The Confession of Katherine Howardby Suzannah Dunn
From Suzannah Dunn, the critically acclaimed author of The Queen of Subtleties, The Sixth Wife and The Queen’s Sorrow, comes the tragic, gripping, and intensely moving story of Katherine Howard—the fifth wife of England’s King Henry VIII—and the best friend she nearly took down with her. The Confession of Katherine Howard/b>/b>
From Suzannah Dunn, the critically acclaimed author of The Queen of Subtleties, The Sixth Wife and The Queen’s Sorrow, comes the tragic, gripping, and intensely moving story of Katherine Howard—the fifth wife of England’s King Henry VIII—and the best friend she nearly took down with her. The Confession of Katherine Howard is masterful historical fiction, ideal for fans of Phillipa Gregory and Allison Weir, bringing to rich, lustrous life the sights and sounds of the royal Tudor court while telling a story of passion, intrigue, betrayal, and destiny that will live in the reader’s memory long after the final page is turned.
Queen Katherine's life of clothes, music and "constant partying" comes to an unpleasant end in Dunn's (The Queen's Sorrow,2008, etc.) latest historical.
As observed by her BFF Catheryn Tilney, Henry VIII's fifth wife, Kate Howard is a bit of a tramp. Although raised in a Catholic household, Kate was apparently only pretending to be a virgin on her wedding night and since becoming queen has taken a lover. Dunn's account of 19-year-old Kate's downfall in 16th-century England uses modern language and preoccupies itself with friendships, rivalries and, above all, sex. An overlong central flashback is devoted to Cat and Kate's younger years living with the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, which is where Kate became involved with Francis Dereham, later to be Cat's lover and the first victim of Kate's fall from royal grace, taken to the Tower for questioning about his early relationship with the queen. The novel's drama is in its beginning and end, tracing Kate's swift descent: questioned, stripped of her crown jewels, pressured to admit she was pre-contracted to Francis, which would have rendered her unavailable for the royal marriage, and eventually betrayed. A postscript offers the succinct facts and fates of the protagonists.
A sexually charged version of history angled toward a Gossip Girl audience.
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Meet the Author
Suzannah Dunn is the author of ten novels in the United Kingdom, including The Sixth Wife and The Queen of Subtleties, both published in the United States as well. She lives in Brighton, England.
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In childhood, Catherine Tilney and Katherine Howard became best friends when both were wards of the Duchess of Norfolk. They remain close through their teen years as their families ignore them. Katherine falls in love with Francis Dereham. However, King Henry VIII makes the teenager his fifth wife. However, her time as queen is short because of accusations that she had an arrangement with Dereham prior to marrying the king; her best friend, a lady in waiting, is also considered for execution due to guilt by association. The Confession of Katherine Howard is made fresh by Catherine, as the narrator Tilney provides a unique perspective that in many ways turns the exciting story line into her tale as she paints a picture of her friend as being intelligent rather than an inane flirt. In order for Howard to have achieved what she did in a man's world where she was abandoned as a child, she would have needed some smarts. Ironically what beheaded her was her childhood attraction to Francis Dereham, which no evidence supported the contention that this continued as an adult but was used as if it was alive during her marriage to the king. Although the wives of Henry have been featured in many biographical fictions including by Suzannah Dunn (see The Queen of Subtleties, The Sixth Wife and The Queen's Sorrow; and The King's Rose by Alissa Libby), this is a unique look at a woman unfairly judged during her life and since; perhaps Hnetry in his gut knew as he aged rapidly after her beheading. Harriet Klausner