Why would a woman marry a serial killer?
Because she cannot refuse…
To be truthful, I didn’t hold much hope of enjoying this book. Isn’t it what’s called ‘Romantic Fiction’? What do I want to read that for? But I picked it up anyway.
And, literally, couldn’t put it down.
Even though I know what happened to Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of the monstrous Henry VIII (I remember the story from schooldays “Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived”) I was chilled by the creeping horror of what could yet come, the looming dread, the numbing fear of a capricious, diseased old man. Oh poor Katherine!
When you lose his favour, when you get your first hint of it, I pray you leave the country at once. He will not annul another marriage. He has outgrown that; he could not bear the shame of it. All of Christendom would laugh at him and he could not bear that.
Author Gregory had me on the edge of my chair, I was trapped behind Katherine’s eyes, feeling her incomprehension, and then her growing terror.
I cannot read the expression on her face – she does not look like herself – and then I realise she is afraid. Her mouth is working as if she cannot speak, her forehead is damp with sweat. “He’s coming for you”, is all she says. “This is how he always does it. He’s coming for you, Kat, and I don’t know how to save you”.
I had to read, non-stop, until the end. I had to know that Katherine was safe.
Why is it that Katherine Parr is so little known? As the last of Henry’s queens she survived a wife-killer who saw four of her five predecessors into the grave. Her day-to-day life was filled with incident, danger and adventure. She faced and defeated a series of plots against her. And she was a scholar, the first woman to publish original work under her own name in English.
I’m pleased to have made your acquaintance, Katherine, and thank you Philippa Gregory for letting me do so.
My Amazon link : The Taming of the Queen