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Kathryn in the Court of Six Queens by Anne Meton Abbey

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Kathryn in the Court of Six Queens by Anne Meton Abbey

Postby Misfit » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 4:23 pm

A Fabulous tale of one woman who served all six queens of Henry VIII. Wow, historical romance doesn't get much better than this. This is the story of the fictional Kathryn Chase descended from Edward IV via the wrong side of the blanket and also related to the Howards, who from a very young girl starts serving Catherine of Aragon, and eventually serving as lady in waiting to all of Henry's queens, thus giving us a wondrous glimpse into the lives of those famous and ill fated queens. Unhappy in her first marriage, Kathryn is attracted to the mysterious, flamboyant and oh so hunky John de Gael of Windsgeat, a duchy with a mysterious heritage and independent of the English Crown. John's family not only adheres to the ancient religions of the forest, there is also a deep dark secret of his family that he keeps from everyone, even his beloved Kathryn.

Throughout, Kathryn is as stubborn and passionate as only a Howard and Plantagenet can be, and we get a fascinating glimpse at the Tudor court and the lives of Henry's queens, and the perpetual ups and downs of surviving court with one's head intact. One thing that sets this book heads and tails above most of the rest of this genre is the up and down relationship between Kathryn and John. Things separated them; they fell in and out of love, married others and loved others until they were reunited in their later years to try to make a working relationship amidst the continuing intrigue and treachery of Henry's court.

All in all, a pretty perfect read. One of my favorite parts was the telling of the reign of Anne of Cleves, there were some seriously laugh out loud moments in those chapters, along with the final 100 or so pages as Catherine Howard fell from grace and Henry married Catherine Parr that were just unputdownable. According to the author's notes at the end of this book there were to be more Windsgeat novels forthcoming, but as far as I can see there isn't anything else published by this author under the name Anne Merton Abbey. I for one, would like to see more of this story as Edward assumes the throne, followed by Mary and Elizabeth.

This book is out of print and from the prices being offered, quite rare. I was lucky to find a copy for $5 US and snapped it up, and I would say it's worth your while to scour the used books stores and the internet with hopes for a better price, unless you're willing to bite the bullet and pay the going rate. A solid five stars, highly recommended.

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Tanzanite
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Location: Northern Virginia
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Postby Tanzanite » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 4:35 pm

I really love this book. I know the history is not the greatest, but it is just a lot of fun to read. It's kind of like Showtime's The Tudors in that respect. You have to go into it knowing that there are going to be some inaccuracies - but it's very entertaining.

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ellenjane
Reader

Postby ellenjane » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 4:50 pm

I just got a used copy of this from Amazon, as I understand the price is pretty good right now. I'm trying to get through some other library books, but I'm really looking forward to it.

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 6:10 pm

I agree it is such good fun. Glad to see the price is going down so others might be tempted. Looks like the $10 ones are gone -- didn't last long.

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SonjaMarie
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Location: Vashon, WA
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Postby SonjaMarie » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 6:19 pm

When I first one this book there was one particular death that made me cry and for many years after I would avoid it, it still mades me sad. If you can't guess, then PM me.

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JaneConsumer
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Postby JaneConsumer » Fri September 5th, 2008, 8:43 pm

My earlier review, reposted here:

I finished the book today. Because it clearly - from the book cover, blurb and marketing - is historical romance, I give it 3.5 stars. The love story is a good one - lots of action (and I don't mean in bed, although there's that too) and a HEA ending.

But (You knew there was a but!) if you read it for the history, you're in for either a good laugh or a good cry, depending on your POV. I already described in the thread, "Books that digress from the history," the ridiculous birthing scene during Jane Seymour's stint as Henry's queen.

Telynor was right to warn me about Anne of Cleves. To be honest, I don't know much about her. She apparently wasn't what Henry thought he wanted in a wife/queen. Kathryn would have you believe she was a lesbian, who faked unattractiveness to scare Henry off.

Her efforts to make herself unattractive were OTT. She chose unbecoming gowns that made her look fat. She didn't wash and picked fleas from her busom while Henry tried to talk (or do other things) with her. :rolleyes:

Catherine Howard was portrayed as a whore and Catherine Parr as ninny who was scared witless. ('Course, if I were Henry's 6th wife, I'd be scared witless too. But I digress.)

I suspect the historical errors are honest, meaning the author's research was substandard. But then I imagine she wasn't paid much to get it right.

She does have a great sense of humor. Unfortunately, some of it was lost in anachronisms.

I'm glad I read it. It certainly was entertaining. But I recommend it only to those who like love stories and don't much care if the background is true to history.

P.S. I forgot to add that a small sub-plot - so small that one wonders why she included it - deals with the disappearance of the princes. I don't want to say what it is in case some of you want to read the book. But the sub-plot is completely fictional. It's so improbable that I don't believe the author was seriously suggesting it.

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Spitfire
Reader
Location: Canada

Postby Spitfire » Fri September 5th, 2008, 9:28 pm

I just picked up this book for $20. With all the hype, I figured it was worth the moola! I am looking foreward to reading it yet. I appreciate your reviews girls. I know I will go into it not from a historical aspect but for good entertainment value. Thanks again. Will post my views after I read it!
Only the pure of heart can make good soup. - Beethoven

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Fri September 5th, 2008, 9:30 pm

Ya, you have to go in for the romance and the entertainment value. Real history it's not but I loved it.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

about that birthing scene...

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu April 2nd, 2009, 7:57 pm

Although I have not read the book, I remember on the old forum the birthing scene being discussed at length, complete with one really improbable bit: the Spanish Ambassador being present.

I thought that was pretty far-fetched, too. But I am currently perusing the actual letters of Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, who was during that period one of two Spanish ambassadors to England, and guess what -- he was there!

Don Diego had a well-deserved reputation of being a wit, a scholar and an all-around ladies man (I am currently reading a translation of 'Lazarillo de Tormes' his satire which reads very much like a 16th-century version of Huckleberry Finn) so it is possible that Queen Jane became fond of him. His letter doesn't specify why he was there, just that he was, and "was the first to kiss the hand of the future king of England."

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nona
Bibliophile
Location: Oklahoma

Postby nona » Fri April 3rd, 2009, 1:10 pm

I think I'm moving it to the top of my list to read, it sounds like a great tudor entertainment.


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