Friday, September 23, 2011

The Favored Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII's Third Wife -Carolyn Erickson

The Favored Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII's Third Wife

Carolyn Erickson

St. Martin’s, Sep 27 2011, $25.99

ISBN: 9780312596903

Her ambitious family sends young Jane Seymour to the royal court as lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon. She likes the queen as do many at court; and is heartbroken when Catherine’s newborn son died one hour after birth. Loyal to the queen, Jane appallingly observes her insidious peer Anne Boleyn seduce King Henry VIII. When Henry begins a religious reformation starting with canning Catherine and replacing her with Anne, Jane is horrified but tries to remain on the political sidelines. Queen Anne rages at any young female at court including reticent Jane who is to marry her friend Will Dorme though she loves someone else. Just before Henry is to have Anne executed for god’s wrath of birthing no heir he asks Jane to be his third wife. Reluctantly she agrees. She tries to be the Queen to all her countrymen and a mother to Henry’s children. Ironically she expects to follow her predecessors with a short marriage, which proves true as she dies giving birth to the male heir.

The latest Tudor biographical fiction (see The Rival to the Queen, the First Elizabeth and The Last Wife of Henry VIII) by historian Carolyn Erickson is another strong look at a leading player on the Henry VIII stage. Jane comes across as a quiet caring person who soothed the savage beast with her calm demeanor. Though the subject of several historical fictions (see Plain Jane by Laurien Gardner and Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir), The Favored Queen is an engaging tale that fans of all things Tudor will enjoy.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: