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The Confession of Katherine Howard (edition 2010)

by Suzannah Dunn

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1452282,607 (3.07)24
Member:AnneBrooke
Title:The Confession of Katherine Howard
Authors:Suzannah Dunn
Info:HarperPress (2010), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Historical fiction

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The Confession of Katherine Howard by Suzannah Dunn

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The fifth wife of Henry VIII was a mere 19 year old girl. Empty headed, she was very unlike the four wives that preceded her. A child of many siblings with a mother who died early and a father who did not pretend to care, she was shipped to live in the Duchess of Norfolk's household.

It was there, with no care of anything but immediate gratification, she exhibited very loose morals. Taking an assistant of the Duke, Francis Dereham, as a lover, brazenly she slept with him in a room with many other girls to witness her deeds.

She was a Howard, a minor one, but still a part of an up and coming family. Despite the fact that her cousin Anne Boleyn was beheaded, she wantonly behaved with no thought of what could happen to women who paid no heed to the future.

When she was called away from the house of the Duchess and to the inner circle of the King's court, she had little to offer, save for a small figure and a flirtatious demeanor. When she caught the eye of Henry, he called her his rose without a thorn.

Older, wrinkled, corpulent, he longed for excitement and youth. Uneducated, simple and lacking any knowledge of necessary courtly behavior, while wearing the finest gowns and jewels, Katherine took one of the King's favorites, Thomas Culpepper, for a lover.

With no thought of consequences, repeatedly she bedded him thinking no one would tell her secrets.

Alas, when knowledge was gained of her youthful affair with Francis Dereham, Henry's pride was greatly wounded. Adding insult to injury, when the assignations with Culpepper were discovered, there was no option for Henry but to discard her.

The head of this silly little play thing was chopped from her body. And, both Dereham and Culpepper came to a violent end.

Told from the perspective of one of Kathryn's ladies in waiting, the story line skips around quite a bit from past to present and back again. I don't like this type of confusing writing. But, while I cannot highly recommend the book, if you can suspend the need for historical accuracy, then you might want to spend a few hours turning the pages. ( )
2 vote Whisper1 | Nov 6, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
found this novel very similar to a Philippa Gregory book in the historical fiction genre. Here, the story centers on the coming of age of Katherine Howard and fellow protégés of Agnes Howard, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk. The story flips back and forth from the present day of November 2nd, 1541 and the, roughly, 5 or 6 years prior to. The roommates, specifically, Katherine and her close friend "Cat" learn about life and love under the protective and shielded care of the Duchess yet find plenty of time to be naughty with the available men on the estate.
Fun and games should have probably come to a conclusion when King Henry VIII makes Katherine his fifth wife but she feels she's earned the right to continue to have her other amusements, afterall, her new husband is huge and slobbering. Of course, Henry's been down this road before and knows there are ways to silence such a wife.
A fairly good book and I would recommend it to others if you want a quick and entertaining read. Those well versed in history may find some inconsistencies however this is fiction and liberty's may have been taken. ( )
1 vote Carmenere | Aug 13, 2013 |
When 12 year old Katherine comes living with the Duchess of Norfolk, she meets Cat Tilney and they become friends despite having very little in common. From early on Katherine is more interested in boys and clothes tan anything else and Cat is more reserved. One of the boys living there is Francis Dereham who soon falls for Katherine but when she leaves to court, Francis is left behind with Cat and they slowly start to become more closer than before.

First of all I don’t know any other author who’s book title and synopsis is as confusing and misleading as Dunn’s. Every book I’ve read so far sounds like it’s telling the story of someone else than it really is. You could think this book is told from Katherine’s point of view but it’s told from Cat’s pov the whole time.

I think I liked this best from the books I’ve read from this author. It was rather quick read and while the little too modern writing with “could’ve”, should’ve and the like. I’m also not sure if they would have said that "What goes up must come down".

Katherine is usually described like she has no brains whatsoever so it was refreshing to read this version of her, even if she wasn’t very likeable person. It gave the feeling she was too self-centered and didn’t love anyone else besides herself.

All in all it was enjoyable and rather quick read. But you will most likely learn more about Cat Tilney than Katherine Howard. ( )
  Elysianfield | Mar 30, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This version of Katherine Howard’s story is told by one of her close friends, Catherine Tilney. The first person narration makes the title of the book rather misleading since that actually makes it not the confession of Katherine Howard and Henry’s fifth wife actually ends up more of a background character. The result is a somewhat chatty, middle-school narration which somehow seems a little too modern and “gossip girl-ish”. ( )
  tanzanite | Jan 17, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is another novel about Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII. I do have to say that this was not one of the best books I have read about Katherine Howard. A very young girl put into a situation at the greed of other, and way too young to be put against a king who has not problems getting what he wants at the expense of others, usually his wives losing their heads. ( )
  celticlady53 | Oct 6, 2011 |
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The 2nd November was the last time when everything was alright, and the day it was All Souls, the day of the dead.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062011472, Paperback)

The tragic, moving, and gripping story of the ascendance and fall of Katherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, and the best friend she nearly dragged down with her

When twelve-year-old Katherine Howard comes to live in the Duchess of Norfolk’s household she could not be more different than her poor relation, Cat Tilney. Yet, of all their companions, it is Cat, watchful and ambitious, to whom the seemingly frivolous young girl confides. When Katherine is summoned to the royal court at seventeen—to become, months later, the wife of Henry VIII after he casts off his previous queen—she leaves behind an ex-lover, Francis, with whom Cat is soon passionately involved.

But a future that seems assured for the pampered new queen and her maid-in-waiting lasts a brief year and a half, only to be imperiled by improper acts and scandalous allegations of girlhood love affairs. Imprisoned in the Tower and hoping to escape a most terrible fate, a frightened, desperate Katherine relates a version of events that only Cat recognizes as a lie—as more than one life is threatened by what she alone knows to be the truth about Katherine Howard’s past.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:56 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The tragic, moving, and gripping story of the ascendance and fall of Katherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII-- and the best friend she nearly dragged down with her.

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» see all 3 descriptions

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