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Secrets of the Tudor Court
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Secrets of the Tudor Court (Tudor Court #3)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,756 ratings  ·  151 reviews
When young Mary Howard receives the news that she will be leaving her home for the grand court of King Henry VIII, to attend his mistress Anne Boleyn, she is ecstatic. Everything Anne touches seems to turn to gold, and Mary is certain Anne will one day become Queen. But Mary has also seen the King's fickle nature and how easily he discards those who were once close to him. ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2010)
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I'm beginning to see a pattern developing in the latest offerings in historical fiction similar to what I'm accustomed to in romances - you have the solid gritty novels with real historical detail and then there are the wall-paper variety with a prettified historical setting - and in my IMHO this book falls into the latter category. Secrets is the story of Mary Howard, daughter of Thomas Howard the powerful Duke of Norfolk and wife to Henry VIII's illegitimate son Henry Fitzroy. As a young girl ...more
I rather liked this book as a whole, though I wish there had been more interactions between Mary and her brother, since an important part of the plot hinged on her role in his trial for treason. I thought Bogdan actually did a good job of portraying Thomas Howard; despite all of his flaws, which were shown in abundance here, I couldn't help but feel some sympathy for him. There were times when the narrator's voice sounded too modern, as when she spoke of the need for "closure," and some of the o ...more
An interesting insight into the court of Henry V111 and his six wives. As such there isn't too much detail given to each of the wives, unlike other novelists who concentrate on one of the queens at any given time-such as Gergory, for example. Also, unlike Gregory et al, Bonnette examines the court in a much darker way, giving much detail about double dealings and the underhand way the courtiers behave in order to safeguard their survival.

Narrated from the point of view of young Mary Howard, who
I think my main problem with this book is that Mary, as imagined by Darcey Bonnette, is such a whiner. Barely a page passes without her feeling nauseous with fear. Her guts churn, her stomach aches, she vomits – it’s all about her and her belly-aching (literally and metaphorically). So I have a recommendation for anyone about to head out on reading this book. Rather than reading it for pleasure, use it as a drinking game. Every time Mary mentions her stomach problems, take a shot of vodka. Befor ...more
Ana T.
I just can't resist books where the author grabs a little known historical character and writes a story, within history, for her. That's why I decided to pick this one up. The main character here is Mary Howard, the daughter of the Duke of Norfolk. As his nieces Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard she will also be a pawn in her fathers plans to maintain his powerful position with the King.

Unfortunately I didn't find Mary all that appealing as a character. She was a bit too good to be true and she e
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Even though I'm a huge fan of Showtime's TV series The Tudors and have recently read Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl (the e-book version but not in Kindle format, or I would have written a review), I really don't know anything about the main character in Secrets of the Tudor Court. She is Lady Mary Howard, daughter of Thomas Howard, the third Duke of Norfolk, and cousin to Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII's second of six wives. I'm familiar with Norfolk, the hard and ma
Rio (Lynne)
3.75 If you are in the mood for some lite historical fiction and looking for a new character to read about, during the Tudor times, this will fit the bill. Mary Howard, the daughter of King Henry VIII's Lord Treasurer, the evil Thomas Howard The Duke Of Norfolk is sent to court during the rise of Ann Boleyn. We follow her years through 5 Queens and her marriage to Henry's illegitimate son Henry Fitzroy. The author portrays the Duke of Norfolk as an abusive evil man and Mary being the daughter al ...more
Wow. Far and away the most depressing book I've read in awhile. The plot is very simple: the duke of Norfolk is cruel to the heroine, the heroine cries. Over and over and over again. If you like books about abuse and weepy characters, then this is the book for you. Otherwise, avoid at all costs!
I was interested in reading this book because Mary Howard's name is well known to Tudor fans but this was the first book that I've found that tells her story. As with all Tudor books, you have to consider that this is fact based fiction, meaning the author has added their own spin on events and things may not be totally accurate. I can usually take these books at face value and just enjoy the story.

History has not looked kindly on the Duke of Norfolk. He is thought of as the ruthless monster who
Olga Hughes
Originally published at Crickhollow Books
I wasn’t expecting this one to be a literary masterpiece, but the subject, Mary Howard, got me interested in the book. Mary Howard was the daughter of the notorious Duke of Norfolk and wife of Henry VIII’s illegitimate son Henry Fitzroy. She outlived Henry VIII’s and all of his wives. Now I don’t know a lot about Mary Howard but there a lot of other historical inaccuracies I noticed in the book so I wouldn’t take most of Bonnette’s material on her as fa
This is a tricky one to rate! On one hand, the writing was really good and very vidid (definitely made me feel like I was right there). On the other, there was something that really bothered me ... and bothered me enough that I can only give this book 3 stars.

First, there is the theme of domestic violence - and the victim's acceptance of said violence - throughout out the story. Mary's father beats and threatens both her and her mother repeatedly (and brutally).

Which leads me to second --- Mary'
Lady Jane Grey
I wrote a review for "Rivals in the Tudor Court" and a lot of it ties in with this book. I really think it should be read before this one even if they weren't published in that order.

Something new for this review is that I love reading about different smaller characters in Tudor history. In the genre, I would estimate half of the books are about Anne Boleyn. I love seeing the supporting characters and extras get leading roles. You don't hear too much about Mary Howard other than the fact she was
I liked this book better when it was called "The Other Boleyn Girl".

No, seriously. The first part of it was nearly a rip-off of TOBG, complete with the heroine feeling sorry for the poor Catherine of Aragon and hating her own family for, let's see, essentially behaving like every family depending on the king's favor would behave. It got a little better afterwards, the main character (Mary Howard, the wife of Henry VIII's illegitimate son Henry Fitzroy, and the daughter of Thomas Howard the duke
Laura Greenwood
Review posted 6th August on http://a-reader-lives-a-thousand-live...

Secrets of the Tudor Court follows the story of Mary Howard, a Howard girl eclipsed by those more famous, such as Mary and Anne Bolyen, and Katherine Howard. The story travels through from her father summoning her to court at 11, right through to her death during the reign of Queen Mary I, including her ill fated marriage to the illegitimate son of Henry VIII, Henry Fitzroy and her friendship with Catherine Parr and reformist b
Erica Hunt
have recently finished reading Secrets of the Tudor Court by D.L. Bogdan and I have to say that it fits my Tubor England mood well. I have been really into this time period lately and I am fascinated by how the English lived and dealt with King Henry. I also love reading about what life was like for women and the roles that they played. The parts of this book that I found extremely interesting was the in depth look into the life long feud between the Howards and the Seymours. It was a great sto ...more
The Tudor/Elizabethan eras are two of my favourite eras to study so therefore this book immediately appealed. I couldn't stop reading (even though it suffers from long chapters; my personal pet hate with books.) I felt it was a good balance of drama and historical fiction and offers a different perspective on that era.
The character of Mary is one where you remain sympathetic toward throughout. Norfolk is the type of person you never wish to meet; he's a proper villain. This book develops the mai
I really enjoyed this book! When I wasn't reading it I found myself wanting to sneak a few more pages in, which is always a good sign. I don't know a whole lot about the Tudor dynasty past the movies and shows I've seen, so I don't know how historically correct this story was, but I definitely would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the topic.
Amanda Villani
Meh...written from Mary Howard's perspective (daughter of the Duke of Norfolk, widow of Henry Fitzpatrick). Supposedly she was next in line to woo the king, too bad he died first. Another story of how women in the Tudor court were property to be bartered with. Kinda sad. Duke of Norfolk sounds like one bad mamma jamma.
I've read enough Tudor era historical fiction that it's all blended together. While the read was enjoyable enough, I found absolutely nothing in this one to set it apart. Totally unobjectionable. Which is...well...unobjectionable I guess. Damning with faint praise, huh?
Secrets of the Tudor Court(Tudor Court series) had me breathless - clever dialogue, captivating characters, fast paced pulling the reader along, rich and exciting. This one is a winner, I can't wait to read the second book, Rivals in the Tudor Court.
I really enjoyed this book. I really felt Bess's heartache at being separated from Will. It's hard to imagine in this day and age the Crown telling you your marriage was illegal and then suddenly becoming legal again with a change of monarch.
The story is narrated by Mary Howard, growing up at court during the reign of King Henry VIII, under the strict, controlling hands of her father, the Duke of Norfolk. In it she recounts how a woman-child of this era viewed and survived in the political machinations and intrigues. The violence and abuses to which women were subjected, sometimes by their own mistakes, sometimes as the pawns of others. It is sad and heart wrenching.

Though, I'm not typically a fan of this narrative style of writing
Bah...I yield! I can handle books that are light on plot if it has a well-written story and engaging characters. This book, in my opinion, has neither.
Although I have inclinations before about historical royalties and rulers of London, my curiosities and interests had been piqued all the more after reading this book. The primary character of this book, Mary FitzRoy, Duchess of Richmond and Somerset, formerly Lady Mary Howard, might not be that much of an appealing character but she had made it extremely interesting (for the readers) about the people in the court. It was also remarkable that the author wrote about a relatively obscure historica ...more
Excellent book! Mary Howard had a tough life and she is portrayed as a very emotional lady in this novel. It gave an excellent insight into court life during the infamous King Henry the 8th's reign and life as a lady-in-waiting to his very a few of his very different Queens. It was very well researched and such an interesting, addictive read. I did get lost in in a few places; the author flung out many names of significant people during that time, too many to keep up with. None the less this nov ...more
I really wish they let us give half-star ratings, because I would give this three and a half if I could. I have mixed feelings about it.

On the one hand, it does a pretty good job of telling the story of Mary Howard, a relatively minor figure in the Tudor court, but one who was connected to the powerful Howard family and a witness to many of the important events that happened there. Not (thankfully) having been in an abusive relationship myself, I don't know how accurate the dynamics of her rela
Sarah Dean
This was one of the most disappointing books I have read in a long time.

The story follows the life of Mary Howard, who is sent to court to serve Anne Boleyn. I thought it would be an interesting, original read, telling the tale of the Tudors from a different angle. I was wrong. Mary Howard is the most annoying 'heroine' possible. You could barely get through two pages before 'her eyes welled with tears' AGAIN! And that's not an exaggeration. She bursts into tears at the smallest of things and t
Ellie M
I wasn't sure what I was expecting from this book. I feared that it might be an Americanized version of British history (ugh) but actually it was an engaging look at a forgotten character of British history. Mary Howard, daughter of the infamous Duke of Norfolk, married (although never consummated the marriage) Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of Henry VIII. This story spans the period from the rise of Anne Boleyn to the death of Henry VIII so it's quite a sweep of history but it's very well ...more
Good grief...

Any author who endeavors to bring individuals who once lived and breathed back to life in book form has a great deal to live up to, in my opinion. Historical fiction is a tribute of sorts, and those whose lives have inspired someone to compose a novel deserve to be portrayed in a way that as closely fits the historical actuality as possible. True, some characters just weren't included in the historical record to the extent that would allow authors to know exactly what they need to i
4.5 STARS!
This is another great read to add to your Tudor fiction library. It is full of the Tudor speculation and gossip that Tudor fans have come to enjoy and love, but this is not told in an over the top fashion. It is fast paced and intriguing, as the Tudor courts and the events of the demise of Henry VIII's wives are merely a backdrop for Mary Howard's story. Although an avid fan of Tudor history, this particular story is new to me, as I have never registered the fact that the shrewd and cu
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 09, 2015 09:18AM  
  • Gay Lord Robert (Tudor Saga, #11)
  • His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester
  • The Queen's Rival (In the Court of Henry VIII, #3)
  • At the King's Pleasure  (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #4 )
  • No Will But His: A Novel of Kathryn Howard
  • Vengeance Is Mine: A Novel Of Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, And Lady Rochford  The Woman Who Helped Destroy Them Both
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)
  • A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • At the Mercy of the Queen
  • King's Fool: A Notorious King, His Six Wives, and the One Man Who Knew All Their Secrets
  • Rival to the Queen
  • To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Ladies in Waiting, #1)
  • Three Maids for a Crown: A Novel of the Grey Sisters

D.L Bogan is a history major, aiming for a master's so that she might lecture one day. She is also a musician with classical voice training who has been playing keyboards and singing in bands since she was 18. She also enjoys reading, traveling, summer activities, spending time with family and friends, and researching her next novel! She makes her home in central Wisconsin.

More about D.L. Bogdan...

Other Books in the Series

Tudor Court (2 books)
  • Rivals in the Tudor Court
The Forgotten Queen The Sumerton Women Rivals in the Tudor Court

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