The Fifth Queen

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Vintage Books, 2011 - Fiction - 607 pages
3 Reviews
Ford Madox Ford’s novel about the doomed Katharine Howard, fifth queen of Henry VIII, is a neglected masterpiece.

Kat Howard—intelligent, beautiful, naively outspoken, and passionately idealistic—catches the eye of Henry VIII and improbably becomes his fifth wife. A teenager who has grown up far from court, she is wholly unused to the corruption and intrigue that now surround her. It is a time of great upheaval, as unscrupulous courtiers maneuver for power while religious fanatics—both Protestant and Catholic—fight bitterly for their competing beliefs. Soon Katharine is drawn into a perilous showdown with Thomas Cromwell, the much-feared Lord Privy Seal, as her growing influence over the King begins to threaten too many powerful interests. Originally published in three parts (The Fifth Queen, Privy Seal,andThe Fifth Queen Crowned), Ford’s novel serves up both a breathtakingly visual evocation of the Tudor world and a timeless portrayal of the insidious operations of power and fear in any era.
 

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User Review  - Bjace - LibraryThing

Historical novels are stories first and factual renderings last. Most historians regard Katherine Howard, the fifth of Henry VIII's wives as a barely-educated flibbertigibbet who may have been a good ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - booksinthebelfry - LibraryThing

This novel, aptly described by William Gass as "slow, intense, pictorial, and operatic," is a seriously literary historical novel of a sort not much seen anymore (indeed Joseph Conrad, writing of it ... Read full review

Contents

PART
9
The House QfES
71
The King Haves
183
PART
240
PART
319
PART THREE
398
The Threatened Ry?
505
The Dwineling Heorfy
555
The End ofthe S ong
573
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About the author (2011)

Ford Madox Ford was born Ford Hermann Hueffer in England in 1873. In 1919 he changed his name to Ford Madox Ford in honour of his grandfather, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown, whose biography he had written. Ford was well-known for both his fiction and his criticism. He founded two influential journals, The English Review in 1908 and The Transatlantic Review in 1924, in which he championed many of the leading modernist writers of the day. His most famous novels include the tetralogy Parade’s End and The Good Soldier, which are still ranked among the greatest literary works of the twentieth century. Ford died in 1939, at age sixty-five, in France.

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