The Fifth Queen
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, and The 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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LibraryThing ReviewUser 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 ReviewUser Review - booksinthebelfrey - 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