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Katheryn Howard, The Scandalous Queen

(Six Tudor Queens #5)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  4,397 ratings  ·  559 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, 456 pages
Published May 12th 2020 by Ballantine Books
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Krystal I have been. I read the first one about Katherine of Aragon in 2020. Then decided to continue this year with Anne Boleyn and now I'm going to start nu…moreI have been. I read the first one about Katherine of Aragon in 2020. Then decided to continue this year with Anne Boleyn and now I'm going to start number 5 in a few days when it arrives from the library. But if you know the history I don't see why you couldn't read out of order. But for me it just seems to make more sense when you read a series in order.

A way to remember the queens is: Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived. Katherine, Anne, Jane, Anne(or Anna), Katheryn(I sometimes think of her as Kitty Howard, Katherine. (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
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
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
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
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
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
This is unbelievably boring and I hated it
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
Like any good historical novel, the author grafts a personality on to the historical record. As the title suggests, the focus is on Katheryn. Alison Weir speculates on the motives of Katheryn's Howard relatives, the women of her court and the three men who courted her, but what Katheryn thought and felt is clearly the center.

With the death of Katheryn’s mother when she was seven years old Kathryn had very little stability, love or guidance. Her beauty attracted men. Weir emphasizes the physical
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
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
Charlotte Guzman
Oct 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book about Henry VIII 5th wife is in a series by this author.
This kind of book is right up my alley as far as what genre I love to read. I have read the previous 4 books in this series.
Katheryn Howard was the most tragic of all of Henry VIII wives. Young, vivacious, and a lover of life and the good things.
When her mother died she was shuttled to her aunts place and was not watched over very well and kind of did what she wanted and that included men and experimenting with sexual encounters
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
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
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.
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
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
Helen Rudolf
Disappointing. Admittedly Katheryn Howard provides less material for Weir’s account because she lived such a short life, but Weir doesn’t even do that justice. Firstly this is not a 21st century fictional reappraisal as the other books in this series have been, it is instead a shmaltzy, occasionally lapsing into soft porn, account of a randy teenager. There’s an account to be written of a groomed and abused young girl, ultimately put to death to satisfy male vengeance and justice, but this versi ...more
Brooklyn Tayla
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an Uncorrected Proof Copy of Katheryn Howard: The Tainted Queen from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.
History is completely and unequivocally right, Katheryn Howard did die too soon. Killed for the treasonous action she performed against King Henry VIII, adultery with her distant cousin Thomas Culpepper (who was also beheaded), as they secretly exchanged passionate, fleeting meetings in the dead of night, whilst Katheryn was married to King
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
Katheryn Howard was never my favorite of Henry VIII’s wives. I had never found her very interesting but Alison Weir’s novel changed my perspective on this young queen. She was given humanity and became relatable in a way that other books had not yet portrayed her. Full review coming soon on my blog: ...more
Esme Kemp
Apr 28, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Right I’ve decided the real villain here is that cursed Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk. Constantly using the women in his life as political pawns for his own game, and then leading them right to the chopping block.
Crying for the slutty bad bitch energy of Katheryn Howard.
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
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
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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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