The Last Wife of Henry VIII
By Carolly Erickson
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312352189, 336pp.)
Publication Date: October 3, 2006
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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.
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.
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