The Last Wife of Henry VIII

The Last Wife of Henry VIII - Carolly Erickson I read this one in one day, but it was an enjoyable read. Catherine Parr was the least likely person to become confidant of the King, and eventually his sixth wife. It was not a role that she relished and if she had been honest with him, she would have rather married another, but she held her tongue and did as the King commanded. One has to wonder though if she ever really got what she wanted out of life, before it was to late to enjoy it. Her last marriage to Thomas Seymour was one of love. She died soon after giving birth to their daughter, Mary, but also with the news that what her husband was up to could brand him a traitor and cost him his life. She was spared public humiliation as the queen dowager at her husbands foolishness, not because she didnt want to be there, but because she gave her life to bring her child into the world.

Life was never easy for women, and even harder for women of privilege and rank, as their every move and motive was questioned. King Henry VIII is believed to have loved Catherine the most. She kept his confidences through the years, and then as his wife, was not afraid to speak her mind. He even protected her when they came to arrest her for heresey. How much of what he did to her was for amusement to himself or the court, and how much was because he truly loved her and cherished their bond?

She led quite an interesting life, married in youth to the love of her life, married for convenience after his death. Then came marriage to the King.

This shows the quiet nature and her honesty in new light, as well her forgiving side, as with her sister in law Anne. I have enjoyed these as they seem to breathe new life into old history