The Fifth Queen

The Fifth Queen Cover

The Fifth Queen

By Ford Madox Ford; A. S. Byatt (Introduction by)

Vintage Books, Paperback, 9780307744913, 607pp.

Publication Date: October 4, 2011

Ford Madox Ford's novel about the doomed Katharine Howard, fifth queen of Henry VIII, is a neglected masterpiece.
Kat Howard intelligent, beautiful, naively outspoken, and passionately idealistic catches the eye of Henry VIII and improbably becomes his fifth wife. A teenager who has grown up far from court, she is wholly unused to the corruption and intrigue that now surround her. It is a time of great upheaval, as unscrupulous courtiers maneuver for power while religious fanatics both Protestant and Catholic fight bitterly for their competing beliefs. Soon Katharine is drawn into a perilous showdown with Thomas Cromwell, the much-feared Lord Privy Seal, as her growing influence over the King begins to threaten too many powerful interests. Originally published in three parts ("The Fifth Queen, Privy Seal, "and "The Fifth Queen Crowned"), Ford's novel serves up both a breathtakingly visual evocation of the Tudor world and a timeless portrayal of the insidious operations of power and fear in any era.

About the Author
Ford Madox Ford was born Ford Hermann Hueffer in England in 1873. In 1919 he changed his name to Ford Madox Ford in honour of his grandfather, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown, whose biography he had written. Ford was well-known for both his fiction and his criticism. He founded two influential journals, "The English Review" in 1908 and "The Transatlantic Review" in 1924, in which he championed many of the leading modernist writers of the day. His most famous novels include the tetralogy "Parade s End "and "The Good Soldier, "which are still ranked among the greatest literary works of the twentieth century. Ford died in 1939, at age sixty-five, in France."

Praise For The Fifth Queen

“Ford’s last Fifth Queen novel is amazing. The whole cycle is a noble conception.” —
Joseph Conrad

“The best historical romance of this century.” —The Times Literary Supplement (London)

The Fifth Queen is a magnificent bravura piece.” —Graham Greene