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The Favored Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII's Third Wife
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The Favored Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII's Third Wife

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  1,008 ratings  ·  128 reviews
From The New York Times bestselling author of The Last Wife of Henry VIII comes a powerful and moving novel about Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII, who married him only days after the execution of Anne Boleyn and ultimately lost her own life in giving him the son he badly needed to guarantee the Tudor succession

Born into an ambitious noble family, young Jane Seymour
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by St. Martin's Press
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Community Reviews

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The Book Maven
Do yourself a favor and don't read this book. A nice alternative would be Plain Jane: a novel of Jane Seymour (Jun 2006), by Laurien Gardner. Although I have not read it, it got a good review from Library Journal and it would have to be better than this book.

The other alternative would be for one of you fair readers to write your own novel. I'd read it. I promise.

Now, on to the review.

Really? Really?

Like many other folks on this
I picked up this book because I'm interested in the Tudor family, particularly in Henry VIII's decision to break from Rome in pursuit of a male heir. But I was disappointed with the way Erickson handled Henry's 'Great Matter'. The story started out interesting and fairly fast-paced, but once Henry set Catherine aside and married Anne Erickson started skimming through time/events very quickly. It was like Erickson decided everyone already knew the history so she just wrote the bare minimum to get ...more
I'm sorry, this was bad! I did not enjoy this at all. I was looking forward to reading this for a while also. Too many inconsistencies, and VERY far fetched. I know this is fiction, but could the author at least try to stick to the well known history behind this??? After getting 3/4 through this I had to stop. I kept trying to finish, but it was like pulling teeth! I even skipped ahead to see if it was worth carrying wasn't. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but too far away from the st ...more
I knew within the first ten pages that this book would be a challenge. The way Jane is written, she seems to suffer from "special snowflake syndrome". You know, the "I'm not like other girls, I'm completely different, I'm the favorite of Queen Catherine", etc.

Why on Earth would a writer, who claims that they’ve done all this research and have written both fiction and nonfiction books on Tudor-esque subjects, perpetuate a rumour that was disproved back in 1876? Clearly, if Anne Boleyn had “a fin

At first, I would've given this book a five star rating. The writing and details are great; easy-to-read and interesting. Halfway through the book though, I began to realize that it wasn't about Jane Seymour, it was about Anne Boleyn and the Nun of Kent (Elizabeth Barton) told from Jane Seymour's point of view. So far, I haven't come across any books that mention the Nun of Kent at all, so I did learn something. . . and that is always a bonus. But because I felt the book wasn't really abou
As an amateur Tudor expert (gleaned mainly from the show by that title), I feel that Erickson has, yet again, put herself on par with the likes of Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory in capturing an excellent fact and fiction mix in this, her latest book. She gives some excellent background and deals with some of the poignant issues and developments, while leading the reader down a historically accurate path of the rise and fall of the first two wives of Henry VIII before his selection of Jane Seym ...more
For some reason, I feel a loyalty bond with Carolly Erickson. Although, we all complain about her “historical entertainments” and her use of speculation and inaccuracies; something draws me to read her books (I still haven’t read her non-fiction works but plan to). Sadly, as much as I tried to push myself, I couldn’t finish The Favored Queen. Yes, it WAS THAT bad.

I truly gave The Favored Queen a hearty attempt (I was around page 100) but after much debate, I closed the book. The Favored Queen s

Words fail me to describe how bad this book is.

It’s the equivalent a few high schoolers scrolling through the Wikipedia entry on Henry VIII, picking out a few key words, and performing Jane Seymour’s life as a sexy interpretive dance

Look at me, I did research, I’ve got all the names of the historical people of the time period! The book screams as it tap dances around the facts. Um, yeah, ok, you got the names – but your presentation of the facts, while not always wrong per say, are always warped
I was pretty impressed with Erickson's why-let-the-facts-get-in-the-way-of-a-good-story approach to Jane Seymour--Henry VIII's third wife-who is usually portrayed in these kind of books as a boring goody-two-shoes. Erickson calls her work "historical entertainment" and cautions that she's played fast and loose with the documentation. Thus, her Jane is promiscuous, devious, quick-witted, and very entertaining. O.K., so I might not use this book to teach English history. But then again, I don't te ...more
Blodeuedd Finland
I do not mind that she took freedom with things, even if we know things, they did not then.

It's a book about Jane Seymour. We get to see her as a lady in waiting to Queen Catherine, then to Queen Anne. And we get to see what that all means, courtship, danger, death. The book does skip a lot, as it has a lot of ground to cover in just 300 pages. But I do not mind a few timejumps when the author wants to take in the big events.

What I liked best was that it was so easy to read, light, flowing and s
Andrea Jensen
If you have any sense of Tudor era history this book will be nearly impossible to read. I agree with another reviewer that it would have made more sense to have the fiction warning at the front of the book instead of the back. History has been rewritten so much as to be laughable.
Apr 23, 2012 Allison rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Allison by: Library
I picked this book up off the Best Seller's table at the library. I enjoy Tudor England books (guilty pleasure, I guess you'd say, because they're not really that enlightening but they are entertaining) and thought I'd pick this one up since I couldn't find any of the other books I was looking for. So, that kind of sums it up. I didn't necessarily want to read it, it looked ok, it was hard to get through to a certain extent, but I read it and it was just ok.

According to some other reviews, the i
Feb 07, 2012 Jodi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
Yet another book about Tudor England! This time the book was told through the voice of Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's third wife. It is so sad to me in modern times to think about a person marrying for position and/or money with no account for love. Jane would have had a much happier life if she had married her beloved Will for her childhood or her passionate Galyon from her twenties. Alas, it wasn't meant to be an she became another of Henry's conquests. I wonder how her life might have played out ...more
Linda Harkins
Attractive, demure, intelligent, and trustworthy, lovely Jane Seymour is Queen Catherine's favorite lady-in-waiting. Conniving, self-centered, and mean-spirited, Lady Anne Boleyn catches Henry VIII's eye through her exquisite dancing and extroverted personality. Henry, in fact, becomes so enamored of Anne that he impregnates her even before he can conclude his nullity suit against Catherine. We know what became of Anne Boleyn. What about Jane, the king's third wife? Embellished by the novelist's ...more
Probably more of a 2.5...

Ms. Erickson should have maybe put her note to the reader before the book and not after. "Once again, dear reader, a caution and a reminder: The Favored Queen is a historical entertainment, in which the authentic past and imaginative invention intertwine... Fresh interpretations of historical figures and their circumstances are offered, and traditional ones laid aside."

And it probably doesn't help that I was really looking forward to this book. Oh well. It just wasn't t
Vanessa Montês

Jane Seymor é uma personagem pouco explorada da época de Henrique VIII. Depois da opulência e escândalos ocorridos durante o casamento do rei com Ana Bolena, este acabou por casar com uma rapariga pacata, que apenas queria uma vida pacífica. Uma rapariga muito querida por todos que a conheciam e um amor de pessoa. Uma das esposas de Henrique cujo reinado foi dos mais pequenos, mas que acabou por morrer de morte natural após dar à luz um herdeiro para inglaterra. Um livro muito bom, um
Stephanie Tracy
I'm surprised to see all the negative reviews of this book, because I actually really liked it! This is the first one of Carolly Erickson's books, and I was very pleasantly surprised, as I thought a novel about Jane Seymour would be boring. I know it's a bit far-fetched, in terms of the romantic rendezvous she has in the book (which I don't believe actually happened), it made the story more interesting! I think Erickson did a nice job with this book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My advice would ...more
Cada vez gosto mais de romances históricos. Bem sei que nem tudo o que é contado foi real mas por isso mesmo acho engraçado, não sou fanática do rigor histórico e acho piada que se tentem encontrar várias versões para a mesma história. Por isso gostei bastante deste livro, tendo simpatizado bastante com a personagem principal Jane. Apenas achei que algumas partes da história era um pouco precipitadas e podiam ter sido contadas com mais calma, ou seja, o livro podia ter sido um pouco mais longo. ...more
Telma Duarte
Não é que não tenha gostado, mas esperava mais.
I am glad I won a copy of this book. I looked forward to reading this book because I love historical novels. The book started off good but half way through the book I felt like Erickson was rushing everything. The book left me feeling unsatisfied because I feel like a huge chunk of Jane's life was left out. For example, her life married to Henry VIII. I really don't see how she is the "favored queen" based on how he treated her in the book.
If you want your usual portrayal of poor, shallow Jane Seymour, read Plain Jane. If you want a more compelling rendering of her, go for Wolf Hall. Don't waste your money on this book unless you're looking for nothing: Erickson is a decent biographer but clearly isn't gifted as a novelist, and although she calls her writing "historical entertainment" she just can't entertain.
L-J Johnson
A good, serviceable historical fiction. Erickson did a different take on Jane Seymour than I have read before and that was refreshing and interesting, even though I didn't think it rang totally true historically. Erickson is brilliant at straight history and good at historical fiction; I will definitely continue to read all of her titles.
Brittany B.
Tabloid trash.

Shockingly false, and not about Jane's life. DNF at halfway point. If it weren't such a pile of rubbish I wouldn't rate a book I didn't finish. Ms. Erickson should be ashamed of this book. The worst and most inaccurate story I've yet read about the court of Henry VIII
I really wanted to like this book - I was interested to see where the author was going in giving Jane a voice and a backstory. However the fact that it clashed so much with the historical record so that there was no sense that it could have been plausible was incredibly off-putting. A lot of the drive is based on ideas that we just have to take on faith and that have little support in the text, for example we have no reason why Henry trusts Jane at all!
Very disappointed with how it turned out a
Mario Laranjeira
A história do livro passa-se na corte de Henrique VIII, enquanto este, ainda casado com Catarina de Aragão, se envolve com Ana Bolena. Tudo em busca de um herdeiro para o trono de Inglaterra. No entanto, é-nos tudo contado por Jane Seymor, uma das damas de companhia de Catarina de Aragão, a quem o rei pedirá que se se torne, após Ana Bolena, sua rainha.
O fato de ser uma obra de ficção é possível imaginar que a vida de Jane Seymour possa ser algo mais impressionante e emocionante do que nos é co
This is not a great book or even a particularly good book. I like tudor fiction, but the first two thirds of the book are taken up with Henry's marriage to Catherine & his relationship with Anne Boleyn. All in all only the last few chapters deal with Henry's marriage to Jane. And that was rushed through as quickly as possible, which basically amounted to they married she had a baby, she died...the end. I borrowed this book and really..its an okay read if you don't want to think about what yo ...more
Laura Greenwood
Review forthcoming on http://a-reader-lives-a-thousand-live...

Living at court from a young age, Jane Seymour wants nothing more than to marry her childhood friend, Will, and to live in the country to raise their family. But things never seem to go the way the way she planned, with obstacle after obstacle getting in the way of Jane and Will's marriage. Jane loved her mistress, Queen Catherine, and had to watch as King Henry tore the country apart to be with Anne Boleyn. Not knowing what to do, Ja
Described by Erickson, herself, as an historical entertainment with imaginings sitting alongside historical narrative, this is a pleasant, easy read. The narrative, itself, goes at a relatively fast pace. One of the finest things about this story is the rather interesting picture it gives of the life of the maids of honor to the queen, whoever the queen might be at any given time. Nothing is easy for them, and the difficulties can range from the usual cattiness and jockeying for favor one finds ...more
Review from

I am a huge history buff especially when it comes to the Tudors. When I saw THE FAVORED QUEEN, a historical fiction based on Henry VIII’s third bride Jane Seymour, I had to get my hands on it. Within it’s cover I found an imaginative retelling of the shy queen’s time at court. I was a bit shocked I realized that the story started not as Jane begins her love affair with the infamous king, but when she was a young maid of honor in Queen Catherine’s service. Through
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Distinguished historian Carolly Erickson is the author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, The First Elizabeth, Great Catherine, Alexandra and many other prize-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. She lives in Hawaii.
More about Carolly Erickson...
The Last Wife of Henry VIII The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette Bloody Mary: The Life of Mary Tudor Rival to the Queen The Tsarina's Daughter

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