Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one Katherine Parr falls deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love. However, obliged to return to court, she attracts the attentions of the ailing, egotistical, and dangerously powerful Henry VIII, who dispatches his love rival, Seymour, to the Continent. No one is in a position to refuse a royal proposal so, haunted by the fates of his previous wives—two executions, two annulments, one death in childbirth—Katherine must wed Henry and become his sixth queen.
Katherine has to employ all her instincts to navigate the treachery of the court, drawing a tight circle of women around her, including her stepdaughter, Meg, traumatized by events from their past that are shrouded in secrecy, and their loyal servant Dot, who knows and sees more than she understands. With the Catholic faction on the rise once more, reformers being burned for heresy, and those close to the king vying for position, Katherine’s survival seems unlikely. Yet as she treads the razor’s edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love.
PARTICULARS OF THE BOOK :
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 407 then historical character detail
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author Elizabeth Fremantle
Find the book: Barnes & Noble and other places that sell books
ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
Elizabeth Fremantle holds a first class degree in English and an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck College London. She has contributed as a fashion editor to various publications including Vogue, Elle and The Sunday Times. QUEEN’S GAMBIT is her debut novel and is the first in a Tudor trilogy. The second novel, SISTERS OF TREASON, will be released in 2014. She lives in London.
For more about Elizabeth and her future projects, please visit her website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest.
Ms Fremantle has kindly agreed to an interview with A Bookish Libraria today, and we're so excited to have her and to have some pleasing insights into this gifted author. Thanks so much for joining us, Elizabeth. Let the games begin!!
1) Tell us something about yourself, please. How do most people describe you?
It depends who you ask – my children would describe me as the most un-cool mother known to man, my friends would probably say I was good at keeping a secret, my family would say I’m the tricky one, my ex husband might say I was neurotic but on the other hand he’d say I’m a good mother and a good friend, strangers sometimes say I’m aloof until I get to know them and they realize I’m just a little shy and me, well I suppose I’m the usual combination of contradictions.
2) Briefly, from where did the idea for your novel germinate?
I had long suspected that Katherine Parr was more interesting than history has suggested and when I began to research her I began to see that it was true. I then decided to visit Hampton Court Palace (where she was married to Henry VIII) and found a reenactment of that wedding taking place. It seemed like such a wonderful piece of serendipity and really got my imagination going.
3) Who first told you you could write well, and how did it affect you?
Funnily enough I don’t remember ever being told that, or not until fairly recently. But then I never showed my writing to anyone. I did an MA in Creative Writing and one of my tutors was very encouraging which was good for my confidence. So many writers are shy about their writing...
4) Which contemporary authors do you most admire?
I am a big fan of Hilary Mantel and think as a prose stylist she’s astonishingly good; Rose Tremain’s a favorite of mine too, her writing is beautiful and she has a wicked sense of humor; I always enjoy Sarah Waters’s books, she manages to write gripping novels that also have great depth. Interesting that you should say Sarah Waters because she doesn't get the attention she deserves.
5) Which are your favorite classical authors?
One of my favorite novels is BEWARE OF PITY by Stephan Zweig – all his work is good but that’s the best in my opinion; I love Henry James too, Flaubert’s MADAME BOVARY is a wonderful novel and Jean Rhys’s short stories are remarkable. I could go on and on… Henry James is one of my favorites, too.
6) Jump into any book~which character would you be?
Perhaps someone like Jane Austen’s Emma Woodhouse. She has none of the hardship of poverty and has a happy ending. But alas, life is not like that!
7) If you could have 5 historical people to dinner, who would they be? What would you have to eat?
Firstly I would like a full Tudor feast and of course I’d want Katherine Parr there. Perhaps I’d make it a girls’ night: Elizabeth Woodville; Mary Shelley; Penelope Devereaux (who I am researching for book 3) and Elizabeth I Love that you threw Mary Shelley in the mix. That should be interesting...
8) Read any good books in the past 6 months?
BRING UP THE BODIES by Hilary Mantel: it’s as exciting as a thriller and yet literary too. MERIVEL by Rose Tremain: it’s hilarious and so beautifully observed Reviewed "Bring Up the Bodies" here this year...what a great book.
9) Favorite two tv shows:
I’ve been enjoying The Borgias – I know it’s historically inaccurate but so much fun, ditto The Tudors (my guilty pleasures I suppose) Love, loved the Tudors!
10) Favorite movie of all time:
The Awful Truth with Irene Dunn and Cary Grant (1937) I’m a big fan of screwball comedies and that is one of the best. Two of my favorite old time actors. I have to catch this movie some time.
11) Are you working on a new book?
I am. SISTERS OF TREASON, about the two tragic younger sisters of Lady Jane Grey, is out next year and I’m researching a novel about Penelope Devereaux the sister of the Earl of Essex – called the ‘fair woman with a dark soul’, she’s a fascinating Elizabethan. Absolutely can't wait for this one! I love Lady Jane Grey's tragic story!
12) Anything else I forgot to ask you?
I don’t think so. Thank you so much for having me on your blog.
Thank you so much for caring enough to visit my blog today. Wonderful answers, and giving a great range of insight into who you really are as a person and a writer. Thanks for sharing!
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