Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All
Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All

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Annotation: Seven award-winning young adult authors illuminate the lives of Britain's King Henry VIII and his six wives from different viewpoints.
Catalog Number: #165199
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: xi, 396 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-524-71619-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1699-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-524-71619-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1699-4
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017024872
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Henry VIII may be one of the most recognizable kings of all time, and the six women he wedded, most of whom met unhappy ends, brought social, political, and religious change to sixteenth-century England. But as this book's foreword reminds us, most are only shown in relation to Henry. Here six YA authors tell each queen's story, while Anderson, the seventh, provides interludes from the increasingly unpredictable king. Most recognizable is the doomed Anne Boleyn, whose imprisonment and execution is recreated by Stephanie Hemphill, but it's the lesser-known wives who make the biggest impact. In her last days, Jennifer Donnelly's Anna of Cleves reflects on Henry, her short time as his fourth wife, and his other wives, all of whom she outlived. Linda Sue Park's Catherine Howard is young, vivacious, and charming alities that made her a queen, and then damned her. And Deborah Hopkinson's clever, careful Kateryn Parr understands how to keep herself alive in a dangerous world. For history buffs, this feminist examination of a volatile time in England is unmissable.
Horn Book
Also written by Jennifer Donnelly, Candace Fleming, Stephanie Hemphill, Deborah Hopkinson, Linda Sue Park, and Lisa Ann Sandell. In first-person narratives by six female authors, each of Henry VIII's wives gives a retrospective account of the loves, flirtations, and political maneuverings that brought about the end of her time as Henry's queen. Between wives, Anderson offers Henry's perspective, musing on his loves and lusts; Anderson's sly rendering reveals the depths of the king's complacency and egotism.
Kirkus Reviews
First-person vignettes from each of the wives of King Henry VIII are included in this work of historical fiction.Beginning with a poignant portrayal of devout Katharine of Aragon by Candace Fleming (The Amazing Collection of Joey Cornell, 2017, etc.), this collection evocatively tells the stories of those unlucky enough to be married to the heir-obsessed Henry. Stephanie Hemphill (Hideous Love, 2013, etc.) pens doomed Anne Boleyn as passionate but still vulnerable, while Lisa Ann Sandell (A Map of the Known World, 2009, etc.) renders kind Jane Seymour as incredulous that she has drawn Henry's eye. Jennifer Donnelly (Beauty and the Beast, 2017, etc.) relays the deathbed remembrances of wise Anna of Cleves regarding her short, unhappy marriage to the king, and Linda Sue Park (Cavern of Secrets, 2017, etc.) details the experiences, both exploitative and bawdy, of Catherine Howard, still a teen when Henry took her as his fifth wife and later put her to death for adultery. Finally, Deborah Hopkinson (Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen, 2018, etc.) writes of clever, measured Kateryn Parr, who survived Henry. Each section is followed by a short musing from Henry's point of view by M.T. Anderson (Landscape with Invisible Hand, 2017, etc.) that adds nuance without mitigating his horrific abuses. He also writes a brief but triumphant entry for Queen Elizabeth I.Packing an emotional punch, this meditation on the agency of these women is heartbreaking and intricately layered. (timeline, character list, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 14-18)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up All too often, teenagers learn history through a sanitized account written in a textbook, or through decontextualized primary source documents that do not provide the flavor of a time and place. This volume is neither sanitized nor decontextualized, as six well-known authors of historical fiction take on the first-person persona of each of Henry VIII's six wives in chronological order. Candace Fleming's Katherine of Aragon is resolute in her attempts to live up to the model of the warrior queen manifested by her mother, Queen Isabella of Spain. Stephanie Hemphill's Anne Boleyn is a seductress, loving mother, and political victim. Lisa Sandell's Jane Seymour, who dies soon after giving birth to Henry's much-longed-for son, is penitent and introspective, while Jennifer Donnelly's Anna of Cleves, in sharp contrast, is outspoken and independent. Linda Sue Park's teenaged Catherine Howard is lusty, impulsive, and naïve. Deborah Hopkinson's Kateryn Parr is measured, academic, and patient. We see glimpses of each queen in the other queens' stories, punctuated by M.T. Anderson's musings as an aging Henry VIII. A "Who's Who in the Court" helps readers navigate the ever-changing power dynamics, and an extensive bibliography will send them off to do their own research and interpretation of the queens. VERDICT Tudor fans eager to know more about Henry's court, and historical fiction lovers searching for multiple perspectives on complex moments in history are certain to enjoy. A strong choice. Mary Ann Cappiello, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (4/1/18)
ALA/YALSA Best Book For Young Adults
Horn Book (8/1/18)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (5/1/18)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages [391]-396).
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 7-12
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.6 / points:24.0 / quiz:Q76420
Lexile: HL750L

24 July 1527

 

 

 

The world is still dark beyond my window, but I can make out the tall figure of my husband, King Henry VIII of England, in the stable yard below. Beside him stands his lover, the torchlight glowing on her smooth, young skin. They are readying to ride out. Just the two of them. Together.

 

I watch as he helps her up into her saddle, lifts her easily, holds her. For a moment, he cradles her little leather boot in his hand, caressing it tenderly, before making sure it is safe in the stirrup. My breath snags.

 

She laughs playfully, flirting, her eyes never leaving his as she places a hand on his upturned face.

 

I sink into a chair. "Madre de Dios, ayudadame," I whisper. Mother of God, help me.

 

My lady Maud Parr comes into the room. She looks startled to see me. "Your Grace, what are you doing up so early?" she asks.

 

"Sleep is impossible." I pick up my sewing, a shirt I am embroidering for Henry.

 

Maud sits across from me. "I must tell you something," she says.

 

I try very hard to listen. But the memory of Henry laughing with Anne, of him holding her in his arms, blots out everything else.

 

"Your Grace?" Maud says.

 

I blink. "Please, begin again."

 

I slip my hands inside the sleeves of my husband's shirt as she gathers herself to tell me about the letter Cardinal Wolsey has sent to His Holiness in Rome. In it the cardinal claims I was not a virgin when I married Henry. That I made love with his brother, Prince Arthur, when he was my husband, and that I lied about it. That I am lying about it still. That because of my treachery, my marriage to Henry is not a true union.

 

The cardinal is appealing to the Pope to declare Henry's and my eighteen years together illegal. He is entreating the Pope to grant the King permission to marry again.

 

Maud pauses before telling me the rest.

 

Perhaps, she wonders, the cardinal felt he needed to make a stronger case against me, because in the same letter he accuses me of being a sex-crazed woman who lured Henry into a forbidden marriage to satisfy my carnal pleasures.

 

Me!

 

And then--¡por Dios!--the cardinal tells His Holiness that my husband finds me too repulsive to sleep with because my sex organs are diseased. He says Henry has vowed never to use my body again; that it is too dangerous to his royal person; that lying with me will make the King sick.

 

I push the shirt's long sleeves up my arms and rub my face against its fine linen. Cardinal Wolsey is the King's closest advisor. He cannot have written such lies without my husband's consent.

 

How can Henry hate me so?

 

I remember our wedding night, the feel of his hands on my trembling skin; the hot, stinging pain of our first loving; the blissful relief of lying in his strong, steady arms, a true wife at last.

 

I pull my hands free of the shirt and lay it across my lap. I know Henry better than anyone else, certainly better than Anne Boleyn, for I have known him as a boy and a man; as a brother and a husband. Our destinies have been entwined almost since birth.

 

"I was betrothed in marriage to the Prince of Wales when I was but a child of three," I say.

 

"Indeed?" replies Maud.

 

I nod. "As Princess of Spain, I was a flesh-and-blood treaty, a breathing alliance between our two countries. And when I was fifteen I sailed to England to become his wife, and the future Queen."

 

Maud gets up and pours us both a small cup of wine. "I would have liked to have known you then, Your Grace."

 

"Oh, I was so young, and so sorry to leave my mother and my home. But it was God's will that I go. I had unshakable confidence in Him--that He had favoured me and destined me for the greatest of things. I had no doubt that I would carry out my sacred obligation to fill the royal nursery with babies, most especially boys--heirs for the Tudor line." I pause. "It was la voluntad de Dios, the will of God, you see."

 

Maud nods with sympathy.

 

"But now the King has decided to rid himself of me. What can I do to stop him? Henry always gets what he wants. He takes it as his divine right."

 

I cover my eyes with my hand. "Oh, Maud, after all these years of marriage, is it truly God's will that it now be over?"

 

It is a question without answer.

 

In silence we drink our wine as the sun creeps slowly in through the windows, and my life unwinds before me like a spool of embroidery thread.



Excerpted from Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All: by M.T. Anderson, Candace Fleming, Stephanie Hemphill, Lisa Ann Sandell, Jennier Donnelly, Linda Sue Park, Deborah Hopkinson by M. T. Anderson, Stephanie Hemphill, Lisa Ann Sandell, Jennifer Donnelly, Linda Sue Park, Deborah Hopkinson
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Perfect for anyone fascinated by the Royal Wedding, Netflix's The Crown, or Wolf Hall, this is a pitch-perfect reimagining of the romance and tragedy of Henry VIII and his six wives, told from multiple points of view by some of your favorite authors.

If you were one of King Henry VIII's six wives, who would you be? Would you be Anne Boleyn, who literally lost her head? Would you be the subject of rumor and scandal like Catherine Howard? Or would you get away and survive like Anna of Cleves?

Meet them and Henry's other queens--each bound for divorce or death--in this epic and thrilling novel that reads like fantasy but really happened. Watch spellbound as each of these women attempts to survive their unpredictable king as he grows more and more obsessed with producing a male heir. And discover how the power-hungry court fanned the flames of Henry's passions . . . and his most horrible impulses.

Whether you're a huge fan of all things Tudor or new to this jaw-dropping saga, you won't be able to get the unique voices of Henry and his wives--all brought to life by seven award-winning and bestselling authors--out of your head.

This is an intimate look at the royals during one of the most treacherous times in history. Who will you root for and who will you love to hate?

ONE OF THE NYPL TOP TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

"Ambitious and exciting." --Bustle

"A clever, feminist reimagining of one of English history's most fascinating moments." --Refinery29

"These stories of love, lust, power and intrigue never fail to fascinate." --Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

Who's Who:

M. T. Anderson - Henry VIII
Candace Fleming - Katharine of Aragon, wife #1
Stephanie Hemphill - Anne Boleyn, wife #2
Lisa Ann Sandell - Jane Seymour, wife #3
Jennifer Donnelly - Anna of Cleves, wife #4
Linda Sue Park - Catherine Howard, wife #5
Deborah Hopkinson - Kateryn Parr, wife #6


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