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Bibliophile price: £7.50
Moving effortlessly between a private, inner world and the public life of the Henrician court, here is an unparalleled view into a tragic chapter of Tudor history. We learn a great deal about 16th century personalities and politics and at the heart of the story is a fragile and tragic figure. During one of the hottest summers on record, the court of Henry VIII is embroiled once again in political scandal. The King's marriage to Anne of Cleves has failed, his closest advisor Thomas Cromwell is to be executed for treason, and in the countryside an aristocratic teenager named Catherine Howard prepares to become the fifth wife to the increasingly irascible, unpredictable monarch. Born into nobility and married into the royal family, Catherine was attended to every waking hour by servants or companions. Secrets were impossible to keep. More than a traditional biography, this is a very human tale of some terrible decisions made by a young woman, and complex individuals attempting to survive where the odds were stacked against them. By illuminating Catherine's entwined upstairs-downstairs worlds, we have a new aspect on her tragic marriage to one of history's most powerful rulers. Chapters include Lord Edmund's Daughter, The Howards of Horsham, Mad Wenches, The King's Highness Did Cast A Fantasy, All These Ladies and My Whole Kingdom, The Return of Francis Dereham, The Errands of Morris and Webb, The Chase, Waiting for the Queen of Scots, Being Examined By My Lord of Canterbury and The King Has Changed His Love Into Hatred. With appendices on alleged portraits and Catherine Howard's household. 27 photos including brave Catherine being conveyed to the Tower of London to be beheaded. 480pp, family trees and maps.

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