10 August 2008

Just finished reading

Katherine Howard by Joanne Denny.. this was about the 5th wife of Henry VIII and one of my favourite periods of history. This wasn't a novel, but gave you more of the detail behind how Katherine was influenced by her upbringing and sacrificed by her family to gain more honours following the loss of fortunes when her Cousin Anne Boleyn was beheaded for adultery some 6 years previous.

Now while Joanne doesn't disguise the fact that Katherine was guilty of adultery (unlike her cousin), she does investigate the upbringing and that there were no suitable female role models for her to shadow. Her placement with a distant relative was more as a favour than intentionally looking after a young female relative and it was left to her household to influence the 7 year old Katherine; was it any wonder when male visitors were permitted access to the womens's quarters than she knew no better than to join in.

I have always wanted to know why at such an early age (15) she was wedded to King Henry, and this book gave me a better understanding of the men of the family using women/girls as chattels to be brought and sold on marriage markets or sent to convents if they were disobedient.

Katherine had no options of whether or not she married the King, but it was doomed to fail from the outset.

An interesting read if you haven't come across this book before, and unlike her previous book on Anne Boleyn, Joanne Denny does write elegantly about this historic figure.

ps - reading this was instead of the 'A suitable boy' which is as gripping to read as watching paint dry in my eyes... so I picked up this instead.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

Ah, now that is interesting - I recently read The Other Boleyn Girl (can't remember the author - it was loaned by my sister-in-law) and am currently reading The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir (also from my sister-in-law. The first book showed clearly the machinations to gain power through marrying off young girls in the family to the King.