The Taming of the Queen is Phillipa Gregory’s newest historical fictional novel about the Tudor era. Published in August, 2015, Gregory’s newest novel is told from the point of view of Kateryn Parr, King Henry VIII’s last wife, the only wife to survive and out live him.
It’s really interesting to learn more about the reign of Henry Tudor (King Henry VIII).This is my second book about a woman that knew King Henry VIII. The other book being The King’s Curse (I try to only post one book a week so the review will be available on September 22).
I am beginning to realize that King Henry VIII was more than just a tyrant who broke from the Catholic Church so he could divorce from his wife; he was also most likely mentally unstable and extremely unpredictable. The Taming of the Queen highlights how he was basically a serial killer; he had two of his wives executed, with the help of what many scholars believed to be fabricated evidence, and he had many other nobles, even friends of his, executed for not agreeing with the reforms in the church or what ever else he wanted done. He changed laws on a whim as well, which meant people faced being called treasonous over things that were previously ok.
One thing I learned is that he did try to turn against Kateryn Parr, just like some of his other wives, and then ended up forcing her to submit to him and let him have all kinds of wrong power over her.
Kateryn Parr, I learned, was really very intelligent. I learned about how she was the first woman to publish writing in English, and she was very intelligent, scholarly, and in favour of the reformed church. It was risky to be an intelligent woman at that time, and it was also dangerous to have opinions about the church, whether you were a papist/Catholic, or a reformist, because King Henry VIII’s opinions seemed to change very regularly and anyone who’s opinions didn’t change with his was immediately in danger.
I really enjoyed reading about this newest book. I feel like King Henry VIII’s last wife, Kateryn Parr, is one of the lesser known of his wives, and it was super cool getting to learn more about her. Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn are probably the most famous of Henry’s 6 wives simply because Katherine of Aragon is the wife King Henry VIII set aside and divorced for Anne Boleyn. This choice set in motion the creation of the Church of England, which I assume is the Anglican Church today (well, generally it is Protestantism, including the Anglican Church).
If you’re a fan of historical fiction, especially if it is of medieval England, this is a good choice to add to your reading list. Phillipa Gregory is a “real” PhD-level historian who does so much research that there are several pages of sources in this book, so I can also assure you that this is a story based on well researched historical fact.