Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Death of Catherine Howard: Books About the Tudors

Catherine Howard was Henry VIII's 5th wife. She was young and flirtatious and was the second wife that Henry had beheaded. Her age, the court intrigue, the guys, the dresses-- Catherine Howard's life is excellent fodder for teen fiction. I'm surprised we haven't seen more about her. On this day in 1542, she was beheaded at the Tower of London. Her exact date of birth is uncertain, but when she died, she wasn't yet 18. Today's list is on the Tudors in general.


Gilt by Katherine Longshore. This one is narrated by Howard's best friend, Kitty. It gets bonus points for its characterization of Lady Rochford.

The King's Rose by Alisa Libby. This one is narrated by Catherine herself and shows how she was a pawn of her family and found herself in way over her head.

Patience, Princess Catherine by Carolyn Meyer. This one tells the story of Henry VIII's first wife, Catherine of Aragon. It focuses largely on Catherine's time married to Arthur, and after his death when she doesn't know what will happen next. Part of Meyer's Young Royals series, other Tudor titles include Doomed Queen Anne, Mary, Bloody Mary, and Beware, Princess Elizabeth.


The Other Countess by Eve Edwards. Ellie and William have titles, but no money. They're both at court to win favor with Queen Elizabeth and to find a good marriage to someone wealthy, but they can't hide their attraction to each other. The first in the Lacey Chronicles, follow it with The Queen's Lady.

The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley. Raised in the country by a foster mother, Kat's longed for answers about her parents. Her embroidery skills get her into Queen Elizabeth's court, where she's thrust into a world of rumor and speculation. Crowley offers an interesting explanation to a little known mystery of the Tudor family.

Nine Days a Queen: The Short Life and Reign of Lady Jane Grey by Ann Rinaldi. Lady Jane Grey is another story I'm surprised we don't see more of in teen lit. Only 16, she became Queen for 9 days between Edward and Mary before being beheaded.


The Red Queen's Daughter by Jacqueline Kolosov. Mary is the daughter of Katherine Parr- the queen that outlived Henry VIII. She's also a white magician, tasked with protecting Queen Elizabeth's court, which becomes harder due to her attraction to Edmund, her cousin and a black magician.

The Confession of Katherine Howard by Suzannah Dunn. Like Gilt, this examines Howard's life through the eyes of her best friend, Cat Tilney (although in Gilt, Howard is Cat with a C and Tilney is Kitty with a K.) Written for adults, fans of Gilt will be interested in this other view of their friendship and life.

The Boleyn Inheritance by Phillipa Gregory. Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, and Lady Rochford take turns narrating this novel. Gregory is a wildly popular author of adult novels about Tudor women that teens also enjoy.

What are your favorite Tudor reads?

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