Katherine Parr: The Sixth Wife

Alison Weir. Ballantine, $28.99 (544p) ISBN 978-1-101-96663-1
Weir’s final book in the Six Tudor Queens series (after Katheryn Howard: The Scandalous Queen) is an engaging and deeply researched take on Henry VIII’s final wife, Katherine Parr. Katherine, the highly educated and beautiful daughter of high-ranking courtiers, marries heir Edward Burgh at 16. Marital relations are scarce and awkward, and Weir suggests Edward is gay. After Edward’s death, Katherine marries widower John Latimer, twice her age. As John lays dying, Katherine and Thomas Seymour fall in love and secretly pledge to marry; meanwhile, Henry VIII asks for Katherine’s hand, having recently executed Katheryn Howard. With anti-reformist religious fervor rising and heretic hunter Bishop Gardiner burning suspects at the stake, Katherine accepts Henry, hoping to sway him toward religious reforms. Katherine is pious; she openly hosts religious debates in her chambers, but is a secret reformist, wishing to practice without Catholic observances, and later uncovers Gardiner’s plot to arrest her for heresy. Weir brings her expertise of the Tudor era to bear with rich detail and historical perspective on politics and religion, and the many intelligent conversations between Katherine and Henry VIII add to the charm. With a mercurial, captivating king as hook, Weir serves up a sharp and lucid blend of grim fact and stylish fiction. Agent: Julian Alexander, the Soho Agency. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/24/2021
Release date: 05/11/2021
Genre: Fiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-101-96664-8
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