I was lucky enough to be gifted the ‘Six Tudor Queens’ collection as part of the readalong from Tandem Collective UK. The final book of the collection, ‘Katharine Parr’, was the subject of the readalong – and what a wonderful read it was.
Now, I am always very cautious about historical fiction – it is a great genre but sometimes not everyone remembers the ‘fiction’ part, and history is easily rewritten. However, it is clear that Alison Weir takes the reasearch seriously, as shown with the ‘Author’s Note’ at the end.
Katharine Parr is often known simply as the last of ‘The Six’, but this book shows she is much more than that. And maybe she, in fact, deserves a little more space in the history books.
This book takes you from Katharine’s childhood, through her first two marriages (and the religious unrest), her meeting Henry VIII, becoming his last queen, and her life once he dies It is amazing how much Katharine lived through and the interest she had in the world, and in religious reform in England. But, also, how seriously she took her role as stepmother to the future monarchs of England. I would love to have known what she would have thought of the life each of them went on to have.
This book has inspired me to ensure that I find out more about Katharine Parr, because I do not feel that she has the fame she truly deserves for the life she led.