In Fatal Throne, the wives of King Henry VIII tell all. We all know Henry had a thing for wives, and also a thing for getting rid of them.
What you might not know is how these women fought to survive in a power-hungry, male-dominated court. In this juicy, shocking, and totally unputdownable historical-fiction novel, the wives of King Henry VIII are finally being heard. Before you get wrapped up in the intrigue, meet the women who made King Henry VIII famous.
Katharine of Aragon, Queen of England (1485–1536)
Henry VIII’s first wife, she was married to him for nearly twenty-four years until a special court, convened at the king’s behest, declared their union illegal in 1533. Despite banishment from the court and Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, Katharine refused to accept the court’s verdict. Until her death, she insisted on calling Henry “my husband.” Her only living child from the marriage, Princess Mary, later became Queen Mary I of England.
Anne Boleyn, Queen of England (ca. 1501–1536)
The second wife of Henry VIII. Anne’s refusal to be his mistress, along with his desperation for a male heir, led to Henry’s abandonment of his marriage to Katharine of Aragon, and led as well to the English Reformation. The only living child from their three-year marriage, Princess Elizabeth, later became Elizabeth I. Anne was executed on false charges of incest and adultery in May 1536.
Jane Seymour, Queen of England (ca. 1507–1537)
The third wife of Henry VIII, she caught the king’s eye while in the service of Queen Anne Boleyn. The two wed just eleven days after Anne’s execution. Seventeen months later, Jane died from complications of childbirth after delivering a son, Edward. She was mourned by Henry, who took to calling her his “true wife.” Jane is the only one of his queens to be buried with him in the chapel at Windsor Castle.
Anna of Cleves, Queen of England (1515–1557)
Henry VIII’s fourth wife, she was married to the king just seven months before the English parliament, at the king’s request, passed an act declaring the union null and void.
Catherine Howard, Queen of England (ca. 1521–1542)
The fifth wife of Henry VIII, she was a teenager when she married the forty-nine-year-old king. Petite and vivacious, she was caught in an affair with one of the king’s men, Thomas Culpeper, and beheaded for adultery just sixteen months later.
Kateryn Parr, Queen of England (1512–1548)
The last of Henry VIII’s six wives, she was a fervent Protestant and popular author of devotional works. For three and a half years, she was a dutiful wife and a kind stepmother to the royal children, and she managed to outwit and outlive the king.
And now meet King Henry VIII Himself (1491–1547)
Ascending the throne on April 21, 1509, after his father, Henry VII, died, he went on to rule England for almost thirty-six years. His desperation for a male heir resulted in six marriages, as well as the initiation of the English Reformation. Each of his three children, Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth, succeeded him on the throne.