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Six Tudor Queens #3

Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen

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A novel of the devout young woman who became the unwilling object of King Henry VIII's ardor--and the mother of his only son. In this third book in the epic Six Tudor Queens series, the acclaimed historian and bestselling author brings new insight to this dramatic story, showing how pure fear for her life determined Jane Seymour's actions.

25-year-old Jane Seymour wants nothing more than to become a nun. But her ambitious father has forced her to live at court as lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine of Aragon, a fellow-Catholic whom she soon comes to love and admire. So Jane is appalled when King Henry shunts Katherine aside in his lustful pursuit of Anne Boleyn, but even more so when he takes Anne's life in his rush to wed--Jane herself!

Unwilling to marry but terrified to resist Henry's advances for fear she might share Anne's fate, and propelled by her family, Jane becomes Queen of England a mere ten days after Anne's execution. She knows she must produce a male heir without fail. Her very life depends on it.

557 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 3, 2018

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About the author

Alison Weir

75 books7,291 followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Alison Weir is a British writer of history books for the general public, mostly in the form of biographies about British kings and queens, and of historical fiction. Before becoming an author, Weir worked as a teacher of children with special needs. She received her formal training in history at teacher training college. She currently lives in Surrey, England, with her two children.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 890 reviews
Profile Image for Maureen .
1,449 reviews7,061 followers
May 5, 2018
Isn’t it wonderful when an author has the ability to transport the reader to another place and time in history - to make one feel, hear and see what it felt like to be an integral part of King Henry VIII’s court. I knew little about Jane Seymour, so it was a joy to see her come to life. History paints her as a mainly meek, mouse like woman, but others saw her in a different light. Alison Weir portrays her as a modest, kind hearted woman, but also an educated, principled woman, and one not afraid to stand up for those principles, and who by an unforeseen set of circumstances becomes Henry VIII's third wife.

Jane's wedding to the King took place just eleven days after Anne Boleyn's death. Anne Boleyn was tried and convicted of adultery, incest, and treason, and was incarcerated in the Tower of London, prior to her beheading (though not everyone believed those charges) Anne was never able to give Henry a son, which distressed him greatly, so Jane knows that she must produce a son and heir for King Henry if she's to have any chance of making her husband happy. Anne's death preys greatly on Jane's mind though, and when she begins to see a shadowy ghostly figure in the dead of night, she imagines it must be Anne, especially when these sightings are followed by some great tragedy.

Having been a part of Henry's court for many years, Jane's only too aware of just what a hazardous place this is. A place of dangerous intrigue, infidelity, and treachery. This was also a time of great change in history, with Henry's insistence to an annulment from his first wife Catherine of Aragon, leading to a falling out with the Pope, thereby leading to massive changes to the English Constitution.

The author ( with great knowledge and a splash of imagination ) has managed to flesh out Jane Seymour, and presented her in such an engaging manner, that you really feel you get to know her. She also brings the early 16th century to life in terms of the customs, traditions, illnesses and the food and drink consumed, and also gives us an insight into the terror that the plagues brought about, and how they returned time and time again to claim many lives in those troubled times.

This was an excellent, well written and fascinating look at the Henry VIII's court, and in particular how Jane Seymour became, not only a part of that court, but ascended to the highest position as Henry VIII's third wife. Highly recommended.

* Thank you to Netgalley and Headline for my ARC in exchange for an honest review*
May 15, 2018
3 stars because I love reading about Henry VIII and his wives, but tbh Jane was a boring queen and this was a boring book. I don't really get the reviews raving about Jane. She was bland as fuck in the book, and pretty self-righteous.

Which, of course, her goodness and blandness was what attracted Henry to her...

But it doesn't change the fact that she's still a boring queen.
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,187 reviews30.5k followers
May 17, 2018
5 intriguing stars to Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen! 👑 👑 👑 👑 👑

I can’t get enough of the Tudors. Fiction? Nonfiction? I’m all in. That said, I knew less about Jane Seymour, the quiet, pious queen. Alison Weir did an incredible job fleshing her out and endearing her to me.

Jane Seymour was Henry VIII’s “favorite” queen because she provided him with his only male heir; however, Jane did not want to be a queen. She wanted to be a nun. Her noble family pushed her into court where she became a lady-in-waiting to my personal favorite Tudor queen, Katherine of Aragon. Insert Henry’s infidelity and carrying on with Anne Boleyn, also a lady-in-waiting, and then, Jane became the object of his affection.

Prior to reading this book, I found Jane to be rather plain. Now, I find her compassionate, vulnerable, and of course, steadfast in her faith.

Overall, this was a well-written historical fiction novel of Jane Seymour’s most intriguing life. I’m already looking forward to the next installment in this series! I definitely recommend this to historical fiction fans. It also might be fun for those of you excited about watching the royal wedding!

Thank you to Allison Weir, Random House/Ballantine Books, and Netgalley for the ARC. Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen is now available!

My reviews can also be found on my shiny new blog! www.jennifertarheelreader.com
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,783 reviews14.2k followers
June 8, 2018
Henry's world, definitely not a comfortable place to be, if one lived during his reign, but it sure makes for addictive reading. Although I am familiar about much to do with Henry and his many wives, Jane Seymour is the one of which I know the least. I always thought of her as rather homely, meek and mild, a sharp contrast to Anne Boleyn, the wife whom she succeeded. Reading this, I think there is much more to this lady than was thought.

Alison Weir has studied, written books about Henry and his reign, and in this one I believe she does a masterful job in chronicling this little known queen. It begins when Jane is young, living with her family at Wulff Hall, and continues until her death. Her interpretation of Jane's life, is explained in her authors note. Her research as always extensive. It is very well written, and at over five hundred pages, it moved quickly. I enjoyed every minute of this novel, found it very immersive, all the details allowing me to envision things as seen through Jane's eyes.

A fantastic historical for any whom, like myself, enjoy or are curious about this time period.

ARC from Netgalley.
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
701 reviews3,356 followers
June 3, 2018
The third installment of Weir's Six Tudor Queens series dedicates so many pages to recounting the reign of Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, it hardly reads like Jane Seymour's story. Nearly four hundred pages into the book, Weir finally focuses on Jane - devout and demure, haunted by the ghost of Anne Boleyn - whose tumultuous pregnancies and tearful death are the highlight of this book.
Jane was more than four months pregnant when the child first stirred within her, a little fluttering like a butterfly's wings. She was sitting with Henry in the great park, watching her maids playing catch with a ball.

"Oh!" she exclaimed, as the fluttering came again. "Henry, feel!" She grabbed his hand and placed it on her belly, across which her kirtle was now stretched tight.

"The child?" he asked, in wonder.

"Yes, wait! There!"

"By God, it is! You have quickened!" He was ecstatic.
Profile Image for *TUDOR^QUEEN* .
462 reviews476 followers
May 6, 2018
Thank you to Random House who provided an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

I've been looking forward to reading this since Jane Seymour is sort of an "unknown" figure among Henry VIII's six queens. She's the quiet one. I don't believe I have ever read a book solely covering her, and I own quite a lot of books on the Tudors. But, this is not a biography; it's a historical novel, and much poetic license was taken here. Some of my preconceived notions were blown to bits about Jane Seymour, after a lifetime of watching various film presentations and reading Tudor biographies. The areas I'm talking about are Jane's pre-marriage virtue, possible miscarriages and how she died. In one way this was more interesting and unexpected. On the other hand, it made me question whether what I was reading was going "far off the reservation."

This all neatly resolved itself in the final section of the book entitled, "Author's Note." According to well-respected and voluminous Tudor author Alison Weir, there is very little documentation in existence regarding Jane Seymour. Queen Jane did not leave behind any significant writings, and Weir painstakingly culled together what she could from a myriad of sources. She justifies conclusions she leapt to on various fronts, laying out the case for each, citing the pieces of evidence available. My interest was piqued to read about the birth of their long-awaited son Edward, having heard throughout the years that Queen Jane most likely had a cesarean section. My knowledge of her subsequent death was that it was as a result of "cutting the baby out of her" or due to puerperal fever (caused by uterine infection following childbirth). Neither of these conditions are blamed for her death in this tome, and Weir conferred with a team of physicians and a midwife to come to that expert conclusion.

Other situations explored were the possibility that Jane had originally wanted to be a nun (her younger sisters had marriages arranged before her...why?), just how much she participated in framing Anne Boleyn, and her resultant guilty conscience and sense of being haunted following Queen Anne's execution. Jane was very loyal to Queen Katherine, whom she served when she first came to court. She always considered Katherine the true Queen of England and Catholicism the true faith. Alison Weir painted a picture of a quiet, gentle young woman with good convictions who got herself caught up in situations she never expected. She was heavily influenced by her family who wanted to be in favour with King Henry VIII. They pushed her to make decisions she might otherwise not have made for herself. She was trying to be happy about being Queen, but the circumstances that brought her to that point would leave anyone feeling "Haunted."

I read the prior book in this series, "Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession" which ended with Queen Anne's execution. Therefore, I thought this subsequent book would pick up from that point. Not so. This book begins with Jane Seymour's youth, and continues with her eventual invitation to court to serve King Henry VIII's first wife Katherine of Aragon. This is during the exact time when King Henry VIII is carrying on with another one of Katherine's serving ladies, the notorious Anne Boleyn. So, this was a substantial book that did a good job of trying to flesh out the life of King Henry VIII's beloved third wife.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,823 reviews12.9k followers
August 20, 2018
Alison Weir barely has time to breathe as she churns out yet another masterful novel in the Six Tudor Queens series, this time with a strong focus on Jane Seymour, wife number three. Young Jane had always wanted to join the cloister and become a nun, which seemed to be her destiny right up until her eighteenth birthday. Shipped off to the convent, Jane found herself not quite sure of her choice and decided that, perhaps, God had other plans for her. Returning to her jubilant family, Jane enjoys a quieter life with the Seymours, until, that is, a family indiscretion leaves the family surrounded by scandal and Jane utterly embarrassed. With an arrangement to send Jane to Court in hand, Jane finds herself somewhat hesitant, but agrees to serve as a lady to Queen Catherine. Making her way to the big city, Jane is able to see a different type of life, surrounded by gaiety and lavish lifestyles. While Jane becomes quite close to the Queen, another lady-in-waiting, Anne Boleyn, begins her treachery and erodes the strong marriage between Catherine and King Henry VIII. Jane is forced to watch as the King begins to dismantle his long-standing marriage, going so far as to enter a schism with Rome and declare the creation of the Church of England. While Jane cannot voice her concerns too loudly, she sides strongly with Catherine, even as the King moves to strip his wife of her title. With Anne ascending to the throne, Jane can only watch in wonder as they ‘play house’ for a time. Jane reluctantly takes a role in the new Queen’s household, which only helps to pave the way for the King to visit her and, to no one’s shock, find fancy with her. Soon Henry VIII is seeking to woo Jane and wonders about making her his formal mistress. While young and somewhat naive, Jane knows all too well what is to come and tries her best to fend him off, though the Seymours want nothing more than to see Jane secure her role. Rumours abound about Queen Anne’s activities and soon Jane succumbs to the King’s desires and she becomes pregnant. With the potential of the next male monarch in her womb, Jane watches the downfall of Anne Boleyn and her eventual beheading. This creates an odd situation, whereby Jane is ready to become Henry’s next wife, but protocol and dignity would see her wait. As her pregnancy progresses, Jane can only hope that she will not misstep, as the previous two queens did, and that she can bring England a prince. Everyone watches and waits, as Queen Jane approaches her due date, hoping that the next King of England will soon be born. As with the past two queens, Jane suffers miscarriages, males never brought to term. However, the King seems to be more patient and Jane tries anew to bring her husband, and England, its long-awaited heir. However, no good deed comes without sacrifice and Jane must face more tragedy, something she could not have seen coming. Weir breathes new life into the Tudor dynasty with yet another novel! Series and topic fans will likely find this piece to their liking, allowing Weir to explore some of the rumours of the time in her well-presented narrative.

One can always expect something masterful when Alison Weir is writing, though it may be difficult to parse what is fact from fiction, which may be why reading the Author’s Note at the end of the novel is more important than ever. Those familiar with Weir’s work will known that she is a masterful biographer of many English monarchs, some of whom become central characters in her works of historical fiction. I would venture to say that most of the ‘fiction’ found herein relates more to the added dialogue than fanciful creations of historical happenings, but that is for the reader and well-versed historian to dispute. Turning the focus of this series towards Jane Seymour might have been a gamble, as she was Henry VIII’s wife for so short a period, but Weir offers up a wonderful collection of stories and advances the narrative throughout to show what impact she had on the Tudor Court. From her childhood wanting to be a nun through to her demise while bringing forth England an heir, Seymour saw much growth with the reader and her soft-spoken nature was only slightly tipped askew when trying to bring home a point. She acted as strong mediator between Henry’s first child, Mary, and sought to dilute some of the King’s fanciful antics for which he has become so well known. There is no shortage of characters that surround Jane, both at and away from Court, all of whom influence the story greatly, none more than Henry VIII himself. While it is no shock to anyone, the King could be seen to fly off the handle and become somewhat irrational, be it for his own plans or the push to have an heir. Whatever that might be, it proved to be a threat throughout this novel, which saw much intensity grow with each passing day that a male was not forthcoming. Weir’s attention to the story is, as always, first rate and the reader can bask in such detail without drowning in minutiae. Those who are fans of Tudor writing will surely find this entertaining and engaging, while those not as well-versed may learn a thing or two. The ease with which the chapters flow, the information is presented, and the dialogue balanced will keep the reader wanting more, as I do. However, as I am not living in the United Kingdom, I do not (yet) have access to the short stories that Weir has crafted within this series, and so must wait for Anna of Kleve in 2019.

Kudos, Madam Weir, for another wonderful novel. I thoroughly enjoy this series and cannot wait to see how you will tackle the second half of the wives of Henry VIII.

Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
Profile Image for Tammy.
524 reviews439 followers
April 9, 2018
Well worn material, this time told from the perspective of Jane Seymour. Frankly, I found the author's note at the end of the book to be more interesting than the book itself. In the note, Weir lays out the historical reasoning for the choices she made depicting these tumultuous three years. Fascinating.
Profile Image for Helga.
969 reviews153 followers
May 5, 2018
An excellent, well researched and well-written book, Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen is the story of the beloved third wife of Henry VIII from her childhood to the end of her short life.
This is an intricate tale about a young Queen who succeeds Anne Boleyn following Anne’s beheading and finds herself enmeshed in court intrigues and machinations.
Her beliefs and principles are challenged as she strives to bring peace to her inner struggles and determine what is right and what is wrong.
Profile Image for Leo.
4,393 reviews412 followers
July 29, 2023
All three books so far have been five stars read. It's easy getting attached to each Queen and their lie (and death). Jane is the more "quiet" of the queens at least so far but I still found it so intruiging to follow her and her thoughts. Think this series is going to be high on my end of the year list.
Profile Image for BAM the enigma.
1,899 reviews379 followers
May 31, 2018
Netgalley # 19 (and the most exciting one to date!)

Many thanks go to Ballantine, Alison Weir (one of my all-time favorite authors), and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

I'm a HUGE Weir fan. Have been for years. I read everything by her. Seymour, of this series, has been my least favorite of the three. That may be because she is my least favorite queen. She's always seemed so meek and humble and abused by her family. This book does give more insight into her life than I've ever read.
We watch Jane mature in this book. And she is a pawn. But Weir makes her seem more amiable to the situation than otherwise thought. It also discusses her feelings about Boleyn and Jane's death, which I found fascinating.
Sadly there just isn't much documented about Jane. She was from a large family and was queen for a very short time. She was beloved because she bore a son.
I will say to Weir that I think the idea for this series is just brilliant! I can't wait for Anne of Kleve!
Profile Image for Lois .
1,873 reviews479 followers
May 22, 2018
This is slow and boring. Weir's fiction is generally considerably worse than her non-fiction. I didn't much care for the first volume in this series about Katherine of Aragon but somewhat liked the book about Anne Boleyn. This is just a miss.
I did appreciate the portrayl of Jane as the hypocrite she was. Her treatment of Anne is callous and her attachment to Lady Mary doesn't clean that up.
Profile Image for Juli.
1,899 reviews492 followers
May 16, 2018
Jane Seymour (1508-1537) was the wife of Henry VIII and Queen of England for a very short time, 1536-1537. She succeeded Anne Boleyn as Henry's wife and bore him a son...and died a few days later from birth-related complications.

In The Haunted Queen, Allison Weir continues her Six Tudor Queens saga with Jane's story. The book is a mix of historical fact and fictional story, recounting what might have happened from the time Jane was about 10 years old until her death.

I am a sucker for all things Tudor. And Jane's story, while being less exciting or morbid than the divorces, two beheadings and a survivor, her tale is still fascinating to me. The struggles between the catholic church and the monarchy, the King's long fight for divorce from his first wife, Katherine, the short reign of Anne Boleyn.....and her own marriage to Henry..... Jane lived in very exciting time of change, violence and political rivalries. While I'm glad that I don't live in a similar situation, it is interesting to read about those who did. I can only imagine how scared Anne Boleyn was when she realized her triumph at being named queen was going to end in disaster. And Jane's short-lived joy at birthing a son.

I loved this book! I've read a couple other books by Allison Weir and always enjoy her mix of fact and fiction. It brings Court and all the intrigue to life. I'm not sure why I enjoy reading about Henry VIII's reign so much. He really was a bad king and a narcissistic man bent on having a male successor no matter what the cost. Let alone the irony that most likely it was his sperm and health that caused the problems in the first place.

Fabulous book for those who enjoy historical fiction. This is NOT a romance novel disguised as historical fiction, but a fictionalized account of historical events. Don't expect steamy sex scenes....it's not that sort of book. If you want to read about political intrigue, the jealousies of court, and Jane's short lived marriage to one of the most famous rulers of England....then this book is perfect!

I will definitely be reading more by Allison Weir. I haven't read the first two books in this series yet -- Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen and Anne Boleyn, A King's Obsession. There are also several Novellas in the series, including one about Arthur, Henry's older brother and Katherine's first husband. I will definitely be reading this entire series! I can't wait for the next book! Anna of Kleve is up next -- another divorce. (At least she kept her head!!)

**I voluntarily read an advance reader's copy of this book from Random House via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
Profile Image for Marialyce (on our way to Venice).
2,038 reviews709 followers
May 14, 2018
My reviews can be seen at https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

It is always fascinating to this reader to read of the Tudor Queens and the events that led up to their taking their place next to Henry VIII. Alison Weir's books have always been a wonderful way in which to learn and enhance one's understanding of the events that put these women on the throne. This novel was no exception

Jane Seymour never would have foreseen herself as the wife to a king. She was shy, devout to her Catholic faith, and from descriptions presented, not one to flaunt herself like her predecessor. She was devoted to Henry's first wife, Catherine, and felt that her treatment was inhumane and unforgivable. However, times being what they were it was the will of her father and brother that she stop her attendance of Queen Catherine and take up service to the up and coming Anne Boleyn whom she greatly disliked.

Jane comes to Henry's attention. She was not a beautiful woman but rather plain, fair, and gentle. In fact, the day after Anne's beheading, Henry married Jane and they went onto having a son together. King Edward VI was their son and because of difficulties and the times, Jane died a few days after his birth possibly due to a bacterial infection.

Jane seemed to be the calming influence that Henry so needed. She was a calm and peaceful person responsible for the return of Princess Mary to her father's good graces. Jane and Mary had a close friendship and brought to the Tudor court a return of courtly behavior and decorum.

This book was a wonderful look into what might have constituted Jane's life both before and after she came to court and eventually into Henry's line of vision. Her death seemed to have affected Henry and it was said that he remained in mourning for her for a number of months. For those who love the lives and the time of the Tudor age, this book both well written and carefully researched will provide many hours of escaping to a time when Henry ruled England with a very strict and authoritarian reign. One has to wonder if Jane had lived what would have become of Henry and Jane. He seemed to truly care for her and she is the only one who was given a Queen's funeral. Later when Henry died, he was buried at his request, next to Jane at St George's Chapel at Windsor.

Thank you to Alison Weir, Random House Publishing-Ballantine, and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this novel.
Profile Image for Natasa.
1,203 reviews
January 15, 2019
Jane Seymour may not have been as bold as Anne Boleyn, but her story still fascinates. This particular version of Jane is much how I see Jane in my own imagination. Beautifully written so that you're getting the historical aspect as well as a personal story of a young woman. The Haunted Queen is a great tribute to one of Henry VIII’s most elusive queens, and I cannot wait to read Alison Weir’s next novel. Full review coming soon on my blog: https://poetryofreading.blogspot.com/...
Profile Image for Juliew..
231 reviews152 followers
July 31, 2018
4 and a half stars for this.I have to admit I liked this much better than the Anne Boleyn book I had also read in this series.I'm not really sure why exactly but I think I was much amused by the idea of Anne coming back to haunt Jane and also Jane is one of the lesser known wives so I was completely fascinated how the author tried to fill the gaps in her story.I wasnt too thrilled with the perpetuating of more of the better known myths such as Anne was throughly evil,Lady Rochford hated her husband or the villainization of Thomas Boleyn.Please don't look too closely for the historical accuracy and just sit back and enjoy the ride.I did.Engaging, detailed and easy to read,Weir proves she writes fiction better than history.
Profile Image for Cathy.
1,219 reviews231 followers
May 12, 2018
To read more reviews like this, plus fascinating author interviews, exclusive guest posts and book extracts, visit my blog: https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.com/

For someone who lived a relatively short life, this is quite a long book. The author takes us in detail through events of the three years that the author describes as ‘the most tumultuous…in England’s history’. Since the lives of Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour overlapped, readers of the previous two books in the series will find themselves reliving the events of the ‘King’s Great Matter’ over again, albeit from a different perspective.

I enjoyed the sections covering Jane’s childhood and the home life of the Seymour family at Wulfhall. It provides an interesting insight into the working of a Tudor household and here, as throughout the book, there is wonderful detail about clothing, food and the routines of daily life that provides a real sense of authenticity. ‘Mother had excelled herself: among the dishes there were baked meats, raised pies, savoury tarts, salmon in sauce, capons in wine, blancmanges and berries is season.’ Events also take place that arguably have a lasting impact on Jane’s view of marriage.

Jane’s appointment as maid-in-waiting to first Queen Katherine and then Anne Boleyn demonstrates how women of the nobility were frequently pawns in a power game for preferment and position, either through being placed in prestigious roles at Court or through making advantageous marriages. At times, this presents Jane with difficult moral choices: should she be true to her beliefs and risk her family’s advancement or obey her family’s wishes? As one of her fellow maids observes, “Oh, Jane – who are we to question? Our families make our moral choices for us.” The book provides a compelling picture of the Royal Court as a place of intrigue, conspiracy, secret allegiances, false flattery and dissembling with imprisonment, exile or worse the price for opposing the King’s will. Particularly, since the King’s will can change like the wind.

When Jane finally accepts Henry’s attentions, it is partly because she believes it may be God’s way of enabling her to end the attack on the Church initiated by the followers of Anne Boleyn and save the King from eternal damnation. However, she is merely a pawn once again and the nearer to the King, the more danger lurks behind every door. ‘It was a terrifying world she inhabited….Nowhere, least of all this glittering, teeming court seething with intrigue, was safe.’

The author paints a picture of Jane as devout, with a strong moral compass, intelligent, perceptive and, surprising even herself perhaps at times, willing to express her opinions boldly. Jane’s devotion to Henry is depicted as sincere and accompanied by a physical attraction. This is relevant to a development in the story which the author talks about the evidence for in her Author’s Note. Following Anne Boleyn’s fall from grace, putting aside her doubts and misgivings, Jane agrees to marry the King. However, as most of us know from school history lessons, happiness did not await. The King, however, did get that for which he had disposed of two wives.

In her fascinating Author’s Note at the end of the book, the author freely admits that documentary evidence about the life of Jane Seymour is scant – ‘She left barely a letter…Her recorded utterances are few.’ Alison Weir goes on to say, ‘Had she [Jane] left behind letters giving insights into her views on these events, we would know much more about the role she played in them – but she didn’t, and therefore she remains an enigma.’ However, the role of the author of historical fiction is to populate the gaps in the historical records using their imagination. This, the author does in a way this reader certainly found plausible, credible and, importantly, entertaining. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

I received a review copy courtesy of publishers, Headline, and NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Margaret.
Author 20 books84 followers
July 2, 2018
Alison Weir can be a bit hit or miss. Some books are fantastic reads, while others plod along.

This one is one of the hits.

The reality is we know little about Jane Seymour, so this gives Ms Weir a lot of wiggle room, and wiggle she does!

She makes sense of a few snippets that standing by themselves in the tapestry of history made no sense, but woven in with others are perfectly intelligible.

Possibly the best of Ms Weir's books.

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Kirsty ❤️.
924 reviews45 followers
October 18, 2019
I don't know as much about Jane Seymour as I do some of the other wives of Henry VIII so I found this really fascinating. A well written book about a time that is often done to death but I found plenty of new information to keep my interest
Profile Image for Angela.
218 reviews
March 31, 2018
The problem is, with Jane, that she is just not the most compelling character. For one, there is very little known of her personality, she had practically no known correspondence, and she was in the public eye for a very short time.

This shows forth in this novelization in that she takes most of her cues from those around her. The only interest to originate from Jane herself is that she felt a calling to join the religious life. However, once within an abbey, she quickly realizes that it is not the place for her. From then on, the direction of her life proceeds nearly on a whim. Jane decides only to go to court because her brother has, and it seems something to try. She takes to serving Katherine, but hates court.

Once Queen, she decides to take up the cause of Princess Mary, until her husband tells her to stop meddling. An ambassador asks her to speak up against reform, she does and is reprimanded again. Within the same scene, she resolves never to do so again. Even her death was anticlimactic enough that it was just a passive wind down to the final page. Sadly this is a woman of her time, entirely ruled by others and with no substance to make her interesting outside of the tumultuous time she lived in.
Profile Image for Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣.
651 reviews407 followers
January 15, 2023

2022 was my Tudor Year. :)))

Jane Seymour was Henry VIII's most cherished wife because she was the only one who gave him a son... And died shortly after. There was simply not enough time for the brutish king to get too annoyed/bored with her and have her head off. Or maybe she would have been his last wife, should she have survived the birth of her son, as she is mostly described as meek. We will never know.
Profile Image for Eva.
838 reviews428 followers
June 5, 2018
The third book in the Six Tudor Queens series obviously features Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour. I must admit I knew very little about her going in. Apart from the facts, of course. Third wife, the only one to give Henry a male heir and the fact that she was apparently so beloved by Henry that he decided to be buried alongside her.

I’m not entirely sure I now know much more about her as far as historical facts are concerned, to be honest, but I do thoroughly enjoy the way she’s portrayed in this novel. It seems, unlike the previous wives, Jane left little or nothing of note. No journals or letters, for instance, that thorough research would normally be based on. This means there were quite a few gaps that Alison Weir needed to fill but true to form, she manages to do that in an entirely plausible and credible way.

Considering Jane Seymour’s rather short life, this is one long book though never boring. We are offered a glimpse into Jane’s early life, growing up in a big and happy family, surrounded by one or two ambitious brothers who themselves will play a huge part in history. In those early days however, Jane is determined to become a nun. How very different things would have been if that had come to pass.

As it is, she finds her way to court, as a maid-in-waiting to the first (and true 😄) Queen Katherine when Henry’s pursuit of Anne Boleyn has already started. The Great Matter, as it’s known, would always play a massive part in the first three books in this series as events overlap, but Jane is very much on the fringes of it all. However, her fierce loyalty to Queen Katherine and her faith will shape the future.

Was Jane naive? Did she really fall in love or was she merely as ambitious as her brothers? Who knows? Alison Weir paints an interesting picture of a devout and intelligent young lady who carefully weights up her options, who believes she might possibly be able to make a difference and restore what Anne Boleyn tore apart.

Interestingly, we also see a rather different side to Henry VIII. Not quite the self-centred, unforgiving, bullying “man-child” who throws temper tantrums when things don’t go his way. Not towards Jane anyway. I do believe he genuinely loved Jane Seymour but I can’t help thinking what would have happened if she hadn’t borne him a son.

It’s quite obvious to me that my fascination with the Tudor era and the six wives of Henry VIII will never go away. In my most humble opinion, nobody brings this era to life as magnificently as Alison Weir does. The meticulous research, the absolutely wonderful eye for detail, it all jumps from the pages and never fails to completely absorb me.

The Six Tudor Queens is an exquisite series and this third book is a truly wonderful addition. I can’t wait for the next one, which is obviously about Ann of Cleves, if you know your history. I’m quite happy to leave the Great Matter behind and learn more about the other wives. If you’re a Tudor fan, I have no doubt you will love this but I also feel there’s a lot here to please any historical fiction reader.
883 reviews39 followers
May 3, 2018
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing - Ballantine for a digital galley of this novel.

I am reading this series of novels covering the lives of the wives of King Henry VIII of England in the Six Tudor Queens series by Alison Weir. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books but found this one much harder to become and then stay interested in. I kept trying to work out what was keeping me from feeling as enthusiastic about this book and I believe the answer is revealed in the Author's Note segment at the end of the book. There is not much historical evidence of the life of Jane Seymour so this book, unlike the two previous novels, is mostly fictional material, especially Jane's early life.

Another aspect of the novel which held me back from enjoying it wholeheartedly was the paranormal influence the author has chosen to weave into the story. All of those portions are simply story telling by the author and they felt out of place. It must be very hard to write three different books about three women who were familiar with each other and living in the same timeline. In essence Alison Weir has told the same general story three times just using three different viewpoints. That must be very difficult to do while keeping the books individual yet fresh. My reaction to this story has not dimmed my enthusiasm for the next book in the series. I will be waiting impatiently for book number four.
Profile Image for gem.
710 reviews24 followers
February 16, 2018
I love Alison Weir’s books; whether they be fictional or non-fiction, AW’s research shines through and transports you back in time.
This book focuses on Jane Seymour, the famed favourite wife of Henry VII and mother of Edward.
This book offers up a fascinating insight into Jane’s family life, and the political machinations that caused her to go from would be nun to wife of the King.
I’ve read loads of books about the Tudors, but not actually a great deal about Jane Seymour (mostly Anne Boleyn or Elizabeth I!) and this was so much fun and utterly captivating.
I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series!

Thank you to Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
Profile Image for Jackie Law.
876 reviews
January 3, 2018
Six Tudor Queens: Jane Seymour – The Haunted Queen, by Alison Weir, is the third in a series of specially commissioned books which together tell the story of Henry VIII’s wives, from their point of view. Each instalment is a highly detailed, fictionalised account based on known and researched facts, with literary licence taken to aid storytelling. The author is a well regarded historian and explains at the end of each book why she presented key moments in her subjects’ lives the way she did. Jane Seymour served both Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn as a maid-of-honour during the turbulent years when the latter replaced the former as queen so there is a degree of overlap in the first three books in the series. Jane left little written evidence of her life and thoughts so the author has constructed a tale based on interpretation and informed invention.

The story opens when Jane is ten years old and attending a lavish dinner at her family home, Wulf Hall in Wiltshire, to celebrate the marriage of her elder brother, Edward, to Catherine Fillol. The match is regarded as a good one by both families and within a year they have had a child. By then their initial happiness has soured for disturbing reasons. Jane’s mother gave birth to ten children but not all survived into adulthood. The precariousness of life, at a time when doctors could offer little more than herbal infusions as remedies, plays a key role in the ongoing narrative. The coming years bring outbreaks of devastating plague to England as well as the tragedies of royal babies not carried to term. The fecundity of the Seymours may well have been part of Jane’s appeal to the king when he grew disillusioned with Anne Boleyn.

The timeline jumps forward to when Jane is eighteen years old. She wishes to be a nun but does not cope well with the hardships required by this life so returns home. Her siblings are making their way in the world and she starts to look beyond Wulf Hall which is no longer the happy, family home of her childhood. She is pleased to be granted the opportunity to serve at the royal court in London.

Jane soon discovers that court life is a hotbed of intrigue and gossip, the factional rivalry an unwelcome contrast to the peaceful existence she associates with Wulf Hall. Anne is approaching her zenith and Jane accompanies Katherine when she is required to leave Henry and his palaces as the royal marriage is annulled. Jane is a staunch supporter of the church so is appalled by the ecclesiastical reforms being proposed and managed by an increasingly influential Cromwell. When Katherine is stripped of her household in an attempt to force her to comply with the king’s wishes, the Seymours insist that Jane not waste the costly court place they provided. She is required to return to London and serve Anne.

Jane is witness to the distress caused by the new queen’s miscarriages. Despite Anne’s suffering, Jane despises her for what she has done to Katherine. When Henry starts to take notice of Jane she chooses not to reject his advances as she does not consider him lawfully married. In this she is encouraged by her ambitious brothers and a growing band of supporters eager to do away with Anne and reinstate Katherine’s daughter, Mary, in the succession.

The bare bones of the story are, of course, well known. In many ways the plot is slow moving as Jane’s participation and influence on key events are minor until close to the end of her life. What this enables is a detailed portrayal of life in Tudor England from the point of view of a noble but peripheral family rising through the echelons of the royal court. Clothes, food, and the day to day preoccupations of sixteenth century, privileged women are vividly presented.

Jane is depicted as somewhat gauche but aware of the risks she is taking in becoming involved with Henry. Her loyalty to her family is key in the decisions she makes. Having witnessed how ruthless Henry could be to his wives she is aware of the precariousness of her position. Although wishing to promote the causes her supporters espouse she is mostly circumspect in her dealings with the king who has little patience with any who will not bend as he wills.

The author has chosen not to ascribe Jane’s death to the traditionally accepted puerperal fever. Her reasoning for this is compelling. By this time Henry was approaching fifty, suffering from leg ulcers and putting on weight. The couple’s supposed love for each other is shown to have serious caveats. It seems unlikely that the life Jane dreamed of would have been possible even had she lived.

Although the truly historic events are the same in all three of the books so far released in this series, the changing points of view provide new perspective and depth. This is an accessible and well structured account of a queen who, despite providing Henry’s longed for prince, is rarely granted as much attention as her predecessor. It provides an intimate window into the rarefied yet ruthless Tudor world.

My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher, Headline.
Profile Image for The Geeky Bibliophile.
475 reviews91 followers
May 2, 2018
This next book in the Six Tudor Queens series tells the story of Jane Seymour, third wife of King Henry VIII. This fictionalized tale of Jane's life begins at her childhood home of Wulfhall and, in time, we see how Jane came to serve as a maid-of-honor for the Queen—Katherine of Aragon, Henry's first wife. When she arrives, the King's pursuit of Anne Boleyn, another of Katherine's maid's-of-honor, is already well underway. Jane remains fiercely loyal to her beloved Queen Katherine, even after she is forced to leave her and serve Anne, instead. When Anne is unable to provide a son for the King, he sets his sights on Jane, and marries her eleven days after Anne's beheading. Jane was able to give Henry the son he so greatly desired, but died shortly thereafter.

I still haven't read the first book in this series, but I enjoyed the second very much. I was excited to read about Seymour, hoping it would be as enjoyable as the book about Boleyn.

Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen swept me back into the Tudor era and kept me enthralled the entire time. The fanciful element of Jane being haunted was a nice addition to the story; it was never over the top, and didn't detract anything from the main story. It was presented in such a way as to be believable that would Jane might feel haunted, and I enjoyed reading those portions.

The real Jane Seymour left behind no letters, so little is known about her thoughts on events that took place during her time at Court and, later, as Queen. Despite that, Weir has written a wonderful novel that makes fine use of the facts known about Jane, her family, and the time she spent with Henry.

Filled with rich imagery and careful attention to detail, Tudor fans are sure to love reading about Henry VIII's third bride... I certainly did!

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Ballantine Books via Netgalley.
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2,312 reviews63 followers
April 1, 2018
I am very sure that this book is enjoyable for the right reader. I'm not a lover of any historical work of fiction or non fiction. I think that Alison Weir is a very intelligent author she builds a colourful backdrop of the 16th century and everything surrounding historical events. I was sent this book for an honest review by the publisher but not by my request to review it.
Profile Image for Manuela Rotasperti.
170 reviews6 followers
July 28, 2023
"ᴊᴀɴᴇ, ɴᴏɴ ᴀᴠᴇᴛᴇ ɪᴅᴇᴀ ᴅɪ ᴄᴏsᴀ ʀᴇɴᴅᴇ ʙᴇʟʟᴀ ᴜɴᴀ ᴅᴏɴɴᴀ ᴀɢʟɪ ᴏᴄᴄʜɪ ᴅᴇɢʟɪ ᴜᴏᴍɪɴɪ. ɴᴏɴ sɪ ᴛʀᴀᴛᴛᴀ sᴏʟᴏ ᴅᴇʟ ᴠᴏʟᴛᴏ ᴏ ᴅᴇʟ ᴄᴏʀᴘᴏ. sᴇ ɪʟ sᴜᴏ ᴄᴜᴏʀᴇ è ᴘᴜʀᴏ ɢᴇᴛᴛᴀ ʟᴜᴄᴇ ᴀᴛᴛᴏʀɴᴏ ᴀ sé. sᴇ è ᴍᴏᴅᴇsᴛᴀ ᴇ ᴠɪʀᴛᴜᴏsᴀ, ᴍᴀ ᴀɴᴄʜᴇ ᴅᴏʟᴄᴇ, ɢʟɪᴇʟᴏ sɪ ʟᴇɢɢᴇ ɪɴ ғᴀᴄᴄɪᴀ. ᴍᴀ sᴇ è ʙɪsʙᴇᴛɪᴄᴀ, ʟᴀᴍᴇɴᴛᴏsᴀ ᴇ sɢᴀʀʙᴀᴛᴀ, ᴘᴇʀ ǫᴜᴀɴᴛᴏ ɢʀᴀᴢɪᴏsᴀ ɴᴏɴ ᴘᴏᴛʀà ᴍᴀɪ ᴇssᴇʀᴇ ᴅᴀᴠᴠᴇʀᴏ ʙᴇʟʟᴀ."

Jane Seymour di Wulfhall è una dei sette figli di una numerosa e ricca famiglia inglese. Le sue aspirazioni, fin da giovane, sono indirizzate alla vita monastica, ma l'avversione dei familiari fa vacillare la sua vocazione. Jane si trasferisce così alla corte di Caterina d'Aragona, che servirà con grande rispetto per poi passare, obbligata dai familiari e dai loro interessi, alla corte di Anna Bolena, che disprezza ed osteggia. Sarà qui che la sua dolcezza e la sua virtù faranno breccia nel cuore del re Enrico VIII.

È il terzo volume della serie Le sei regine Tudor di Alison Weir. Anche in questo libro risulta evidente il grande lavoro di documentazione della Weir, che risulta sempre precisa e dettagliata. Tuttavia, come la stessa precisa nelle note finali del libro, è molto difficile tratteggiare in modo attendibile la figura di Jane, in quanto a livello storico sono pervenute pochissime testimonianze scritte. All'autrice non rimane che fare delle supposizioni, in base agli accurati studi effettuati. Appare evidente il suo legame alla religione tradizionale, nonostante il periodo di grandi riforme che investì l'Inghilterra in quel periodo, dedotto dal suo intento di impedire la chiusura dei monasteri minori. Si presenta quindi come una donna virtuosa e fedele ai propri principi. La Weir la descrive come una donna dolce, premurosa, generosa... ma restano i dubbi sul fatto che fosse un semplice strumento di una famiglia ambiziosa o che fosse a sua volta un'arrivista. La velocità con cui fu uccisa Anna Bolena ed il breve tempo in cui fu celebrato il suo matrimonio con il re, fanno invece presupporre che fosse già in dolce attesa prima di contrarre le nozze. Anche in questo volume vi sono descrizioni minuziose di ambienti ed eventi, partendo fin dall'infanzia di Jane ed i suoi rapporti familiari.Vi è un continuo rimando al quadro storico reale, tra riforme e corruzione del tempo. Il simbolo araldico a cui è associata è una fenice, simbolo di rinascita, nella speranza dell'arrivo del tanto agognato erede. Anche qui il personaggio, questa grande regina, arriva in tutta la sua caratterizzazione al lettore. Tutto molto bello, anche se ho avvertito un po' di fretta nell'epilogo. Altra curiosità: molti sostengono che Jane sia morta in seguito ad una febbre puerperale, mentre gli approfondimenti della Weir ipotizzano un"intossicazione alimentare, seguita da disidratazione ed embolia, con conseguente arresto cardiaco.
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