the ranks of the Court. Some people may have heard about the locker ring that Elizabeth I wore until her death in 1603. It had been thought to have been simply a ring until it was removed from her hand and was found to contain portraits or Elizabthe as a toddler and her mother, Anne Boleyn. Common history has it that Elizabeth herself commissioned this ring to be made - but the book take's up another potential story for the ring. What if it had been designed for Anne Boleyn herself? This book fleshes out the story behind Kat, a woman who was pivotal in Tudor history but about whom we know very little. Subplots of intrigue, tragedy, love and redemption are all superbly interwoven in the pages of this delightful book. Karen Harper's research was so well done that this is a thoroughly believable read that I could not put down. I had to give it 5 starts because I could not stop reading it, the history is so well researched and the characters were so real! Karen Harper is also the author of "The First Princess of Wales", "The Last Boleyn" and, "Mistress Shakespeare" among many others. For lots more information go to her website!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading Alison Weir and some other writers of Tudor historical novels, I was disappointed with this book. Ackward flashing forward, abrupt ending, plus a hokey ghost story that suddenly reared it's head. Kate Ashley deserves a better story telling. Wish I had my money back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrific book. Well written, factual, and interesting. The ending is abrupt, though. I turned the last page, expecting more, and found the author's note instead. Will read more from this author, though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the point of view from Elizabeth's constant companion! Kat Ashley deserves more focus in books...Hope to see more on her!
penname96 More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! I have been reading Philippa Gregory's Tudor books and wasn't sure if another author could capture that era the way Philippa did. Well, she did! I loved the story of Kat. Like all Tudor books it helps to know a little history. I am ordering more from Karen today.
Stemline More than 1 year ago
Many historical novels focus on well-known royals, such as Anne Boleyn; this one depicts the woman who was the governess to her daughter, Elizabeth I. Applause to the author for creating a believable character from the skimpy data available about the woman. Fans of the Tudor era will enjoy this.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Katherine Ashley has no hope for her future ever since her mother drowned and her father married Maud. Her stepmother treats Kat with contempt and uses her as a drone nursemaid to her half siblings. Her impoverished slavish life changes when she does something for Thomas Cromwell, advisor to King Henry VIII. He takes her from her father's home, has her educated and sent to the court serving Anne Boleyn, but actually is a spy for him. In 1536 when the Queen is executed, Kat survives becoming governess to Boleyn's daughter, Elizabeth. She remains with the Princess through some hard times and continues to serve when Elizabeth becomes queen. This is an intriguing look at the Tudor sixteenth century reign from the perspective of a servant caught in the middle several times during the rule of King Henry and Queen Mary while serving as s surrogate mother in many ways to Elizabeth before she becomes queen in 1558, over two decades after her mom was executed. Imprisoned twice during plots and counterplots, The Queen's Governess survived family and court intrigue; as Karen Harper provides fans of English royal biographical fiction with a fresh perspective. Harriet Klausner
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Suz79 More than 1 year ago
Karen Harper at her best.
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