4.2 5
by Christian Ashley

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Born into nobility during the sixteenth century, young Katheryn lived a profoundly tragic life within the licentious splendor of the Tudor reign. As King Henry VIII’s fifth wife, she became notable in her desire to die with dignity and was granted her request to…  See more details below


Born into nobility during the sixteenth century, young Katheryn lived a profoundly tragic life within the licentious splendor of the Tudor reign. As King Henry VIII’s fifth wife, she became notable in her desire to die with dignity and was granted her request to practice laying her head upon the block the night before her execution. Dignity is a presentation of her intense yet short lived life based on little known historical facts about Katheryn Howard. Dignity begins with Katheryn’s rehearsal on the night prior to her execution with the first chapter taking a look back into her childhood and progressing forward from there. The story entails relationships with members of her noble family including her cousin Anne Boleyn and the interesting progression of Katheryn’s life to include the moment of her death.

Dignity is a historical fiction romance novel portraying the tragic and short life of Henry VIII’s fifth and youngest wife, Katheryn Howard. Although written in a romantic style, Dignity contains explicit sexual content and disturbing themes such as incest, child sexual abuse, and male privilege within the context of 16th Century Tudor history. The dark secrets of Katheryn’s childhood are exposed explaining the commonplace result of over-sexualization and promiscuity. Her lascivious lifestyle was to become her eventual demise as her pre-marital history was uncovered during her short reign as Queen of England. The story explores the viewpoints of many of the characters involved with Katheryn both historically and romantically as she searched for love through the only thing that she felt she had some control over, her sensuality. In the time of Katheryn’s short life, women were considered little more than property in a male dominated world. Dignity does nothing to sugar coat this fact and because it is written in a romantic fashion, it can draw the reader in and be quite stimulating yet in some instances, it can be quite disturbing.

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Product Details

Christian Ashley
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Barnes & Noble
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999 KB

Meet the Author

A descendant of Katheryn Howard, the author's maternal great grandmother, Martha May Howard, was born and raised in Kent England, and was descended from one of Katheryn Howard's brothers. Christian Ashley was raised in Los Angeles, California and has four children who are now adults. She is also an artist; Christian Ashley's illustrations of characters in Dignity are portrayed on book covers, web sites, and in the DIGNITY book trailer.

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Dignity 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a Tudor history fan I was pleased to receive your book for Christmas - I read it so fast and really enjoyed the weaving of history with a compelling story.  Any plans to tackle others from the period? After reading a lot of non-fiction, it was wonderful to enjoy a well-written book  set in a period of time that  I love! Kudos for your work – you have a fan here!
AvidReader2015 More than 1 year ago
I happened to like it when a book cannot easily be classified in the narrow confines of a particular genre. Is this an Erotic Fiction, or a Historical Fantasy? In my mind, life itself (and the art that mirrors it) constantly changes from one genre to the next, depending on the moment of experience. I appreciate a story for its contrasts, which explains precisely why I enjoy this work, and why some readers may not. Perhaps they expect one thing, based on the title 'Dignity'--and on some pages they get something entirely different, such as a steaming, sensually described love scene. If you are one of these readers, beware. Otherwise, you will find such contrasts quite thrilling. The book opens with an out-of-place Epilogue (titled Prologue) which describes the queen rehearsing for the most important day of her life, the day of her execution. "It was important, she believed, do end with the dignity of a queen. After all, the only thing that she had left was her dignity." From there, we cut back to her childhood and her affair and marriage to the king. She becomes the witness--and in the end, the victim--of the high drama surrounding him. "His arrogance both attracted and infuriated her... She knew he could take her by force... she'd still have her dignity, and even he couldn't have that." Katheryn Howard, the heroine of this story, is based on a historical figure about whom little is known (not even her date and place of birth.) Henry the VIII married her immediately after the annulment of his marriage to Anne of Cleves was arranged. Katheryn was beheaded after less than two years of marriage, on the grounds of treason for committing adultery. This life, which is barely sketched in historical books due to its unknowns, provides a great, blank canvas for painting every emotion, every thought of this sensual woman. Confined in the tight dresses of the time, she is fighting to survive, as best she can, in the world of men. One last note: when his painting The Nude Maja created an uproar, Goya created another painting of the same woman identically posed, but clothed. This book is provided in two versions: censored and uncensored, so you may take your pick. Five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dignity is no fairy tale; It’s more like a Tudor version of fifty shades of grey with a much better plot. It is a very real description of a girl who finds herself to be the Queen of England. What I enjoyed most was that her story is told from the heart and explains Katheryn’s feelings and why she ended up being promiscuous, which was the ultimate reason that she was executed. The author pulls the reader in and describes everything explicitly and though it is both disturbing and sexually stimulating, the reader is allowed a glimpse to understand most every character in the story. The end, which is from the chapter about the Gentlewomen’s chamber on, is historical and blends perfectly with the torrid childhood created by the author. I loved Dignity and would recommend it highly to anyone who is open to read a very well described and realistic tragedy. This entry was posted on February 21, 2015. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is NOT historical fiction. That genre belongs to authors such as Taylor Caldwell, Alison Weir and Anya Seaton. This is purely a romance novel and should be categorized as such.