OVERRIDE

The Last Wife of Henry VIII

A Novel

Carolly Erickson

St. Martin's Press

Author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette

 

Courageous, attractive, romantic, intelligent, Catherine Parr became the sixth wife of Henry VIII. Her story, as Carolly Erickson re-creates it, is page-turning drama: from the splendors of the Field of the Cloth of Gold to the gory last years of the outsize King Henry, when heads rolled and England trembled, Catherine bestrode her destiny and survived to marry her true love.

Catherine Parr attracted the king’s lust and, though much in love with the handsome Thomas Seymour, was thrown into the intrigue-filled snake pit of the royal court. While victims of the king’s wrath suffered torture and execution, Catherine persevered—until, at last, she came within the orbit of the royal fury. King Henry toyed with her, first ordering her arrested, then granting her clemency. She managed to evade execution, but she knew that the king had his wandering eye fixed on wife number seven.

She was spared by his death and married the attractive but dangerously unbalanced Seymour. Her triumph was shadowed by rivalry with the young Princess Elizabeth, whose lands and influence the lecherous Seymour coveted. Catherine won the contest, but at great cost.

In The Last Wife of Henry VIII, critically acclaimed author Carolly Erickson brings this dramatic story of survival and redemption to life.


BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One 
My earliest memory is of a windswept plain in flanders called the Golden Valley. I was seven years old, a blue-eyed, fair-haired child in the retinue of Queen Catherine, and I rode into the valley on the back of a small cart filled with trunks and baskets and cages of squawking chickens and ducks. A light rain was falling, I remember, and I put up the hood of my cloak to cover my head.
 
As we trundled and rattled down through the hills the rain suddenly ceased and the sun came out. I could see the entire plain spread out before me, with the little town of Ardres
READ THE FULL EXCERPT
BACK

REVIEWS

Praise for The Last Wife of Henry VIII

Praise for The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette

“I read The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette in two days, and when I finished it, I reread the final pages, as hungry for more as a child scraping the last crumbs of chocolate cake off her plate with her fingers. I thrilled to Marie Antoinette’s every incarnation.…A very human and multi-textured portrait of a queen who all too often has been reduced to a historical one-liner.” ---Judith Warner, The New York Times Book Review

 

“[Marie Antoinette] regains her historical reputation in this historical novel. . . . The glittering but corrupt French court, the growing turmoil, the brutal poverty, the intrigues are all illuminated here.” ---Deirdre Donahue, USA Today

 

“Writers of historical fiction must tread a fine line between loving one’s protagonists while telling the truth about them. Carolly Erickson has executed this balancing act with the same scorching wit and great-heartedness that has always illuminated her biographies.” ---Robin Maxwell, author of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn and To the Tower


“Carolly Erickson turns cold fact to hot fiction in her first historical novel. The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette lets a much-maligned woman speak for herself---in exquisitely precise prose that illuminates her growth from innocent princess to unloved wife to doomed queen. Erickson...reveals the very human truth behind history’s mask.” ---India Edghill, author of Queenmaker and Wisdom’s Daughter

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Carolly Erickson

  • Distinguished historian turned popular novelist CAROLLY ERICKSON is the author of The First Elizabeth, Great Catherine, Alexandra, The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, and many other prize-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. She lives in Hawaii.

  • Carolly Erickson Photo: Brian Reed
BACK

COMMUNITY

Tor.com

    MORE BLOG POSTS
    BACK

    READING GUIDE

    ORGANIZING A READING GROUP

    GET THE GUIDE

    Download PDF

    TELL YOUR FRIENDS

    FIND MORE BOOKS

    Go to website

    STAY UPDATED

    Sign Up
    BACK

    BUY THE BOOK

    Available Formats and Book Details

    The Last Wife of Henry VIII

    A Novel

    Carolly Erickson

    BACK

    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    St. Martin's Press

    BACK