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The Sixth Wife

3.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  944 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
'The Sixth Wife' is a gripping novel of love, passion, betrayal and heartbreak. Catharine Parr survived Henry VIII to find true love with Thomas Seymour - only to realise that her love was based on a lie.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published 2007 by HarperPerennial
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May 01, 2013 Shannon rated it it was ok
When selecting this book please beware… Both the title and the cover illustration are deceiving as both clearly suggest that the focus is Henry VIII’s sixth wife and Queen, Katherine Parr. However, this novel’s central character and narrator is Catherine Willoughby Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk, one of Queen Katherine’s ladies in waiting as well as her close friend. Here Dunn presents the perspective of Catherine Brandon on the tumultuous conclusion to the reign of Henry VIII and Queen Katherine’s ...more
This is the fourth novel about Katherine Parr that I've tried to enjoy. The other three I didn't even finish so I guess that could be considered something positive about this book. It was an easy read.

Unfortunately I found the Epilogue to be far more interesting than the book. I wanted to learn about the life of Katherine Parr and I don't feel like I know anymore about her than before finishing this novel. The story that Suzannah Dunn wrote could be about anyone.

The focus o
Dec 19, 2010 Kelly rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lil's Vintage World
I was really hoping to enjoy this book but; with the use of modern language and the fictionalised affair between Thomas and Cathy, this book turned out to be a massive disappointment.
Aug 16, 2015 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um livro baseado em personagens reais e históricas mas no qual a imaginação da autora dita o enredo da prosa. Gostei e apenas tenho a apontar a linguagem muito familiar entre as diversas personagens, o que não era usual no tempo de reis e rainhas
Jul 15, 2015 Peggy rated it liked it
After reading the first 50 pages I was a little bored and not sure if I wanted to finish. I have recently become interested in the Tudor era so I decided to continue on as the book is an easy read. I became very interested as I began to turn the pages. I wasn't sure if I needed to know about the explicit sexual encounters but I continued on. I was hoping to learn more about Kate's life after Henry's death but I found this book to be more intuned to Thomas Seymour and his exploits. The story has ...more
Jan 31, 2011 Joana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tudors
Gostei muito deste livro. A forma como é escrito e narrado é muito atractiva e o enredo é absolutamente cativante. Desta forma, conseguiu envolver-me desde as primeiras páginas, mantendo até ao fim uma pontinha de mistério.

Sendo um dos muitos livros que li sobre a época Tudor, gostei de rever personagens que conhecia de outros.

Um pormenor que me afradou imenso neste livro foi o facto de conter, no final, uma explicação da autora sobre o que é verdade e o que foi por ela inventado, o que é sempre
Feb 28, 2010 Dayna rated it it was ok
I read this because I've liked some of the Phillippa Gregory book's around Henry VIII, but this had none of the elements I like about those books. If it wasn't a quick read, I would probably not have finished it. There actually are some interesting historical events that I didn't know about, I didn't know that Elizabeth and Jane Grey had gone to live with Katherine Parr and I didn't know that she remarried after Henry and had a baby. I didn't know all of the intrigue around Thomas Seymour. But t ...more
Apr 10, 2015 Natalie rated it it was ok
More like a 2.5 bcs it feels like too much context is left out in favor of imagined domestic, romantic, and sexual detail that feels like soap opera filler. If there was ever a cast of real world characters who don't need that touch up to create a sense of dramatic arc or intrigue to support a page turning work of historic fiction this might be them ?
Sep 07, 2015 Dawn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Where to begin?

The 1st part of the book was like watching a train wreck--I couldn't look away; about halfway through, it began to drag.

I read the author's notes about her use of modern language/mindsets and how she didn't want to actually write historical fiction. Well, when you write about characters living in the 1540s, then you are generally considered to be writing historical fiction. The language was so modern that my husband picked it up and began reading aloud, but threw in a modern ref
In all honesty, I was planning on giving The Sixth Wife a negative review, but I've had a rethink. You see, for all my dislike of the protagonist and the terrible way she betrayed her best friend, I realised that I actually enjoyed the read. Interestingly enough, Dunn explained in the interview at the end that she didn't like Cathy much either, so I guess the feeling's mutual!

The Sixth Wife is written in first person (that of Catherine of Suffolk, not Katherine Parr - the description is a little
Apr 10, 2010 Pamela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This turned out to be a novel that just happens to use Katherine Parr, Thomas Seymour, and Catherine, Duchess of Suffolk, as major characters. It concerns a romantic encounter which is purely fiction. The places are correct, the people are correct, but the plot is not. It is an interesting look at Thomas Seymour, however. It does not add anything to one's knowledge of history, and it is a bit slow at times...easy beach read, nothing to write home about.
Feb 02, 2009 Nikki rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. The premise is difficult if not impossible to swallow. The author offers an interesting explanation of the Thomas Seymour/Princess Elizabeth scandal. I liked the protrayal of Katherine Parr. If you can only read one book by this author read Queen of Subtelties. I read this book second. I found the author used a very similar voice.
Aug 10, 2015 Erin rated it did not like it
Shelves: tudor-england, royals
This book is misleading. It paints that it will be about Katherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII, instead it is a tale narrated by, Cathy, the Duchess of Suffolk, who the author has painted into the a Tudor era Mean Girl. Not to mention it takes place after Henry has died and ends as Kate (Parr) dies. It begins and ends in Kate Parr's most boring point of her life. The tone of this novel is very hard to get past. Did not like the Valley Girl/inner monologue style. I feel like I wanted to tell C ...more
Ginnie Leiner
Aug 29, 2012 Ginnie Leiner rated it it was amazing
Fascinating look at the last years of the life of Catherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII. Enjoyed it very much
Jun 27, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it
I don't usually go in for books about adultery (euphemism for affairs!), but I love Tudor history, so this one interested me. Told not from the POV of Katharine Parr, but rather from that of her best friend, Catherine, Dowager Duchess of Suffolk, her view of Henry XII's final wife is much more colorful and rich than what we normally see in the history book. While it is fiction, this viewpoint was enough to make me interested in Katharine Parr as more than just the last in a long line of Tudor co ...more
Don't be fooled into thinking that this book focuses on Katherine Parr and her thoughts and feelings or is one of the author's split storytelling plots between Katherine and her best friend the Duchess of Suffolk. This is the story of the Duchess and a fictional affair between her and Katherine's husband Thomas Seymour, so the Duchess and her affair are the main focus of the book with Katherine in a supporting role.

Firstly, I was actually quite pleased to see a novel of Katherine Parr after Henr
Mar 24, 2011 Taylor rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
Setting: England 1547-1548
Henry VIII has just died leaving his sixth wife, Katherine Parr, a widow. Henry’s nine year old son, Edward, is now King of England. Katherine, commonly referred to as Kate by her closest friends, was known as the Protestant Queen of England. Kate was known to be intelligent, kind, and dignified.

Synopsis: Right after the death of Henry, Kate rushed into a secret elopement with one of her closest friends, Thomas Seymour. Catherine, the Duchess of Sulfolk has been Kate’s
Nov 18, 2010 Taylor rated it it was ok
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
Setting: England 1547-1548

Henry VIII has just died leaving his sixth wife, Katherine Parr, a widow. Henry’s nine year old son, Edward, is now King of England. Katherine, commonly referred to as Kate by her closest friends, was known as the Protestant Queen of England. Kate was known to be intelligent, kind, and dignified.

Synopsis: Right after the death of Henry, Kate rushed into a secret elopement with one of her closest friends, Thomas Seymour. Catherine, the Duchess of Sulfolk has been Kate’s
Mar 21, 2009 Laughholly rated it liked it
I was interested in this book because I once saw a documentary series on the wives of Henry VIII and I related to Katherine Parr -- her quietness and intellectual Protestantism. I didn't relate to the Katherine in this book as much, but that's OK -- no law saying one has to relate to every fictional character, right? It was an entertaining read, and I found myself looking forward to picking it up. There were a couple chapters that were all about sex, and I had two main responses to that: On one ...more
Jan 11, 2012 Margaret rated it it was ok
My problem with this book is that the dialogue is too modern, too colloquial. It s not that I want thees and thous and prithree this and that, but the conversations in this book come from the 21st century, not the 16th. And although I was fore warned from the description on the back cover that Catherine, the Duchess of Suffolk, Katherine Parr s best friend has her own tale to tell I didn t expect it to be the main part of the book. The Sixth Wife is not really about Katherine Parr, but about Cat ...more
Jan 25, 2016 Sophie rated it really liked it
I've never been a huge fan of historical fiction which deviates significantly from the actual events. It seems unnecessary when often only the bare facts are known, to bend them or omit them entirely. However, Suzannah Dunn's novel about the marriage of Katherine Parr to Thomas Seymore, told through the eyes of her close friend Catherine Duchess of Suffolk, is so well written, that I've had to revise my thoughts.

The invention of the novel (I won't say what, I don't want to spoil it) is cunningl
J.M. Cornwell
May 03, 2010 J.M. Cornwell rated it liked it
Romance and betrayal against the backdrop of Tudor England.

Katharine Parr survived marriage to King Henry VIII. As Dowager Queen, she has wealth and position, but she is still young at heart. Less than a year after Henry’s death, Katharine (Kate to her friends) secretly marries Thomas Seymour, shocking her friends with this departure from her usual level-headed calm, but she is in love.

Kate is serenely happy as she moves away from the limelight as Dowager Queen and into a quiet life in the count
Jenny GB
Mar 26, 2013 Jenny GB rated it liked it
This novel tells the last years of Katherine Parr from the point of view of her best friend, Catherine. Katherine has lived to see the end of King Henry VIII's reign and is by everyone's acknowledgement a strong a steady woman, but she falls for an unsuitable man, Thomas Seymour, and it all unravels from there. As her good friend, Catherine is present at Katerine's house for most of the novel, which I'm not sure is entirely reasonable for guests to visit that long and that often, but I went with ...more
A primeira coisa que quero dizer acerca deste livro é que o título é enganador, pois ao contrário do que pode fazer supor, a história apenas toca de forma ligeira a vida de Katherine Parr, sexta e última mulher de Henrique VIII, famoso rei de Inglaterra. Tenho lido alguns livros sobre o período mais conturbado do seu reinado, quando casou com Ana Bolena, mas pouco sei sobre as mulheres com quem casou posteriormente, pelo que achei que este livro, apesar de ter visto algumas opiniões menos entusi ...more
Dec 23, 2007 Graceann rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
In writing this book about Henry VIII's widow and her marriage to Thomas Seymour, Suzannah Dunn is out of her league. I had the P.S. edition of this book, where she explains that she deliberately avoided "Tudorspeak" because when she picks up a book, uses of the word "prithee" (and the like) immediately take her out of the story. Well, her approach to The Sixth Wife had exactly that effect on me. To hear one of the characters say that he "didn't have a clue" and to have characters speak as if th ...more
Ana T.
Nov 09, 2008 Ana T. rated it liked it
This is a gripping novel of love, passion, betrayal and heartbreak. Katharine Parr survived Henry VIII to find true love with Thomas Seymour - only to realise that her love was based on a lie. Clever, sensible and well-liked, Katharine Parr trod a knife edge of diplomacy and risk during her marriage to an ageing, cantankerous King Henry. When he died, she was in her late thirties and love, it seemed, had passed her by. Until, that is, the popular Thomas Seymour - bold, handsome, witty and irresi ...more
Encruzilhadas Literárias
Como uma amante de história, a possibilidade de conhecer mais sobre os Tudor foi o que inicialmente me seduziu para ler este livro. Tinha uma capa atractiva, parecia mimoso e quando chegou até mim foi inevitável lê-lo.

Na verdade, muito se ouve falar de Henrique VIII, da primeira mulher Catarina, da Ana Bolena..., mas sobre as outras mulheres parece sempre haver um esquecimento e umas brumas de encobrimento nas quais se perde a importância do momento histórico, provavelmente devido ao facto de t
Kauri Tree
Sep 25, 2013 Kauri Tree rated it did not like it
Why I decided to read this book:
Well, to be honest, I was just desperate to finish my reading logs so I grabbed this book off the shelf and began reading it so I could cross out another square on the bingo board. I also find the english royalty history fascinating to read or learn about.

I only had a couple of boxes left to cross out on the bingo board and the only category this novel fitted into was 'A book that teaches you about another time in history'. As I said before, I find histo
Feb 12, 2016 CynthiaA rated it it was ok
I didn't dislike this book but I didn't much like it either. Katherine Parr is an interesting historical figure to me and I enjoy learning about her contributions to English history. But this book made her look simple and wilfully ignorant. Thomas Seymour is almost always portrayed as a scoundrel so that was no surprise but the book was narrated through the first person voice of Catherine, Duchess of Suffolk, who is, in this book, cruel and selfish and truly hateful. It is rarely enjoyable readi ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 16, 2015 09:47AM  
  • No Will But His: A Novel of Kathryn Howard
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • In the Shadow of Lady Jane
  • All the Queen's Players
  • His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester
  • A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • King's Fool: A Notorious King, His Six Wives, and the One Man Who Knew All Their Secrets
  • The King's Daughter (Thornleigh, #2)
  • Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)
  • The Queen's Mistake (In the Court of Henry VIII, #2)
  • The Fifth Queen
  • The Shadow of the Pomegranate (Tudor Saga, #3)
  • Jane Seymour: Henry VIII's True Love
  • The Queen's Handmaiden
  • Vengeance Is Mine: A Novel Of Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, And Lady Rochford  The Woman Who Helped Destroy Them Both
  • Virgin: Prelude to the Throne
Suzannah Dunn was born in London, and grew up in the village of Northaw in Hertfordshire (for Tudor ‘fans’: Northaw Manor was the first married home of Bess Hardwick, in the late 1540s). Having lived in Brighton for nineteen years, she now lives in Shropshire. Her novel about Anne Boleyn (The Queen of Subtleties) was followed by The Sixth Wife, on Katherine Parr, and The Queen's Sorrow, set during ...more
More about Suzannah Dunn...

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“...some days [Thomas] and I had almost no time at all, but still we did it. Knowingly, unapologetically, quick in the pursuit of something that seemed quite separate from ourselves. I had to have him inside me every day; a missed day was a missing day, the world crumpled. My blood was different in my veins now, luxuriously silty, peppered and precious. My body was a different body and knew what it needed. There was a sense of fit between us: not merely physical, although there definitely was that. I didn't know how I lived the minutes when he wasn't inside me, when there was no glittery rub of him inside me. I crammed him into me, hauled him in. My urgency shocked and delighted me.” 2 likes
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