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Katheryn Howard, The Scandalous Queen: A Novel

(Six Tudor Queens #5)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,591 ratings  ·  309 reviews
Bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir tells the tragic story of Henry VIII's fifth wife, a nineteen-year-old beauty with a hidden past, in this fifth novel in the sweeping Six Tudor Queens series.

In the spring of 1540, Henry VIII, desperate to be rid of his queen, Anna of Kleve, first sets eyes on the enchanting Katheryn Howard. Although the king is no
Kindle Edition
Published May 12th 2020 by Ballantine Books
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Izzy You don't have to as each story revolves around each individual queen but it adds to the lore and setting of the story when a reference is made to ano…moreYou don't have to as each story revolves around each individual queen but it adds to the lore and setting of the story when a reference is made to another queen.(less)
g r a c e. I've very often seen her named spelled as "Katheryn". I think there's even a picture of her signature spelled that way, though I don't know if it's an…moreI've very often seen her named spelled as "Katheryn". I think there's even a picture of her signature spelled that way, though I don't know if it's an authentic signature.(less)
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Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, netgalley

Katheryn Howard seemed to attract the attention of much older men right from an early age. Child abuse is the only way to describe the liberties that they took with her. Having lost her mother at an early age, she was sent to live with relatives after her feckless father used and abused his standing, eventually gambling away everything he owned. Katheryn finally ended up with her wealthy step-grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk.

There were several young ladies under the care
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heaven knows I've devoured scores of books and documentaries about The Tudors, since they are a lifelong passion of mine. Even so, this historical fiction offering gave me a whole new perspective on the fifth wife of King Henry VIII. Whereas before I looked upon this wife as an unintelligent, wanton and reckless young woman, I now view her actions in the context of how she was raised. Katheryn's mother passed away during the birth of a younger sister. Afterwards, her father remarried and farmed ...more
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matt by: BAM The Bibliomaniac
Shelves: audiobook
In what has become an annual adventure for me, I turned to the latest novel by Alison Weir depicting the six wives of Henry VIII. The fifth wife, Katheryn Howard, is the central focus of this piece, though Weir uses her extensive research and narrative abilities to paint a complete picture of the Tudor Court throughout the woman’s (albeit short) life. Katheryn Howard was a sweet child who lost her mother around six years of age. With a father unable to care care of her, Katheryn was shipped off ...more
Roman Clodia
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Pulling down his hose, he entered her and rode her like a stallion.

DNF @ 30%

OK, I give up, this one is just too packed with appalling writing (see quotations below). Weir is iffy as a novelist, for me, but her Catherine of Aragon and, to a lesser extent, Anne Boleyn books in this series were at least faithful to the sources and focused on the early lives of these women before they came into the orbit of Henry VIII as well as, in Catherine's case, her life after the divorce.

Her Jane Seymour
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed on

‘Katheryn Howard – The Tainted Queen’ is the latest book by best-selling author, Alison Weir. This tale is told through the eyes of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, in the third person and the past tense.

Daughter of the hapless Sir Edmund Howard and Joyce Culpepper, we first meet Katheryn at the age of seven. Her childhood was marred, firstly by the death of her mother and then being sent away to be cared for by relatives. By fifteen she was living in the home o
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Katheryn Howard - The Tainted Queen is the fifth novel in the Six Tudor Queens series by British historian Alison Weir. I've been following the series for years now and each book can be read and enjoyed as a stand alone.

We join Katheryn Howard at age seven in 1528 and follow her short life in a first person narrative all the way until her death in 1542. She falls in love with several men in her youth, and I desperately wanted Katheryn to be more discreet and discerning while at the same time rec
Katheryn Howard the Scandalous Queen, a novel of the fifth wife of Henry VIII, is told in the voice of the young woman, beginning at the death of her mother in childbirth when Katheryn was seven. (Her precise date of birth is debated according to Weir, which might well impact her behavior in her short life, i.e. immaturity in spite of her setting) Not long after, her father, a spendthrift member of the Howard family, sent all of his children away, Katheryn to the home of the Dowager Duchess of N ...more
It was for me a 2.5 star book. But I rounded it up to 3 stars for the author's effort to establish some minutia posits for the first 12 years of Katheryn Howard's life.

She truly is not a worthy subject for a book of this length, IMHO. Unlike Anne Boleyn or some others in Henry VIII's various courts, she was too young and too naive and affinity ignorant to land in the spot she did. So brief. Her queen status and her life. Truly, she wasn't even able to validly discern her own cultural or class b
Casey Wheeler
This is one of the series the author is writing about the six wives of Henry VIII and is a work of fiction. It is the first in the series that I have read. It was not at all what I was expecting. This is poorly written soft porn at best. The author's writing style did not resonate with me and I found the book very boring, but I plodded through it as I made a commitment to Net Galley and the publisher. I am sure that fans of the Fifty Shades series (which I did not read) will find enjoy this book ...more
I'm a huge fan of Alison Weir and I was thrilled to read a book on Katheryn Howard, King Henry VIII's fifth queen. She was barely out of childhood when married to King Henry. She was one of the lesser written about queens, possibly due to the length of her reign Told from Katheryn’s point of view, the story picks up in 1528 shortly before her mother’s death when she was 7 years old. It recounts her various romances through young adulthood and her ultimate ascension to her short-held role as Quee ...more
This is unbelievably boring and I hated it
Katheryn Howard: The Tainted Queen is the fifth book in Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series. I’ve read all the previous books with the exception of Anna of Kleve which is patiently waiting on my bookshelf. Perhaps conscious of previous criticism, Alison Weir writes in her Author’s Note, “Apart from fictionalising the historical record, I have invented very little.” The result is a convincing account of the character traits and events that led to Katheryn Howard’s tragic end.

Written in the firs
S.Baqer Al-Meshqab
Awesome as usual. A really engaging story for the fifth queen of Henry the eighth, with great care taken to details. Perhaps not as good as its predecessors, but as usual I enjoyed every part of it.
Apr 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-arcs
Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for an ARC of this book! Release date - May 12, 2020

So. I am not a fan of Alison Weir. I am 5 books into her Six Tudor Queens series and I have only genuinely liked one of them. And yet, I stalked NetGalley until this was available to request and waited on the edge of my seat hoping I would be approved. I am a living contradiction.

I just think I always expect so much more from these books than Alison Weir actually delivers. I’m a HUGE fan of historical
I always look forward to these books each year. They're beautiful to look at and such enjoyable reads. Tragedy looms over this one as history tells us the fate of Katheryn Howard. I love how she's portrayed here. She's undoubtedly silly, making mistake after mistake, but she's so young and likeable and so manipulated by her family, the powerful Howards, effectively sacrificing her to the monster, Henry VIII. Weir's portrayal of Henry has been fascinating through these novels. He is the one const ...more
Cathleen Ross
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always love Alison Weir's books but what I especially enjoy is her interpretations of the characters and their motivations, from "the nasty obsession" of Francis Dereham to the equally horrible Thomas Culpepper. Equally chilling is the guidance from her Norfolk uncle who will do anything to get a Howard woman on the throne but who is quick to distance himself at the fall. With this swirling around her, Katheryn learns to fall in love with the impotent Henry who treats her as the gift she is, o ...more
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tudor
Well told life story of young Katheryn Howard, one of the King Henry VIII's wives who shared the fate of others before her with death by beheading.

Library Loan
Hanna  (lapetiteboleyn)
Huge thanks to the wonderful folk over at NetGalley for sending me an advance copy for review!

This is a very difficult book to review, if only because it is such a difficult book to even approach. The story of Katheryn Howard is nothing short of a tragedy - an abused child who was abused right into a brutal death when she was barely twenty one, by the oldest possible estimate of her age.
All six wives come with certain levels of controversy and revisionism attached, but Katheryn's narrative is r
Jun 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, I would like to thank Edelweiss and Random House Publishing group – Ballantine for the e-arc. This has not influenced my opinion.

Katheryn Howard is, in my opinion, the least interesting wife of all Henry’s wives. I was never really interested in her, but I was curious what Weir would do with her story. And surprisingly, this novel changed my opinion about her. Katheryn grew on me. Weir made sure that you understand Katheryn and the choices she made, although you may not agree with her. I
Mar 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I waffled on this review for a few days because this book is very different from the others in the series. I was hoping that Weir would give Katheryn a little more substance than historians generally have given her, but that didn’t turn out to be the case.

The book starts with the death of Katheryn’s mother, spends a considerable amount of time on her years in Horsham and Lambeth and her interactions with Henry Mannox and Francis Dereham, and finally her affair with Thomas Culpeper which leads to
Susan Johnson
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
Alison Weir really had her work cut out for herself in this addition to her series on Henry VIII's wives. This has to be the least interesting of the wives although Jane Seymour came in a close second. Still what can you do with a very randy girl who married at 19 and was beheaded at 21?

Other than being obsessed with sex and men Katheryn had very little to offer. She was very uneducated and understood very little of what was going on around her. It seemed like she had dyslexia but that was nev
May 02, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
This is terrible! I cannot go on with it DNF 30%. I love historical fiction, it can be so much fun, but this is awful. How many titles and names can one fit in a paragraph? I cannot even keep up.

Then the sex, ok I know everyone has it no matter what time period the live in, but the characters in this book are tremendously worldly and very free. There is no discretion at all and it seems like the only thing anyone talks about. Katherine bounces from one bed to another and professes her love cont
Victorian  Vickie
I love reading about the Tudors and this book is the story of Queen Katherine from childhood to her final moments on this earth. Great Read!!!!
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a slight delay, due to the pesky pandemic, book five in the Six Tudor Queens series has finally arrived. It features, wait for it, Henry VIII’s fifth wife and queen, Katheryn Howard. Yeah, bet you didn’t see that coming. 😉

Katheryn’s story might well be the most tragic of the six wives. After Henry VIII’s disastrous marriage to Anna of Kleve, the ambitious Howard family sees an opportunity to get their family back into the King’s good graces by thrusting forward Katheryn, a naive nineteen y
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of Katheryn Howard, Henry Viii's fifth queen, may be the saddest. Like Jane Seymour and Anna of Kleves, not a great deal is known about her--even her date of birth is speculation. She comes into the picture after Henry has lost Jane Seymour in childbirth, has rejected Anna, and is feeling old and unmanly. And he still needs more sons.

Katheryn came from the poor end of the Howard clan. Her father was unsuccessful at everything and always on the hunt for money. Kathryn was raised in a h
Darcey Tomasino
First, thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this ARC. These are my honest opinions.

I'm torn in writing this review, as I normally love Alison Weir's work, but this title fell short for several reasons:

1. It seems terribly biased, presenting details in such a way as to MAKE the subtitle accurate. For example, in the author's note, Weir states that Katheryn could have been born as late as 1525, making her a child being preyed upon by adult males, nay f
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tudor fanatics
Shelves: arcs, new-releases
I feel like this might have been the most honest portrayal of Katheryn Howard that I've read.

I've consumed a lot of media about the Tudors. I find them fascinating - the personalities, political machinations, court intrigue - it is endlessly compelling. But I've always felt that certain people have gotten the short end of the stick. They call out to me, Mary Tudor, Lady Jane Grey, and Katheryn Howard.

Katheryn in particular, because no one seems to know what to do with her. I've seen her portra
Carolina Casas
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A tragic tale

This is the best work of fiction Alison Weir has done. It is a beautifully woven take that hooks you on from start to finish. What I loved about it the most is that not only does she give a fair portrayal of Katherine Howard and the other people that are part of this tale, she also does a good job of taking artistic license while still respecting the historical figures. Blurring the lines between fiction and reality, Weir crafts a tale of passion, betrayal, murder and royal intrigue
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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

Other books in the series

Six Tudor Queens (6 books)
  • Katherine of Aragón: The True Queen (Six Tudor Queens, #1)
  • Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession (Six Tudor Queens, #2)
  • Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen (Six Tudor Queens, #3)
  • Anna of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait (Six Tudor Queens, #4)
  • Katharine Parr: The Sixth Wife (Six Tudor Queens, #6)

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