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Queen's Gambit: A Novel of Katherine Parr (The Tudor Trilogy #1)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  2,319 ratings  ·  504 reviews
“Smart, sensual and suspenseful as a thriller, Queen’s Gambit is a must-read for Philippa Gregory fans—and heralds a brilliant new player in the court of royal fiction” (People).

Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived...

This is the story of the last wife of Henry VIII, the one who survived.

Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one Katherine Parr falls de
Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2012)
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Of all Henry VIII's wives, Katherine Parr is my favorite. I don't know what it is about the history, but I've always felt that she, more than any of her predecessors, understood she was little more than a pawn put suddenly into play. That regardless of rank, life in the Tudor court was a game of chess and that you must be ever on your guard.

Elizabeth Fremantle see
Each of Henry VIII’s wives had a personal fate to be remembered by. Katherine Parr is remembered as the matronly one who took care of Henry and attempted to further the Reformist cause (a portrayal which isn’t entirely correct) and then married the rogue Thomas Seymour. Elizabeth Femantle tells Katherine’s version of events in “Queen’s Gambit”.

“Queen’s Gambit” instantly opens with historical fluff and inaccuracies which sets the tone of a historical recreation novel versus an emphasis on accurac
Manda Scott
My partner has a first in English Lit, my degrees are all in veterinary medicine and I am constantly grateful for the fact that nobody tried to teach me to read. By an large, this means that we have very different tastes in books although inevitably we're overlapping more as the years progress.
Once in a while, a book comes along that I know she's going to love: some of them are entirely not her kind of thing - she spent an entire evening asking me why I'd pressed Tim Griggs' book Redemption Blu
This stunning historical masterpiece captures the fervent intensity and passion of the Tudors with such remarkable effortless ease.

The dazzlingly dangerous Tudor court is brought to life with such acute detail as only a painter would capture in this vividly evocative, exquisite debut novel. Stripping back and shedding new light on Katherine Parr;
Henry VIII sixth and last wife, this enthralling tale of passion, loyalty and betrayal is truly astonishing as to amaze. The combination of rich perio
This novel is an exceptional debut that introduces the reader to a Katherine Parr who is more than others have written her to be. She is a pious nurse to older husbands, but that is far from all there is to Queen Katherine. Fremantle has created a multi-dimensional character and bravely filled in historical gaps to create a gripping story.

I especially enjoyed the development of Katherine's faith as a reformer. It is easy for us, with almost 500 years of separation, to categorize historical figur
ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I should know better at this point in my reading life. As a novel junkie and an admitted glutton for all things English history related it is a given that I know certain stories pretty well at this point. Hell, the stories of the tragedy and scandal ridden lives of the wives of Henry VIII have now been recounted so many damn times by so many people that if you've got even a passing interest in the Tudors (or Showtime) you probably know at least the gist of ev ...more
Claire Ridgway
This treat for historical fiction fans has just come out in the UK and comes out on 11th June in the US. It is the debut novel from Fashion editor Elizabeth Fremantle and Fremantle is definitely one to watch as the book is a wonderful read.

The novel follows the story of Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth and final wife, from 1543, when she is nursing her dying second husband, to her death in September 1548. It is a novel covering just five years, but it was an action packed five years in Katheri
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A copy of Queen's Gambit was provided to me by Simon & Schuster/Edelweiss for review purposes.

'One day, hundreds of years from now, people will tell stories about the court of King Henry and the romance of it all - the Eighth King Henry and his Six Wives. But will they tell of the terror that came with it, she wonders, or will it be made to seem a golden age?'

Queen's Gambit opens with the eminent death of Katherine Parr's second husband, John Neville, Lord Latimer. Whi
Jenny Q
Giveaway @Let Them Read Books! Ends Sept. 22, 2013.

After finishing Elizabeth Fremantle's debut novel, Queen's Gambit, I'm feeling quite sad, as I always do after reading about Katherine Parr. She is my favorite of Henry's queens, and not just because she's the one who got away, but because she was such a grand lady, so smart, so poised, and so tragic. I go into each novel knowing how it's going to end, but I still get swept away, much as Katherine does; I still hope for that happy ending, and th
This wasn't a bad début novel by any means and it seems that lots of people really enjoyed it. I didn't dislike it, I actually found it a pleasant read, but it was also fairly undemanding. You might want that from a book sometimes or you may want something a bit more challenging. It may be that there are so many historical novels out there and of these ones about the Tudors top the leaderboard by a mile, so for me, a Tudor historical novel needs to really outstandingly good to make it stand out ...more
Rebecca Huston
This was a Tudor period novel that irritated me mightily. This time the queen is Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth wife, and the one who survived him. We first meet Katherine as she arrives in London, with devoted servant Dot and stepdaughter Meg Latymer in tow. She rejoins the royal court as one of Lady Mary's ladies, and gains the attentions of King Henry VIII. There's another suitor waiting, Thomas Seymour, and the story is filled with much to-ing and fro-ing and plenty of anachronisms -- Ke ...more
Marie Z. Johansen
At last ! An novel about one of the least well known, but most fascinating of Henry VIII's Queens; Katherine Parr.

Elizabeth Fremantle has finally done justice to this most enigmatic, free thinking, spirited Queen. Reading this book was a thoroughly satisfying, extremely entertaining read, that I was loathe to put down and sorry when it ended!

The book goes far beyond the usual fare that tell the story Katherine Parr's life. Generally we know her only as the last wife of the saint/monster King, H
☔Diane S.
3.5 I keep telling myself that I have read more than enough books about Henry VIIIth and his wives. Than I see this one about Katherine Parr, who is not written about as much as some of the other wives, and I had to read it. The author does a great job with the description of the time and the places, the court intrigue and the phoniness of the same, and I loved that she started the book when Katherine's second husband was dying. It provided a little more background on her instead of just startin ...more
Bee Ridgway
This story of a queen -- Henry VIII's last wife -- had me from page one, in which we experience the death of Katherine Parr's second husband from his point of view. It's remarkable to be invited into a book through the eyes of a dying man. After that we move among characters gracefully, each perspective true and engaging, with most weight given to the queen herself and her maid. We see the two women grow into their interconnected realms of power -- for the maid, the queen's household, for the qu ...more
Ruth Chatlien
The Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle tells the story of Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife. For several reasons, she is an unlikely choice of bride. Unlike Henry’s other wives, Katherine is no unmarried girl when they wed. Henry is actually her third husband! In addition, Katherine is not young; when she marries the king, she is thirty-one (considered middle-aged in the 1540s). Her age makes her a surprising choice for a man who is desperate to sire more sons to secure the Tu ...more
Donna  Happy Booker
Queen’s Gambit gives the reader a very in depth look at Henry VIII’s last queen, Katherine Parr. So much controversy is associated with the other wives that Queen Katherine’s more reticent personality sometimes gets glossed over as being of less significance. Queen’s Gambit shows that Katherine Parr had a quiet power and dignity that not only outlived 3 husbands and a tragic past but could withstand even the changeable moods of this dangerous king as well as navigate a court filled with those wh ...more
I know a moderate amount about Henry VIII and the Tudor period in general (thanks, Showtime!), so I was really excited when I got an ARC of Queen's Gambit. Most people know the saying that goes along with his six wives, "divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived," and this is the story of the one who survived.

Katherine Parr is depicted as a smart and kind woman with a survivalist instinct. Despite her love for another man, she agrees to marry the aging king, fully aware of the fate
I have read and enjoyed Philippa Gregory's Tudor series of novels so I was keenly anticipating this debut novel by Elizabeth Fremantle which focuses on Henry VIII's sixth and last wife, Katherine Parr. My knowledge of Katherine was rather limited given that other queens especially Anne Boleyn tend to hog the Tudor stage!

This is an impressive debut novel with assured, confident writing. We see the many aspects of Katherine's character – she was so much more than a nursemaid to the ailing king –
Richard Farley
I recieved this through a giveaway through penguin and im glad I was lucky that I got it! I enjoyed it from start to finish. I am a great lover of historical fiction. Katherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of Henry VIII is probably one of the lesser known or documented wives. In ‘Queen’s Gambit’ Elizabeth Fremantle tells the story of Katherine’s life, from the death of her second husband Lord Latymer, her marriage to her third, Henry, then to her fourth and final spouse, Thomas Seymour. The wa ...more
I won a copy of this novel through the Goodreads First Reads giveaways.

I enjoyed this lush account of Henry VIII's last wife, Katherine Parr. Life in Katherine's world was vividly described and the characters were well-developed. The plot kept moving, never leaving me feeling like I was moving through a history text.

Fans of Philippa Gregory would feel right at home with this novel and I would happily read more from Fremantle.

*Edited to add that I passed it on to a family member who also really
Olivia Buehl
I could not put this book down. I'ver read many novels about the wives of Henry the Eighth, and this was the best of all. Fremantle absolutely inhabited the mind and emotions of Katherine Parr, who escaped with her life (although not for long). Although she is a journalist, this was Fremantle' s first novel and it is a winner.
Szeretem a történelmi regényeket, azon belül a Tudor-időszak az, aminek nem tudok nagyon ellenállni!
A legjobbkor álltam neki a könyvnek, igazán tetszett!
Katherine Parr-ról nem sokat tudtam, de a könyv segítségével megismerhettem, és el kell, hogy mondjam, hogy nagyon szimpatikusnak találtam! Végre egy királynő, aki nem becsvágyó, hanem kedves és kötelességtudó! Nagyon megragadt a története, közben sajnálatot is éreztem iránta, mivel nem sokszor tapasztalhatta meg milyen is az, ha az ember igaz
I won a copy of this book through Goodreads but all thoughts on the book are my own opinion based on reading it.

Katherine Parr comes to Court as a widow and is surprised to fall for the charms of the notorious player Thomas Seymour, who seems to return her feelings. Finally, Katherine has the chance to be with a man for love not duty-until King Henry VIII decides that he wants to have Katherine as his sixth wife, and saying no is not an option. Katherine is heartbroken but faces her destiny with
Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle
Review by Amanda Donovan
If you enjoy reading Philippa Gregory’s historical novels, then you will love Elizabeth Fremantle’s debut novel, Queen’s Gambit. Katherine Parr is mourning the loss of her husband, but is called to the Tudor court of Henry VIII. She falls in love with the dashing Thomas Seymour, but the king wants her as Queen and what the King wants, he gets! Expect much heartbreak, tension and angst for Katherine when her beloved Thomas Seymou
Five wives have come and gone, and now the young widow Katharine Parr has been tapped to become the sixth wife of Henry VIII. Not only does she have to worry about the king becoming angry or disinterested, but she has a couple of secrets from him. Before his proposal, she became entangled in a romantic relationship with Thomas Seymour, brother of Jane, the third wife of the king. She must keep her love for Thomas from the king's eyes, or face certain execution. Meanwhile, England is in the middl ...more
Katherine Gypson
Poor Katherine Parr - she is quite possibly the most intelligent of all of Henry VIII's queens. She also holds the notable distinction of having outwitted an attempt at her downfall to become the only one of Henry's wives to stay married to him and outlive him. But for any number of reasons she has not inspired the number of novels devoted to her predecessors - even bland Jane Seymour seems to get more attention.

I was quite pleased to see this new novel focusing on her life. It falls clearly in
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
We all know the story of Henry VIII and his six wives, but not many authors focus on Henry's last wife, Katherine Parr. Katherine Parr finds herself newly widowed, in her thirties, with no interest in being queen, that is until Henry sets his sight on her. She is actually in love with Thomas Seymour, a well-known courtier, but her affair is cut short due to Henry's interest in her. Before she knows it, she finds herself as Henry's queen and caring for him while also trying to navigate through hi ...more
Katherine Parr was Henry VIII’s sixth wife. She was a twice-widowed, learned, and intelligent woman interested in the new faith and religious reform, the exact opposite of Henry’s fifth wife the young and reckless Catherine Howard. Katherine Parr nursed Henry in his final years and he seemed to value her for these skills however all of these attributes didn’t mean that she was safe from the machinations of the poisonous Tudor court. Her avowed interest in Protestant teachings and religious learn ...more

It’s been a while since I’ve read Tudor historical fiction, having been burned recently by some bad examples, but I immediately fell right into this, reminded of why I fell in love with Tudor historical fiction to begin with.

Fremantle takes all the known facts about Katherine Parr’s life – and all the latest research at that, which made me all light headed with fact checking pleasure – and tells a story never deviating from the facts, and fills in all the holes with some marvelously well written

Queen’s Gambit is a historical fiction centred around the life of Katherine Parr; the sixth and final wife of notorious Henry VIII. Katherine is widowed for the second time when King Henry takes a fancy to her, and soon they are married, and she is subject to the volatile whims of his temper. In a time of religious reformation, and social turmoil, she must be witty, clever and strong. Katherine Parr is all of these things and more as she navigates her marr
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 11, 2015 08:30AM  
  • Venus in Winter
  • Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I (Ladies in Waiting #3)
  • The Tudor Conspiracy (The Spymaster Chronicles, #2)
  • The Boleyn Deceit (The Boleyn Trilogy, #2)
  • The Forgotten Queen
  • The Chalice (Joanna Stafford, #2)
  • The Queen's Rivals
  • The Queen's Secret
  • I, Jane (In the Court of Henry VIII, #4)
  • The Agincourt Bride (Catherine de Valois, #1)
  • Her Highness, the Traitor
  • My Lady Viper
  • The Summer Queen (Eleanor of Aquitane, #1)
  • Queen Elizabeth's Daughter: A Novel of Elizabeth I
  • Tudor: The Family Story
  • The Children of Henry VIII
  • The Passionate Brood
  • The Unfaithful Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII's Fifth Wife
As a child I was the one in the corner with my nose in a book who wanted to be a writer, but with the onset of a turbulent adolescence I left school, under a cloud, aged fifteen with nothing more than a fistful of O Levels and a hapless sense that things would somehow work themselves out. Eventually, after working in various dodgy dives – I've served grey scrambled eggs to squaddies at 5.30am; I'v ...more
More about Elizabeth Fremantle...

Other Books in the Series

The Tudor Trilogy (3 books)
  • Sisters of Treason
  • Watch the Lady
Sisters of Treason Watch the Lady Queen's Gambit Free 1st Chapter

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“Katherine and the children have made paper boats and are floating them on the moat to see which one stays up the longest, contriving always that Edward’s should be the winner. He is learning from an early age that the world conspires magically to favor him. After all, he will be King one day and that is the way of things for kings.” 2 likes
“What are we if we are not words?” 2 likes
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