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Jane Seymour: Henry VIII's True Love

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  538 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The first ever biography of Jane Seymour, Henry VIII s third wife, who died in childbirth giving the king what he craved most a son and heir.First biography to show the real Jane Seymour, she may have been submissive and obedient in front of Henry, but her true personality was far more cutthroat.Huge interest in the wives of Henry VIII, most of his wives are the subject of ...more
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published August 3rd 2009 by Amberley Publishing (first published May 15th 2009)
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Jul 15, 2010 Marie rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Jane Seymour, the mother of Henry's heir to the throne, is one of the lucky wives of the tyrant Henry VIII that he did not kill or repudiate. Jane Seymour was practically an unknown figure at the Tudor Courts, as she was merely a lady in waiting to both of Henry's first two queens. Once Queen Anne Boleyn became too cumbersome for Henry to deal with, he allowed his advisors to condemn her to death. Henry had his eyes on Jane Seymour already, and he wanted Anne out of the way, and not in the same ...more
Oct 30, 2013 SoundofSilence_BookFan rated it really liked it
Shelves: tudors
As a voracious reader of all things a Tudor and Henry VIII in particular, I was mentally prepared to read another rehashed bio of Henry with a brief mention of the real subject. Ms. Norton, however surprised me. It is true not much is known about Jane. I was still surprised how much of my mental picture of her was wrong. Jane was no young, beautiful seductress. She was older, headed to 30, almost an old maid. She did not care much for Elizabeth but genuinely worked to bring Mary back to her fath ...more
This is a straightforward telling about the known facts about Jane Seymour's life, with a lot of speculation of the "Jane must have felt" variety. Comparatively little is known about this short-lived queen, so the author was acting under a handicap. I was still left with the sense that she could have dug deeper--there is information about Jane's wardrobe, for instance, that could have been utilized, which would have helped a bit in bringing Jane to life.
The author claims this is the first ever book-length biography of Jane Seymour, and perhaps she's right -- I know of no others. But there's a reason no one has ever written a whole book about Jane before: very little is known about her. There just isn't enough information to fill a book. So Norton must resort to speculation with a lot of phrases like "might have" and "probably" and "likely" and so on. Makes for frustrating reading.
For the longest time, I hated Jane Seymour. She deposed my beloved Anne Boleyn, and she did it while acting completely innocent. I mean, wtf?? It never sat well with me, especially watching The Tudors (where my love sparked for Tudor history). It took me a long time to realize that I didn't hate Jane. No, it was the writers I hated. Norton put it best:

Jane is often portrayed as a pawn, innocently being pushed in front of the king by her friends and relations and coached how to behave. [...] Cer
Sarah's Book Nook
Jun 12, 2014 Sarah's Book Nook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-tudors
There's a reason that this is the only biography ever written about Jane - there's barely enough info known about her to fill a chapter in a book about all of Henry's wives, let alone a whole book. That aside, Norton does well with what little information she has to go on. There are a lot of assumptions and supposings, but that's to be expected, given the lack of source material. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Jane was a bit more involved in her own rise than previously presented.

I've a
Olga Hughes
Oct 13, 2013 Olga Hughes rated it liked it
The first full biography of Jane Seymour written by Elizabeth Norton comes in at 158 pages. Technically it is the first biography dedicated entirely to Jane Seymour, but the page count will give you an idea of exactly how much we know about Queen Jane, which is of course, very little.

She does make a challenging subject for a biography. While Jane had a place at court with both Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn during their reigns, with nothing really recorded about her at the time, she seems t
Jane Seymour is a shielded character, with little knowledge on her, her childhood, her personal feelings and life, it's difficult to understand exactly who she is. Norton attempts to uncover the queen, but it is an almost impossible task. Despite this, you get a feel for Jane, you come to understand her docile nature but also a fierce intensity about her to become queen but to avoid the ending of Anne Boleyn.

Still, many assumptions have to be made when regarding Jane. There a few statements that
Athena Ninlil
"Oh noble Frame! peruse thy trayne, and give Queene Jane a place..." This is just one of the commemorations written after Jane's death. Jane has gone down in history as the vessel, while during her times she proved to be the most successful of the wives (though this is debatable, but for sixteenth century standards she was) for giving the King what he most wanted, what he moved Heaven and Earth and put two wives aside for, a son. But as with every Tudor tale, this came at a cost. Jane was not a ...more
Jun 28, 2011 Trish rated it really liked it
Easy to read biography, that gives good insights into the woman who appear's to Henry's dullest wife. I liked to see her re-interpreted as someone who waved the line of being thrust into Henry's path by her family and being somewhat manipulative herself, as against the traditional view of Henry only looking ather as being a total contrast to Anne. That argument never sat right with me.
Chelsey Ortega
Nov 24, 2015 Chelsey Ortega rated it liked it
This book was a huge disappointment to me. First of all, even if reading it was worth five stars I still wouldn't give it that much because the description claims that it is the first ever book-length biography on Jane Seymour. That is simply not true. Ten years earlier Pamela M. Gross published "Jane, the Quene Third Consort to King Henry VIII."

Secondly, Norton places Jane as one of Catherine of Aragon's ladies and commences to tell Catherine's story through Jane's eyes. There is absolutely no
C.S. Burrough
Jul 31, 2014 C.S. Burrough rated it liked it
I enjoyed this take on Henry VIII's male-heir-bearing wife. Since 'Plain Jane' Seymour has been traditionally passed down to us as a bland, pious, selfless creature devoted to wifely obedience, this book makes for interesting reading considering that, like Henry's other wives, Jane was not so cut and dried as once thought. There are several sides to every historical monarch and consort.

While Jane was indeed pious and obedient, she could not only also mistily seduce but had a mind not heretofore
Nov 04, 2012 Becky rated it liked it
Much is made of this being the first biography devoted to Henry VIII's third wife, although obviously she has been covered in the numerous books devoted to all six of the unfortunate women he married. There is a reason for the previous lack of coverage; coming from an unremarkable family, having had a very modest career prior to catching the attention of the king, and being wise or meek enough to keep her head down and her mouth shut on most of the controversial issues of the day: it would appea ...more
Mar 09, 2013 Louise rated it really liked it
Since there is not much known about the short but eventful life of Jane Seymour, this book is necessarily short and speculative.

Elizabeth Norton gets you thinking about the character of Jane. Norton provides evidence to back up the idea that Jane's "career goals" (and those of her supporters) shifted from mistress to queen as the opportunity presented itself. She details what is known of where Jane went and what she did and speculates on what she thought and felt during the trial and execution o
Stephanie Tracy
Oct 31, 2011 Stephanie Tracy rated it it was ok
This book really wasn't as interesting as I expected it to be. Not knowing a whole lot about Jane Seymour, I was anxious to read about her and prove other people wrong who say she's the "dull" wife of Henry VIII. However, after reading this book I can't say I disagree with them that much. She's certainly not as exciting as other wives - expecially Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard - and while that isn't necessarily something to strive for (seeing as both of them lost their heads), the only really ...more
Dec 14, 2015 Roxanne rated it really liked it
I did not very much about Jane Seymour as one of the wives of Henry V111, she had an heir for him but died in childbirth. She was in the court as a lady in waiting first.
Sep 05, 2009 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
Commissioned by me at Amberley Publishing, Elizabeth Norton is writing biographies of each of Henry VIII's six wives.
Lisa       m brown
Mar 26, 2012 Lisa m brown added it
Recommends it for: yes, someone who doesnt know the history
Recommended to Lisa m by: no one
didnt learn anything new, just the same stuff i already knew about
Hunter Jones
Jun 13, 2015 Hunter Jones rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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Elizabeth Norton is a British historian specialising in the queens of England and the Tudor period. She obtained an Master of Arts in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Cambridge in 2003 and a masters degree in European Archaeology from the University of Oxford in 2004.

Elizabeth Norton is the author of five non-fiction works: She Wolves, The Notorious Queens of England (The Histor
More about Elizabeth Norton...

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