Ford Madox Ford (17 December 1873 – 26 June 1939) was an English novelist, poet, critic and editor whose journals, The English Review and The Transatlantic Review, were instrumental in the development of early 20th-century English literature. He is now best remembered for The Good Soldier (1915), the Parade's End tetralogy (1924–28) and The Fifth Queen trilogy (1906–08). The Good Soldier is frequently included among the great literature of the past century, including the Modern Library 100 Best Novels, The Observer's '100 Greatest Novels of All Time', and The Guardian's '1000 novels everyone must read'
First published in 1907, this is the second book in The Fifth Queen trilogy, the others being The Fifth Queen (Book 1) and The Fifth Queen Crowned (Book 3).
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In the second book of 'The Fifth Queen' trilogy, Katherine Howard, the most honest woman in England, has found her natural enemy in Chancellor Cromwell. Cromwell is rebuilding a nation, mending the damage done by the War of the Roses and the Protestant Reformation. He will do anything to bring peace and harmony to the land. Katherine, beloved by Henry, soon to be made his fifth queen, decides she must use this unsought power to return the land to the Catholic church. But she refuses to plot to do so. Any thing that might tip the nation back into turmoil is unacceptable to Cromwell whose great love is England. When Katherine won't make a deal, he knows he must destroy her. Destroying the woman loved by the king is dangerous work. The loser of this fight must face the executioner. Two other men, both in love with Katherine, complicate the problem. Thomas Culpepper, a violent fool, protected Katherine when she was young and friendless. Now, without meaning to be, he is her most dangerous foe