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Group Reads > June 2018 - Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen, by Alison Weir

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Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1979 comments Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen is a historical novel by Alison Weir, published this month. It should be widely available in bookstores and libraries, and in most formats.

It seems to cover Seymour from her childhood desire to be a nun on forwards to her court years and marriage to Henry VIII.

message 2: by Skye (new)

Skye | 484 comments It sounds interesting, and she was such an enigma to me; I could never get this book in time to read and discuss.

message 3: by Alyson (new)

Alyson Stone (alysonserenastone) | 36 comments Has anyone read this? I"m not really a fan of Weir's books and was wondering how it stacked up against her other books.

message 4: by Christine (new)

Christine Cazeneuve | 23 comments I have not Alyson and it was just released this month. I am the same as you and am not a fan of Alison Weir so I am skipping the read this month.

message 5: by Kenzie (new)

Kenzie Mills I got a free advanced kindle copy in exchange for an honest review check it out! it surprised me so much!!

message 6: by Skye (new)

Skye | 484 comments I don't read e-books of any kind, and I Weir is not an easy, relaxing author. Historically, she is brilliant; however, I prefer an more laid back approach.

message 7: by Michell (new)

Michell Karnes (royalreader) | 229 comments Kenzie wrote: "I got a free advanced kindle copy in exchange for an honest review check it out! it surprised me so much!!"

I am curious how you got an free advanced kindle copy? I actually love Weir but she is not a relaxing read as mentioned. She writes more like a textbook but that is what I enjoy, a factual approach. For those who enjoy that type, Sarah Gristwood is on par with Weir.

message 8: by Skye (new)

Skye | 484 comments Hi Michell;

It's been awhile~!

message 9: by Christine (new)

Christine Cazeneuve | 23 comments I am with you Skye I don't like e-books either - call me old fashioned but I prefer a book in my hand, preferably a hard cover one. An also how can I put an e-book in my library :)

message 10: by Skye (new)

Skye | 484 comments Christine; I have a Kindle, I never activated it; I prefer books, libraries, paper backs and hard cover books. My local library is not close by ( it's in a rural area), and I have to order my books, unless I win a giveaway or an author sends me a copy; I use Barnes and Noble's Marketplace---the books are slightly used, but the older editions only cost 1.99 ( but then there's shipping and handling). and a bit of a wait to get it, and by then, there's no enough time to read.

message 11: by Michell (new)

Michell Karnes (royalreader) | 229 comments I too prefer a "real" book, but I was getting frustrated when so many of the books I wanted to check out from my library were "e-books" that I finally caved in and learned to use one. I still only borrow e-books because I am simply too cheap buy them and because it seems a waste to buy something I can't put on my shelf. I will say the kindle is a plus to a "real" book when my husband wants to turn off the light at night and I want to keep reading in bed. But if my library has a choice in format I will get the old fashioned book every time!

message 12: by Skye (new)

Skye | 484 comments I understand that, Michell; my friend uses two separate libraries, and e-books are a snap.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1979 comments I don't drive, and e-lending is so very easy to use.

I confess I don't dig Weir's historical fiction, though I like her non-fiction history as a rule.

message 14: by Skye (new)

Skye | 484 comments I know that you don't drive, Susanna, and I agree with you about Weir.

message 15: by Michell (new)

Michell Karnes (royalreader) | 229 comments I would also agree with that. Though I will read her historical fiction I prefer the non-fiction!

message 16: by Christine (new)

Christine Cazeneuve | 23 comments My daughter bought me a Kindle Fire a few years ago and I did try to read books on them - I mean the Kindle Lending Library is great but just couldn't get into it. I mostly purchase my books on Amazon and buy used and I have not been disappointed in the condition. I try to purchase from sellers who are either Goodwill Stores or support local libraries. I generally don't pay more than $3-$4/book and that includes shipping. I purchased 7 books last night for under $30 and I tell my kids that for birthday, Christmas, Mothers Day, etc., just buy me Amazon gift cards :)

message 17: by Skye (new)

Skye | 484 comments Christine, I have bought from Amazon, too, but I have never seen Goodwill or local libraries listed; I'll have to look, now.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1979 comments Goodwill where I live doesn't tend to have much; but the one where my father lives in Charlotte can have good pickings. I think it varies a lot.

message 19: by Skye (new)

Skye | 484 comments Thanks, Susanna, I will be certain to check that out. :)

message 20: by Christine (new)

Christine Cazeneuve | 23 comments Skye - check on the used books and you will see in the store names as they will have in their names that they are goodwill stores. Also the ones who support libraries will have in their descriptions. I have been purchasing books for years and have never had a problem. Good Luck Syke!

message 21: by Candace (new)

Candace | 1 comments I also read this through netgalley and find that all of Weir’s Six Tudor Queen novels are very easy to read.

message 22: by Skye (new)

Skye | 484 comments Christine wrote: "Skye - check on the used books and you will see in the store names as they will have in their names that they are goodwill stores. Also the ones who support libraries will have in their description..."

I did, Christine! Thank you so much!

message 23: by Michell (new)

Michell Karnes (royalreader) | 229 comments My library has just got this book in so I will be able to join this group read for June.

message 24: by Skye (new)

Skye | 484 comments I am so glad, Michell.

message 25: by *TUDOR^QUEEN* (new)

*TUDOR^QUEEN*  (tudorqueen) | 35 comments Alyson wrote: "Has anyone read this? I"m not really a fan of Weir's books and was wondering how it stacked up against her other books."

Yes, Alyson- I recently reviewed it for NetGalley:


message 26: by Rivkah (new)

Rivkah (rsk5041) | 12 comments I’m almost finished and enjoying it

message 27: by Rivkah (new)

Rivkah (rsk5041) | 12 comments I’m reading it now and quite enjoying the book

message 28: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 33 comments I put in a request at our library before it came out. Usually there is already a list of requests above me. But this time I got it first! I like her historical fiction. Sometimes, my brain just hurts too much after a long day at work to enjoy the non-fiction. That said, I have to remember that the story I'm reading is not necessary fact!

message 29: by Matt (new)

Matt (mmullerm) My library does not have this yet, so I’ll likely not be able to read along with the group on this Jane Seymour book this month. I hope those that do read it enjoy!

message 30: by Mindy (new)

Mindy | 40 comments I just finished it.

It's an interesting read...also, pretty good.

I was left with more sympathy towards Jane Seymour than I've felt previously. Well, actually, I never felt more than "blah" towards Jane, except as the mother of Edward. But as Ms. Weir writes in her afterword, there is little historical evidence about Jane Seymour, as she left no letters, etc., and most of what we know about her comes from Chapuys and other ambassadors and onlookers of the court of Henry VIII. So this book is particularly more "fiction" than historical.

Ms. Weir presents Jane and Henry as a couple truly in love. Were they? Who knows? On the face of it, I've always thought that Henry picked Jane because she was the total opposite of Anne--quiet, blonde, subservient, etc. But Ms. Weir does imbue Jane with more personality and brains than I've ever seen in any other portrayal of her, so I was left with a feeling of, well, can't explain it any other way than of "hope" that Jane wasn't such a "carpet"--as in being walked on--after all.

I will say that Ms. Weir's prejudices towards Anne Boleyn tint the book.

message 31: by Michell (new)

Michell Karnes (royalreader) | 229 comments I am a bit late getting started with this book because someone had it on hold. While I understand there is very little primary source material about Jane I did wonder if there was any evidence that Jane had at one time wanted to be a nun? I have never read anywhere else that Jane had thought of this vocation. Perhaps it is simply something Ms. Weir thought made sense as a possibility for Jane.

I also thought it was interesting how the author has Jane hearing the words credited as being said by Elizabeth I under the famous oak tree at Hatfield..."it is marvelous in our eyes..." I am wondering if this will tie into something later in the book? Otherwise it seems out of place.

I am enjoying the book and think I should read the other books in the six queens series.

message 32: by Stacey (last edited Jun 20, 2018 08:12AM) (new)

Stacey (stacey42) | 1 comments I just finished this after finally reaching to the top of the library's hold list. Jane is such a vacant person in history. We know so little about her except she was mostly passive, spoke up once for the Pilgrimage of Grace, was kinda snooty & liked her maids of honor to have lots of jewels on their bodices. I was curious what Weir would do with her to get en entire novel's worth of material.
Jane was very religious in this book. Very loyal to Katherine and very against Anne. Weir doesn't like Anne, but that's okay, I don't particularly care for her either so I have no issue with Weir's portrayal of her. Jane tries occasionally to have some agency in her life but she never really succeeds, being the passive, subservient sort. Her parents override her, her brothers override her, the King overrides her. Jane doesn't happen to things, things happen to Jane.
Weir has Henry & Jane sleeping together awhile before marriage & a couple extra (failed) pregnancies occur, which never really make it into non-fiction. Weir gives her reasons, in the epilogue, for including those as well as for making Jane so religious. I can see her points.
The mystical/haunted part - the shadows Jane sees, the words she hears, the creepy feelings she gets - was fairly low key I thought. It's not really my taste but given the material she had to work with I suppose she needed some hook or other.
Overall I liked it. It's better than the Anne Boleyn one, but Jane is more sympathetic character. And I just realized I never read the first book in the series so I need to correct that.

message 33: by Michell (new)

Michell Karnes (royalreader) | 229 comments Well I have finished the book. I actually liked how Weir developed the many theories surrounding Jane and created a few to explain some of the facts we do know. I love reading Weir's non-fiction books but reading her historical fiction is a fun adventure into what might have been.

Since Jane was married later than her younger sisters Weir develops the idea that Jane wanted to be a nun which accounts for her father not marring her off sooner.

Weir also has Jane accepting Henry's advances due to her belief that his marriage to Anne is not a true marriage. This is also part of the reason Weir gives for Jane sleeping with Henry before their marriage. In the book this results in an early pregnancy and is the reason Weir gives for the hurried betrothal and wedding of Henry and Jane. In the background is Cromwell creating a fictitious case against Anne in an effort to save himself from her working to bring him down.

Lastly, the hauntings Jane has, I suppose, gives depth to Jane as an individual who does have some sympathy for the death of Anne, another human being.

I have always wondered just what motivations Jane had for marrying Henry. Was she in love with Henry, or in love with being Queen? Was she simply the instrument of a power hungry family? Did she feel being Queen would allow her to right some of the past wrongs?

It is hard to imagine Jane sleeping with Henry before marriage but did she feel she had no choice against the power of her sovereign? In some ways I have always felt Anne and Jane were alike in that they felt they had no choice in succumbing to what Henry wanted. Anne took matters into her own hands and assertively held out for the throne instead of being just a mistress. Anne sadly had paved the way and Jane simply did the same thing only instead of being assertive and demanding to get what she wanted she was submissive and demure.

A great book and now I need to read the rest in this Six Queen series.

message 34: by Kenzie (new)

Kenzie Mills I received this book on a site called netgalley.

message 35: by Vikki (new)

Vikki (silverstarz) | 6 comments I finally got round to reading this book - I read the first 2 last autumn. I was curious about how Alison Weir had managed to write a 500 page book about Jane Seymour. But I felt it worked well. I've never really had any strong opinions about Jane. But this book brought her to life and I did end up liking her character. I'm not entirely convinced about her agreeing to sleep with Henry before being married but it's not totally unbelievable. The hauntings were an interesting angle but not overplayed. It was interesting to see this interpretation of the relationship between Henry & Jane, that there does seem to be real love and affection. That's not something that has really come across in other books I've read - I've always felt his love was based mainly on the fact she gave him the son he so desired.
Looking forward to reading the Anna Of Kleve book

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1979 comments Glad you liked it, Vikki.

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