Monday, 12 March 2007

The Sixth Wife by Suzannah Dunn

Katherine Parr's life ended sadly. After three marriages to older men, the last to King Henry VIII, she finally was able to marry Thomas Seymour, someone she truely loved. Most people probably considered her to be barren after three marriages with no pregnancies to show for it. And she certainly seemed to be taken by suprise to find herself pregnant. However, she had a difficult pregnancy, both physically and emotionally. There is a secret, even then clouded with rumours and supositions, that her beloved Thomas was overfamiliar with Princess Elizabeth, and that Katherine may in fact have caught them in a passionate embrace. Katherine went on the give birth to a daughter, Mary, who unfortunately is lost to history.

Suzannah Dunn has Katherine's closest friend, Catherine Brandon (nee Willoughby) tell the story of the last part of Katherine's life. They were close friends with many similar ideals, in religion and the education of women, which were very much ahead of their time. Catherine (Cathy) is very suspicious of Thomas's marriage to Katherine, and really doesn't trust that he loves her more than his ambition to have more say in the goverment. I don't wish to spoil the storyline for those that may wish to read the book; but there is an interesting take on events. And when you think about the Tudor times, people really did seem to do pretty much anything to protect themselves and family from the hint of scandel, or were alway trying to meddle their way to the top of the heap.

It is an entertaining read, and I will be sure to read her previous book soon, as "The Queen of Subtleties" has been on my shelf for some time now. And after writing two books in succession on Tudor times, I wonder if this author is going to write about more figures of the time. I would certainly like to see more!

For my next book, I have selected "Innocent Traitor" by Alison Weir. I tend not to read books from the same time period one after the other, but I have broken my own rule here! Reason being is that one of the members of the Historical Fiction forum is meeting Alison Weir for dinner. Lucky girl SM! Anyway this book will probably be well discussed, and it just seemed fitting to read it now! And hey, its probably as close as I would ever get to personally discussing a book with such an illustrious author (6 degrees of separation and all that!


Daphne said...

I read Innocent Traitor last fall and really liked it. Such a tragic story...

Thanks for the info on the Dunn book. I've thought about getting this a couple of times, so I might check it out.

Marg said...

SM is very lucky!

Ren said...

I'm enjoying your reviews of these sorts of books. I've recently read some Philippa Gregory novels and thoroughly enjoyed them. This period in history has always intrigued me, ever since I visited the Tower of London a couple months ago.

Linda said...

I enjoy your comments via the historicalfiction site. You should try to read the Queen of Subtelities(spelling?) It really is a good book.

Bethlehem PA USA

Jennifer said...

I really enjoyed Innocent Traitor. It had my heart pounding at the end.