BY TONY RICHES
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
eBook & Paperback; 328 pages
Series: The Brandon Trilogy, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction
Attractive, wealthy and influential, Katherine Willoughby is one of the most unusual ladies of the Tudor court. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Katherine knows all his six wives, his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and his son Edward, as well as being related by marriage to Lady Jane Grey.
She marries Tudor knight, Sir Charles Brandon, and becomes Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen. Her Spanish mother, Maria de Salinas, is Queen Catherine of Aragon’s lady in waiting, so it is a challenging time for them all when King Henry marries the enigmatic Anne Boleyn.
Following Anne’s dramatic downfall, the short reign of young Catherine Howard, and the tragic death of Jane Seymour, Katherine’s young sons are tutored with the future king, Prince Edward, and become his friends.
Katherine and Charles Brandon are chosen to welcome Anna of Cleves as she arrives in England. When the royal marriage is annulled, Katherine’s good friend, Catherine Parr becomes the king’s sixth wife, and they work to promote religious reform.
When King Edward dies, his Catholic sister Mary is crowned queen and Katherine’s Protestant faith puts her family in great danger – from which there seems no escape.
Katherine’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
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Katherine Willoughby is the daughter of Maria de Salinas, one of Queen Catherine of Aragon's ladies-in-waiting. Katherine's father dies when she is young and Katherine is taken in as a ward of Sir Charles Brandon, brother-in-law to King Henry VIII. Katherine grows up alongside his children and believes that she will one day marry Charles' son, Henry. However, after the death of Charles' wife, Charles decides to marry Katherine herself and Katherine is made the Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen. Through Katherine's position, she manages to get to know all of King Henry VIII wives, some more than others. Although Katherine's life was not easy, she was lucky enough to survive and live a full life.
I am an avid reader of anything concerning Tudor history and have read and enjoyed Tony Riches' books before, so I was more than happy to read Katherine Tudor Duchess and dig into the life of Katherine Willoughby. The writing is quick paced and immersive. Through Katherine's eyes, most of King Henry VIII reign is experienced through her point of view. I was amazed by Katherine's life and the series of events that shaped it. Katherine seemed to take everything in stride and managed to grow and develop in a world that was not very friendly towards woman. I was intrigued by her different relationships with each of Henry VIII wives as well as Henry himself and was even more amazed that Katherine survived Henry's reign, but was threatened by his daughter, Mary. It was interesting to see Katherine find her place in religion and how she may have even helped to shape England's religion at times. Overall, an amazing story about of one of the surprising Tudor women, Katherine, Duchess of Suffolk.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Tony Riches is a full-time writer and lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. After several successful non-fiction books, Tony turned to novel writing and wrote ‘Queen Sacrifice’, set in 10th century Wales, followed by ‘The Shell’, a thriller set in present day Kenya. A specialist in the history of the early Tudors, he is best known for his Tudor Trilogy. Tony’s other international best sellers include ‘Warwick ~ The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses’ and ‘The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham’.
For more information please visit Tony’s website and his blog The Writing Desk. He can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.