Yes it’s that time again when I share another book I’ve recently read and I guess there will be no surprises that it’s about the Tudors! (I’m sorry but I’m an addict!)
The Confession of Katherine Howard was swiftly added to my Amazon wish list, even before it came out in hard back and once published it was winging it’s way to me. It was yet another book I devoured within a day and I really enjoyed it.
The story is told from the perspective of Cat Tilney, maid in waiting to Queen Katherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife and child bride and starts just a few days before the Queen’s fall when the two friends thought they had the world at their feet. It includes flashbacks to the girls time as wards of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk to explain their relationship and the rise of Katherine Howard, a distant relation of Anne Boleyn, to the throne from the more unfavoured branch of the infamous Howard family line.
Not always the best of friends, Cat was deeply suspicious of the seemingly aloof and more worldly Katherine, even when all of the other girls in the Duchess’s house hung off her every word. Yet Katherine started to confide in Cat, who despite herself found herself drawn to her unlikely friend. It follows the frivolity of life in the house in the English countryside, first loves and broken hearts, before Katherine was plucked from obscurity and taken to court at the age of 17. Katherine certainly seems to enjoy life at court and leaves her lover and best friend pining for her. They perhaps inevitably fall for each other, embarking on an even more serious love affair of their own.
Within months of Katherine’s arrival at court the King had set aside his wife Anne of Cleves for the young woman he became obsessed with and seemed blinded by lust for her. She seemed untouchable, even when she embarked upon an affair with Thomas Culpepper, one of the King’s favourite attendants. However secrets didn’t last for long in the Tudor court and it soon became clear that the Queen wasn’t all that she seemed to be. Under questioning Katherine revealed information about her past that implicated Francis Dereham, her ex lover and Cat’s true love, that Cat knows are a lie. However she knows that if she reveals the truth her best friend will die. Torn between loyalty to both her lover who by now is ion the Tower awaiting his fate, and her best friend the Queen, Cat must decide what to do.
I liked the way this book was told from Cat’s point of view rather than Katherine’s. It gave glimpses into the life of the Queen, yet by telling it from anothers point of view it gave the story an extra believability. It was very easy to read and a real page turner, you wanted to know what happened next. I’ve already had to lend it out to a fellow Tudor literature fan and I’d definitely recommend it.
The Tudors television series is coming back to UK screens soon and this book tells the story of what this series of The Tudors will be about. (although with a little bit of historical incorrectness on the tv series behalf, but hey with actors as gorgeous as Jonathan Reece Myers and Henry Cavill, who cares!) Needless to say I can’t wait to see it, I’m just praying that when I get to Spain I have a tv I can watch UK shows on, or I will not be a happy bunny!