Attractive, wealthy and influential, Katherine Willoughby is one of the most unusual ladies of the Tudor court. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Katherine knows all his six wives, his daughters Mary and Elizabeth and his son Edward.
When her father dies, Katherine becomes the ward of Tudor knight, Sir Charles Brandon. Her Spanish mother, Maria de Salinas, is Queen Catherine of Aragon’s lady in waiting, so it is a challenging time for them all when King Henry marries the enigmatic Anne Boleyn.
Following Anne’s dramatic downfall, Katherine marries Charles Brandon, and becomes Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen. After the tragic death of Jane Seymour, and the short reign of young Catherine Howard, Katherine and Brandon are chosen to welcome Anna of Cleves as she arrives in England.
When the royal marriage is annulled, Katherine’s good friend, Catherine Parr becomes the king’s sixth wife, and they work to promote religious reform. Katherine’s young sons are tutored with the future king, Prince Edward, and become his friends, but when Edward dies his Catholic sister Mary is crowned queen. Katherine’s Protestant faith puts her family in great danger - from which there seems no escape.
Katherine’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
This the third book of the Brandon Tudor stories from Tony Riches. Katherine Willoughby is a very influential lady in the Tudor court since she is close with all of King Henry VIII wives and King Henry VIII himself as his children Mary, Elizabeth and Edward. So close was Katherine with Henry VIII there were talks that she might have been the seventh wife. Unfortunately her story somewhat ends at the reign of Queen Elizabeth I since she was not invited to her court and most likely due to her vocal opposition to the Catholic religion that Elizabeth I practiced.
The book is told from March 1528 through March 1557. When Katherine’s father died, she became the ward of Tudor knight, Sir Charles Brandon, King Henry VIII’s brother-in-law. Katherine marries Charles Brandon, and becomes Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen. Tony Riches delivers a rich story about a very interesting time in history that is amazingly well-written and quite the intriguing read of what happens in court. The stories were fascinating and completely drew me in.
The book was well written, easy to follow, and kept me turning those pages. Katherine Tudor Duchess by Tony Riches is a beautifully written historical fiction novel that completed the trilogy on the Tudors. Riches successfully wrote an amazing historical book with precise accuracy that makes this a must read.
All the stars and recommendations on this one! Do not hesitate you must get this for an amazing read!
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
Katherine’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Katherine Willoughby is a ward of the crown having most of her life at one of her father’s estate at Parham. Katherine became a great heiresses after the passing of her father, her inheritance was under contact disputed. Two years have passed since the the death of her father, and Sir Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, purchases her wardship from the crown. Katherine is betrothed to the the only surviving son of the Duke Charles Brandon. Henry Brandon first Earl of Lincoln. Henry was the child of Brandon and his third wife Mary Tudor, Who happens to be King Henry Vlll sister.
Katherine enjoys living within the Brandon’s household for several years. She becomes quite close family but, when a series of events happen, the Duke’s wife Mary dies, after suffering with a long drawn out illness. Next, her betrothed, the very young Henry Brandon, dies unexpectedly. The Duke, in fear of losing Katherine very extensive lands, and inheritances, decides to marry Katherine himself. Katherine Tudor Duchess, set against the very turbulent times of King Henry Vlll Reign. Katherine is a first hand witness to the rise and fall of long list of Henry Vlll wives, and England’s separation from Rome and Catholicism.
Tony Riches, delivers a vividly descriptive, interesting, and well-written read here with characters and a setting that totally captivated and intrigued me. I was totally taken and fascinated with historically political drama that unfolds within the Tudor Court. Katherine Willoughby was a impressive formidable woman. She was able to withstand some horrific times of religious turmoil in England, and protect her family and survive under dark days following the death of King Henry VIIl death. Katherine of Suffolk story comes to life, within these pages, along with the authors intensive, well researched accounts. The intriguing life of the Dutches of of this incredible story of incredible tragedy, love and loss.
Katherine Tudor Duchess, by Tony Riches, Is the captivating, an engaging, harrowing beautiful historical fiction novel. The novel totally captures something extraordinary here as well as fully capturing my heart. I was immediately taken with this story and found myself totally mesmerized and in awe of Tony Riche’s ability to weave such a fantastic story that is based on real-life people and actual historical events with his own interwoven liberties of impressive fictional storytelling.
I was first introduced to Tony Riches when I read the books in his Tudor Trilogy, about the founding and growth of the Tudor family. The history is compelling. For Mary – Tudor Princess, and this book, Katherine – Tudor Duchess, the reader experiences the Tudor family from a woman’s point of view. The author hasn’t lost a step in the transition. Katherine Willoughby was born at Parham Hall in Suffolk in 1519, daughter of the 11th Baron of Willoughby and his second wife, Maria de Salina, who had come to England as a lady-in- waiting to Katherine of Aragon. With her father’s death, Katherine inherited the barony. Her wardship fell to King Henry VII, who sold it to Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, his brother-in-law. Her story begins as she is about to leave to join the Duke’s household. Her mother, who will continue in her service to Queen Katherine, sees her daughter as a good match for Henry Brandon, the Duke’s five-year-old son who is in the line of succession to the throne. Katherine is not so sure. After traveling to the impressive Westhorpe Manor, Katherine becomes a part of the Brandon family, joining Henry and his two sisters, who are close in age to Katherine. She immediately is drawn to the beautiful, clever and elegant Lady Mary, wife of the Duke and sister to the King. (See Mary - Tudor Princess). When Katherine meets the Duke, she is immediately drawn to this rich and powerful man. When Princess Mary dies after a lingering illness, Katherine mourns her deeply and is surprised when the Duke proposes to marry her. She is but fourteen and he is forty-nine. Beating the odds, theirs is a long and successful marriage, weathering the vicissitudes of the King’s many marriages and the reigns of Henry’s children. Katherine’s quick wit, devotion to learning and outspoken advocacy for the English reformation help her navigate the politics of the time. Through Katherine’s eyes, you meet the famous women of Henry’s court: Anne Boleyn, Katherine Seymour, Catherine Parr. You suffer with the deaths of her children and experience terror when Katherine’s faith puts her and her entire family in danger. As impressed as I was by the story of Princess Mary, Katherine’s life left an even more indelible vision of an indomitable woman who not only survived a tumultuous time, but thrived. As always, the author’s attention to detail and depth of knowledge of the intrigue of the English court is superb. I highly recommend yet another well-written and richly ornamented book by Tony Riches.
I've been reading a lot of English history historical fiction right now. I went from Richard III to the Tudors. Katherine Willoughby is definitely an interesting historical figure. ( I actually started reading this book on the kindle app on my phone during a boring night at work)
I was immediately caught up in the story of a woman who lived through all of Henry VIII's wives. Her mother was a lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon.
If you read any novels about Henry VIII you'll find her mentioned. She was friends with each of his wives and his children. I only wish in this book you'd see more of her interactions with them, especially as she was going to be a Lady in Waiting to Anna of Cleves. I also loved her friendship with Queen Catherine Parr.
This book gives you a chance to really get to know her and she's definitely an interesting person, especially as Henry's children take the throne and she is faced with the trials of being and Reformist in a Catholic nation again.
One thing I find interesting about religion in this period of UK history is how the reformists call their version of...well Catholicism "The True Faith" It has never made much sense to me, as it is an off shoot of well...Catholicism.
Katherine's life was full of ups and downs from the start because of who her mother was and then who her husband was. (Henry VIII's brother in law) She was married young but she never appeared naive. I loved that she found happiness, though her life was not without trials, because her family had to keep on Henry's good side..and then she had to flee for her life when Queen Mary came to power.
She was definitely an interesting women in history.
This was a wonderfully written novel that was a joy to read, especially for someone like me that devours books that revolve around English history.
I'm continuing to enjoy Tony Riches' books about the Tudors. This is my sixth in the series. Katherine Willoughby was a little known player in the Tudor saga. Charles Brandon acquired her as his ward when she was only nine years old. After Brandon's wife Mary Tudor died, Brandon married her when she was fourteen. They had two sons who tragically died within hours of each other of the sweating sickness when they were studying at Cambridge. After Charles Brandon died Katherine married Richard Bestie, her Master of the Horse, for love, but they barely escaped the vengeance of Queen Mary as Katherine was a devotee of the new Protestant religion. They escaped to the Continent. After Queen Mary died and Elizabeth became queen Katherine and her husband were allowed to return to live in peace in England.
While I’m not a Tudor expert, I’m familiar with the main players of the time. Somehow, Katherine, this woman so interlaced in Henry VIII’s court, went unnoticed.
Riches lets Katherine’s story overlap with the previous book, so there is no gap in the chronology, making for a smooth transition. From there, he weaves an intriguing multi-layered tale of a woman who grew from having no power, to being a powerhouse in her own right.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Riches has done his research, which is obvious, but not dry. The narrator is marvelous, and well-suited. I recommend to anyone interested in the Tudor Dynasty or in the reformation of the Catholic Church in England.
Though I haven’t studied this period in history for a very long time, I found myself visiting London this summer. At the Tower of London, the Yeoman Warder spoke fantastically about the horrors of the beheadings that occurred there. I might have benefitted from reading this book before going on that tour. On the other hand, reading it subsequently is kind of like a souvenir.
From the very beginning, the question on my mind was whether Katherine’s head would remain on her shoulders. The pages and chapters flew by and I couldn’t stop until I got to the end. Will there be a happy ending? A tragic ending? I won’t spoil your fun by disclosing the answers to those questions.
This book covers the period from 1528 through 1557. We meet Katherine at the age of 9-years old and follow her path for the next thirty years. It’s a book about loss and it’s a book about change. At the very beginning, Katherine’s mother must give up her daughter so that she can become a ward of the Duke of Suffolk. During those days people didn’t live very long to begin with. It didn’t help that doctors tried to cure people by helping them bleed to death. So, Katherine doesn’t get to stay put very long, making her life story enormously fascinating.
It was a tumultuous period in history, to say the least. Katherine wasn’t just a witness to the reign of the notorious King Henry the VIII, she knew all the famed wives and children of the king. Katherine’s commitment to her faith, and determination to help bring about reforms make her a complex and compelling character in her own right. Her dedication also placed her in great danger, throughout the book. The author never strayed from making this book her story.
I learned so many things from reading this book. Not the least of which is that I have no desire to pop in a time machine and zip back to the 1500s. Then again, reading this book was kind of like being in that time machine.
This is an epic work that includes a huge volume of facts and characters. Long before the ending of the book, I gave up trying to keep track of everyone who was beheaded, imprisoned, or burned at the stake. I would have preferred a higher ratio of feelings to facts. The dirty deeds would have seemed even more excruciating if I had come to know the victims better. This book is action-packed, high stakes, palace intrigue from the very beginning, all the way to its finish.
This book is part of a series. I have not read the other books in the series. This book was complete unto itself, and I didn’t feel lost as a result of not reading the other books first. So I am happy to recommend it on a stand-alone basis.
You know, I was in love with this book even before I opened it. Why you ask? Simply put it's about the Tudor family dynasty!! I devour anything that's written about them. They are a fascinating family! This is a new to me author and I fell in love with his works. I love how he made King Henry 8th, Charles Brandon and Katherine come alive again. Just wow!! I loved the many twists and turns that goes throughout this book that you will most likely finish it in a day it's just so good!! And trust me, you won't want to come back to the present. Katherine is an amazing figure in these dangerous times!! She's been through a lot in her life starting out early too!! She's a tough one and a survivor! I greatly admired her. I enjoyed her thoughts, fears, and joys that her children brought to her. I used to be just like Katherine when it came to be being overprotective with her babies only I had Just one. I kinda still am even though he'll be 18 in a few days!! Hard to believe!! I was even breathing for her in childbirth!! Imagine that!! I could easily picture Charles in his study with a glass of his favorite drink in his hands with a worried look on his face. I couldn't even begin to be in his place at court! How fast one could fall out of favor with the King!! It certainly didn't take Queen Anne long. Especially if you don't produce a boy. One never knew what the King would do when in one of his moods especially in the later years of his life. He certainly kept me on my toes! He was a tyrant and so was his daughter Mary. Henceforth; Bloody Mary. Never did care for her. It was Elizabeth that I liked. I think the one I felt sorry for was Queen Catherine. I felt she was done very dirty just because she couldn't produce a boy!! She couldn't help it. It wasn't in the Lord's plan. I really really enjoyed this book! Fans of the Tudor family will want to read this one for sure!! I highly recommend it! My thanks cor a complimentary copy of this book. NO compensations were received and all opinions are my own.
Katherine Willoughby is the daughter of Maria de Salinas, one of Queen Catherine of Aragon's ladies-in-waiting. Katherine's father dies when she is young and Katherine is taken in as a ward of Sir Charles Brandon, brother-in-law to King Henry VIII. Katherine grows up alongside his children and believes that she will one day marry Charles' son, Henry. However, after the death of Charles' wife, Charles decides to marry Katherine herself and Katherine is made the Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen. Through Katherine's position, she manages to get to know all of King Henry VIII wives, some more than others. Although Katherine's life was not easy, she was lucky enough to survive and live a full life.
I am an avid reader of anything concerning Tudor history and have read and enjoyed Tony Riches' books before, so I was more than happy to read Katherine Tudor Duchess and dig into the life of Katherine Willoughby. The writing is quick paced and immersive. Through Katherine's eyes, most of King Henry VIII reign is experienced through her point of view. I was amazed by Katherine's life and the series of events that shaped it. Katherine seemed to take everything in stride and managed to grow and develop in a world that was not very friendly towards woman. I was intrigued by her different relationships with each of Henry VIII wives as well as Henry himself and was even more amazed that Katherine survived Henry's reign, but was threatened by his daughter, Mary. It was interesting to see Katherine find her place in religion and how she may have even helped to shape England's religion at times. Overall, an amazing story about of one of the surprising Tudor women, Katherine, Duchess of Suffolk.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
"This is an opportunity most girls of your age can only dream of..."
But nine-year-old Katherine Willoughby has no desire to leave her beloved Parham Hall, the place where she had been born. However, although tender in years, Katherine knows that her desires will not be taken into consideration. King Henry has sold her wardship to his brother-in-law, Sir Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, and there is nothing Katherine nor anyone else can do about it.
To her surprised delight, Westhorp Hall soon feels like home. Katherine gets on well with Brandon's daughters, Frances and Eleanor, and she finds another mother in Lady Mary, who had very briefly, before her marriage to Brandon, been the Queen consort of France.
Katherine's future is secure. When they both came of age, Katherine will marry Henry Brandon, 1st Earl of Lincoln. It will be a good marriage, even if Katherine did think of young Henry as nothing other than a brother. But with Lady Mary's death comes a new and unexpected proposal. At fourteen she finds herself married to the recently widowed forty-nine-year-old, Duke of Suffolk.
From the comforts and familiarity of Parham Hall to the desperate flight across Europe to escape the persecution of Queen Mary I, Katherine: Tudor Duchess (Brandon Trilogy #3) by Tony Riches is the compelling account of the life of one of England's greatest heiresses.
After the success of Riches' The Tudor Trilogy, I was delighted to find out that he planned to write a trilogy on the life of Charles Brandon and his wives. The first two books of this trilogy were everything I had come to expect from Riches. Riches is an author that a reader can rely on to deliver. He is a vivacious storyteller, and his style of writing and his authority on the history of this period is evident in every word, every sentence, every paragraph. Reading Riches' books is as effortless as looking upon an intricate tapestry. It is, in all ways, splendid, dazzling in its intensity, and utterly unforgettable. I was waiting, therefore, with bated breath for the final instalment of what has been a truly captivating series.
Although Katherine Willoughby is eclipsed in many ways by her illustrious husband, her story is one of staunch belief, sharp intelligence, and a thirst for knowledge. In a time of religious upheaval, Katherine embraces the English Reformation. Her strength of character would see her through some very dark and dangerous times. Through Katherine's eyes, we witness Henry VIII's Court in all its golden splendour, but we also see the more ominous and uglier side. This was a time when life was cheap and being in favour one day meant nothing if you were out of it the next. Through Katherine, Riches lets us glimpse into the danger of being close to the throne — to quote Thomas Wyatt's circa Regna tonat (it thunders through the realms) and that is precisely the story that Riches gives his readers in this book.
Riches has depicted Katherine with not only tremendous verse and sensitivity but with a novelist eye for human detail. We meet Katherine at the tender age of nine, and we follow her as she grows up. We see her married, not once but twice. She becomes a Dutchess, a mother, a confidant, and a friend. No one could have drawn Katherine in such a splendid and mesmerising way as Riches can. Her story is absolutely irresistible.
There are, as one would expect, a host of historical characters in this book. But there are several characters, asides from Katherine, which really captured my attention. The first was Henry's sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr. Katherine's friendship with Catherine Parr was warm and very genuine. Catherine's disappointment in not being able to marry the man she loves and her fear that she would end her days a neck shorter is beautifully depicted. Catherine's wit and strength shines through this story. She was undoubtedly a wiry woman, but her story is also terribly tragic. When she finally marries the man she was in love with it turned out not to be quite the happy ending she had hoped for and certainly deserved. I thought her characterisation came across as very real in the telling, and I enjoyed reading about her very much.
I thought Riches' portrayal of Thomas Cromwell was fabulous. He is a very shrewd, yet incredibly intelligent man who Katherine fears, yet she also finds him strangely compelling. Their relationship was a fascinating contradiction. They could not have been more dissimilar and yet, for the briefest of moments, their stories entwined.
The other character whom we read an awful lot about is Bishop Stephen Gardiner. His beliefs came into direct conflict with Katherine's, and as his power grows, he became the antagonist in this story. Gardiner threatens not only the Reformation but the people who Katherine cares about. He is, from Katherine's point of view, a very grave threat. As this book is told entirely from Katherine's perspective, I thought this insight into what she more than likely thought of Gardiner was very articulate in the telling.
With a keen eye on the history of the period and an understanding of what makes a book entertaining, Riches is the ideal commentator for Katherine's story. This book is fabulous from start to finish. A real gem for those who love quality historical fiction set in the Tudor era.
I Highly Recommend.
Review by Mary Anne Yarde. The Coffee Pot Book Club.
Wow! This book is phenomenal! It is gripping, intriguing, full of history, and so much more! Whenever I picked up "Katherine - Tudor Duchess", I was whisked back in time to the Tudor Era, and went on such an emotional journey with this story.
The Tudor Era is one of my absolute time periods to read about and study! I was so excited to hear that this book focuses on Katherine Willoughby, an intelligent and driven woman who was a part of so much history.
This is the third book in Tony Riches "The Brandon Trilogy", but the first I have read. I think it works as a stand-alone novel as well, and I can't wait to go back and read the first two titles in the series as well! I can only imagine the amount of research Mr. Riches must have done, as he brings history to life before the reader's eyes in such a special way. From the first page to the last, I felt immersed in the past, and could really envision each moment. Every character felt so incredibly real, and I could really picture the various locations that help make the story jump right off of the page.
As I mentioned above, this book, spanning about 30 years, focuses on Katherine Willoughby. Beginning when Katherine is extremely young, we see her sent to Charles Brandon's (who is a close friend of Henry VIII) home to become his ward, and how this changes her life forever. After the death of Charles' wife Mary (who is Henry VIII's younger sister), Katherine later becomes Charles' wife, and becomes the Duchess of Suffolk. As the book continues, we see Katherine continue to grow up, and see many moments of happiness and tragedy within her life. I feel like I really got to know her and so much of her story throughout the book, and from Katherine's devotion to her religion, her love, intelligence, relationships, and so much more, I also experienced many events in history through her eyes. I do not want to spoil anything in this review, so, I will simply say, this book is a must-read!
So, so many historical figures are present or mentioned throughout this book, and all help to push the plot forward in one way or another.
If you enjoy Tudor Era Historical Fiction, I highly recommend this book! It kept me turning the pages into the early hours of the morning to see what would happen next, and I had such a difficult time putting this book down. I can't wait to see what Mr. Riches will write next.
Thank you so much to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and Tony Riches for the review copy of this book, it is incredible! All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
The third and final instalment of the Brandon trilogy focuses on Katherine Willoughby who is the daughter of Maria de Salinas, Baroness Willoughby following her marriage. Her mother is the long standing devoted lady and friend of Queen Catherine of Aragon.
When her father dies Katherine is made a ward of Charles Brandon and although at first she doesn't want to leave her home at Parham she finds her new home at Westhorpe to be wonderful. Lady Mary welcomes her as a daughter and she finds friends in her daughters.
When disaster strikes leaving Charles Brandon a widow Katherine has no idea what will become of her. Along with becoming a duchess, Katherine is befriended by Catherine Parr and finds in her an ally for religious reformation but they have enemies at court. Luckily for Katherine, Henry VIII likes her.
Katherine's life has it's fair share of heartbreak and happiness and Tony Riches writes an excellent version of her story.
For me this was probably the best one from the trilogy as it covers the longest time period, including the deaths of both Mary and Charles and I found it gave more of an impression of what Brandon was like as a person and how seriously he took his duties. This book covers all six of Henry's wives plus events following his death, the reign of his son Edward, Katherine's exile when Mary reigns up until Elizabeth is proclaimed Queen.
I actually didn't know too much about Katherine before reading this other than she was married to Charles Brandon. Katherine really did lead a very exciting life and Tony Riches has brought her story to life with vivid descriptions of gowns, properties and even the weather!
Overall this trilogy provides a striking story of life during the Tudor period for those at court. The lives they led could be something from a fiction novel or a movie, it's hard to believe they faced so much drama but I guess that's why I love to read about this era. Tony Riches drew me in with his excellently descriptive work and evokes emotions, yes I may have shed a tear or two but that's the sign of a great book when it can make you feel for the the characters.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I loved this story of a Tudor Duchess. I knew very little about Katherine other than she was married very young to Charles Brandon. I have to admit, my opinion of Charles Brandon has diminished somewhat. He came across to me as a little creepy with his efforts to marry Katherine himself instead of to his son. I'm sure her status as a heiress was the main reason but his obvious delight in such a young girl is off putting. I know marriages at young ages were common for the period and we have to be careful about judging customs from previous periods with today's standards.
I'm so glad to know more about this strong woman. My only regret is that the book didn't continue with what must have been a very interesting life.
Tudor fans will love this book and the Tudor series!
I've read all three books in this series and adored each one .I'm embarrassed to admit my dislike for the Duchess after watching the Tudors . I'm happy to admit my ignorance and change my opinion .Any part of her life would have made me crumble and give up .She showed loyalty for her beliefs and made the best out of every circumstance .I enjoyed all Three books but Katherine 's was the one I enjoyed most .The funny part was I started reading them to find out more about Mary and Brandon's story not really caring about Katherine 's .This series is a must read for anyone who likes anything Tudor.
Having read the first two books The Brandon trilogy i was doubtful that this one ,about a character i knew title of. I was not disappointed this book was as infor!stove as the first two. I admire the way the author can convey the sense of history and to!ance without giving us chapters of unnecessary sex.t
Will definitely be an avid reader of any books Tony Riches writes. It is five in the !morning and I parent look for any !more of his books or i will never get any sleep. I a! Reading there books down during the lockdown they !just be interesting
I do not remember hearing/reading of Katherine Willoughby, and I have not read Mr. Riches BRANDON book. Katherine becomes the ward of Tudor knight, Charles Brandon, later marrying him. She is one of the most unusual ladies of the Tudor court. When Katherine's friend, Catherine Parr, becomes the king's sixth wife, they work to promote religious reform. However, when Mary becomes queen, Katherine and her reform friends fear for their life. A very good story.
This book of a lesser known Tudor kept my attention the whole way. Very well written history of the times with compelling characters. You learn much about the times while enjoying a great story and feeling like you know personally the main characters.
Beautifully drawn characters - the author has brought each one alive for me. From royalty to servants, Katherine's life is portrayed through her having known all of Henry VIII wives. Definitely recommended for those who want to round out their views of the Tudors.
Katherine Willoughby is one of those characters that I have wanted to read more about for a long time so I was excited to see how she was portrayed.
While I thoroughly enjoyed most of this book, one thing to note is that it covers a large span of time in a very short amount of pages. Sometimes that means there are quick time jumps and some gaps in the story. I understand the need for this, otherwise the book could have been much longer, but it did leave me wanting more.
Also, I’m not sure if it was the formatting of the book I had, but sometimes there would be a jump (from one scene to another, or sometimes a time jump) but there would be no indicator – no line break, no new heading, nothing. The jump would happen from one paragraph to the next so there were it was really confusing and and more than once I had to stop and figure out what had happened. Otherwise, the writing is descriptive and easy-to-read and makes this historical fiction easy to follow, regardless of your knowledge of the era.
Riches does a wonderful job of giving the reader a very solid background to Katherine. Her upbringing and beliefs are what guide her decisions and choices. While she is swept up by the historical events around her, she starts to become her own person and we see an shy young girl grow up into an opinionated and smart young lady.
I wish that there was more time to get to know Katherine even more. It feels as if Riches has only scratched the surface to this fascinating woman and I’m already on the hunt for more books about her. The author obviously knows his stuff and I’m really looking forward to reading the other books in this trilogy and his other books on the Tudor era.
* Thank you to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for providing me with a advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
I really enjoyed this book. It shows a good history of the times and keeps you interested. The story is very good and, of course, deals with another Katherine and her life being married to a man 30+ her senior. It does show how little you could say in those days and not be put in the tower. I think you would enjoy this book as much as I did.
Katherine Willoughby's unlikely marriage to Charles Brandon her guardian, makes her a baroness and leads to her walking close on the heels of all of Henry VIII's wives ~ and between wives, even the King himself. She manages to remain in favour ~ just, leading to a hasty escape to the continent.
Katherine finds happiness with her older husband, but much sadness too, as she suffers the loss of many close to her ~ it is a real roller coaster of emotions.
'Katherine the Duchess' is a novel which gripped me from the start and I felt great empathy for this strong but extremely wise lady who trod a silken threaded path through life ~ joy ~ fortune ~ but great danger. Highly Recommended.
When one thinks about women reformers during the time of the Tudors, certain women like Catherine Parr and Anne Aske come to mind. However, there was one who really should get more attention and her name is Katherine Willoughby. She was the last wife of Charles Brandon. Her mother was Maria de Salinas, a lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon and a devout Catholic. Katherine knew all six of Henry VIII’s wives on a personal level and knew all of his children. She has often been seen as an afterthought; someone you associate with other people, but never a stand out herself. That is until now. Katherine Willoughby finally gets her time to shine in Tony Riches’ latest historical fiction novel and his conclusion to his Tudor trilogy, “Katherine-Tudor Duchess”.
I would like to thank Tony Riches for sending me a copy of this charming novel. This is the third novel that I have read by Tony Riches and I enjoyed it immensely.
We are introduced to Katherine Willoughby as a young woman who is about to embark on a journey to her new home with Charles Brandon and Mary Tudor as their ward after her father passes away. At the same time, Henry VIII is wanting to remove his first wife Catherine of Aragon for his second wife Anne Boleyn. Since Katherine’s mother, Maria de Salinas was very loyal to Catherine of Aragon as one of her ladies in waiting, it is interesting to see Katherine’s view of the situation. Katherine is quite comfortable in Brandon’s household, but when Mary Tudor tragically dies, Katherine’s life is turned upside down when Charles Brandon decides to marry her and she becomes the new Duchess of Suffolk.
As the new Duchess of Suffolk, Katherine had a front-row seat to the dramas of King Henry VIII’s court and his numerous marriages. Along the way, Katherine falls in love with Charles and they become parents to two strapping and intelligent boys. Katherine and Charles are granted the great honor of welcoming Henry’s 4th wife Anna of Cleves to England and they also experienced the short reigns of Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard. It was not until Charles Brandon’s death and the rise of Catherine Parr as queen that Katherine Willoughby sees her true potential, as a woman who wants to promote religious reforms.
Katherine experienced hardships and the tragic deaths of her two sons mere hours apart due to the sweating sickness. She did marry again after Charles’ death to a man that she did love, like Catherine Parr, and was able to have more children, a son, and a daughter. During the reigns of King Edward VI and Lady Jane Grey, Katherine and her family were able to practice their Protestant faith in peace. Things took a turn for the worse when Mary was crowned queen and Katherine had to take drastic measures to protect her family while standing up for what she believed was right. Tony Riches has written another fabulous novel of a vivacious woman who fought to spread Protestantism in England. Through twists and turns, Katherine Willoughby was able to protect her family and survive during such a tumultuous time. Her story gives great insight into what it meant to be someone close to the Tudors. This is a binge-worthy book. If you are a fan of Tony Riches’ novels and want a wonderful book about Katherine Willoughby, I highly suggest you read Tony Riches’ latest novel, “Katherine- Tudor Duchess”.