Philippa Gregory's latest novel The Taming of the Queen takes us back to Henry VIII's glamorous court to meet his last wife, Kateryn Parr. However, this is not the court of the golden king that we all love. Henry is no longer in his prime and is in constant pain with his rotting foot. Always a fiery King, his temper is even quicker to explode than before. This is the court that Kateryn has reluctantly inherited. However, Henry adores her and is encouraging her scholarly pursuits and religious views. The challenge for Kateryn is keeping his affection because this King knows that he can always find a new wife.
It was wonderful coming back to Henry's court. While I have enjoyed Gregory's Cousin War series, her writing truly shines when she writes about the Tudors. Her language is sophisticated and reminiscent of the time period but is still easy to read. She captures the atmosphere of England in the 1500's beautifully. You walk the castles right along with Kateryn and feel her tension of living with a temperamental king. This portrayal of Henry was fascinating. He has become so cantankerous, paranoid and selfish. The once sought after royal court is something to fear. Gregory did an incredible job of developing the arc of the young king, who was constantly betrayed and used to getting his way, to an old and bitter man. If you haven't read Philippa Gregory's Tudor books, I would highly recommend them. Start the books chronologically and you will really see the development of Henry the VIII's reign.
Chronological Order: The Constant Princess, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance, The Taming of the Queen, The Queen's Fool, The Virgin's Lover— Jody
By the #1 New York Times bestselling author behind the Starz original series The White Queen, a riveting new Tudor tale featuring King Henry VIII’s sixth wife Kateryn Parr, the first English queen to publish under her own name.
Why would a woman marry a serial killer?
Because she cannot refuse…
Kateryn Parr, a thirty-year-old widow in a secret affair with a new lover, has no choice when a man old enough to be her father who has buried four wives—King Henry VIII—commands her to marry him.
Kateryn has no doubt about the danger she faces: the previous queen lasted sixteen months, the one before barely half a year. But Henry adores his new bride and Kateryn’s trust in him grows as she unites the royal family, creates a radical study circle at the heart of the court, and rules the kingdom as Regent.
But is this enough to keep her safe? A leader of religious reform and the first woman to publish in English, Kateryn stands out as an independent woman with a mind of her own. But she cannot save the Protestants, under threat for their faith, and Henry’s dangerous gaze turns on her. The traditional churchmen and rivals for power accuse her of heresy—the punishment is death by fire and the king’s name is on the warrant…
From an author who has described all of Henry’s queens comes a deeply intimate portrayal of the last: a woman who longed for passion, power, and education at the court of a medieval killer.
About the Author
Philippa Gregory is the author of many New York Times bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. Many of her works have been adapted for the screen including The Other Boleyn Girl. Her most recent novel, The Last Tudor, is now in production for a television series. She graduated from the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she is a Regent. She holds honorary degrees from Teesside University and the University of Sussex. She is a fellow of the Universities of Sussex and Cardiff and was awarded the 2016 Harrogate Festival Award for Contribution to Historical Fiction. She is an honorary research fellow at Birkbeck, University of London. She founded Gardens for the Gambia, a charity to dig wells in poor rural schools in The Gambia, and has provided nearly 200 wells. She welcomes visitors to her website PhilippaGregory.com.
Praise for The Taming of the Queen:
“Gregory puts readers at the scene with visceral details.”
"A fascinating history lesson, disguised as a novel, about a wily woman who survives lethal Tudor plots and outlasts a deadly king.”
“Gregory does her usual excellent job of ratcheting up the intrigue and suspense as another intelligent and strong-willed heroine fights for her life and her legacy.”—Booklist
“Who’s ever heard of Kateryn Parr? Henry VIII’s sixth wife was smart, independent—and managed to outlive him. In historical-fiction-queen Gregory’s latest, she’s unforgettable.”—People Magazine
“Full of vivid details and fraught with the constant tension of a court run by a madman, this novel will appeal most to historical fiction readers and those who enjoyed Wolf Hall. . . . Gregory beautifully builds the suspense.”—Library Journal (starred review)
"This novel beautifully exemplifies [Kateryn Parr’s] accomplishments while portraying an honest and emotional woman learning to survive in a dangerous royal court.”
“Gregory manages to make history lively, fascinating and real, even as she puts her own twist on what readers believe they know. The impeccable research shows in every page, while her wonderfully realistic dialogue and remarkable characters come to life. Gregory is a historian with heart and wit who makes history accessible.”
"This wives’ tale takes on a new life under Gregory’s whimsical pen.”
“Absorbing. . . Gregory's portrait of the complex, aging king and his sensual, scholarly bride will satisfy Tudor enthusiasts.”
"Parr’s story speaks of resilience, of a spirit that cannot be squelched."
“Gregory is…one of the very best writers of historical fiction….The book reads like a thriller, and is impossible to put down, even if you know the outcome” —Liz Smith
“The unforgettable, vivid story of Henry VIII’s last queen, Kateryn Parr…will have readers spellbound”
Praise for The King's Curse:
“Infuses vitality into an oft-forgotten player in the aftermath of the War of the Roses—Margaret Poole, heiress to the defeated Plantagenet clan.”—Closer
“Margaret’s story is shocking, deeply moving and offers an alternative view on a much-told tale. Gregory is on form here; her depiction of Henry VIII’s transformation from indulged golden boy to sinister tyrant is perfectly pitched and seems more horrific still when we are made intimate witnesses to the devastation of Margaret’s family. . . . I defy anyone to remain dry-eyed as the story reaches its tragic denouement.”—The Sunday Express (UK)
“[A] gripping and detailed chronicle, with plenty of court intrigue and politics to spice up the action . . . . Highly recommended.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“Nobody does dynastic history like Gregory.”—Booklist
"Gregory manages to keep us in suspense as to what will befall her characters....Under [her] spell, we keep hoping history won't repeat itself.”—Kirkus Reviews
"An illuminating portrait. . . Gregory moves confidently through a tangle of intrigue, revenge, and tyranny toward a shocking betrayal."—Publishers Weekly
Praise for The White Princess:
"Bring on the blood, sex and tears! . . . You name it, it's all here."—USA Today
"Loyalties are torn, paranoia festers and you can almost hear the bray of royal trumpets as the period springs to life. It’s a bloody irresistible read."—People
“This rich tapestry brings to vivid life the court of Henry and Elizabeth. Meticulously drawn characters with a seamless blending of historical fact and fiction combine in a page-turning epic of a story. Tudor-fiction fans can never get enough, and they will snap this one up.”—Library Journal (starred review)
"The White Princess features one of the more intriguing theories about the possible fate of the princes."—The Washington Post
Praise for Philippa Gregory:
“The queen of royal fiction.”—USA Today