Fatal throne The wives of Henry VIII tell all

M. T. Anderson

Book - 2018

Seven award-winning young adult authors illuminate the lives of Britain's King Henry VIII and his six wives from different viewpoints.

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Location Call Number   Status
Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Anderson, M. T. Checked In
Historical fiction
New York : Schwartz & Wade Books [2018]
First edition
Physical Description
xi, 396 pages ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 391-396).
Main Author
M. T. Anderson (author)
Other Authors
Jennifer Donnelly (author), Candace Fleming, Stephanie Hemphill, Deborah Hopkinson, Linda Sue Park, Lisa Ann Sandell
  • Before you begin /
  • Jennifer Donnelly
  • Katharine of Aragon /
  • Candace Fleming
  • Henry VIII /
  • M.T. Anderson
  • Anne Boleyn /
  • Stephanie Hemphill
  • Henry VIII /
  • M.T. Anderson
  • Jane Seymour /
  • Lisa Ann Sandell
  • Henry VIII /
  • M.T. Anderson
  • Anne of Cleves /
  • Jennifer Donnelly
  • Henry VIII /
  • M.T. Anderson
  • Catherine Howard /
  • Linda Sue Park
  • Henry VIII /
  • M.T. Anderson
  • Kateryn Parr /
  • Deborah Hopkinson
  • Henry VIII /
  • M.T. Anderson
  • Queen Elizabeth I /
  • M.T. Anderson
  • Tudor timeline
  • Who's who in the court
  • Acknowledgments
  • A bibliographic afterword
  • About the authors.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Henry VIII may be one of the most recognizable kings of all time, and the six women he wedded, most of whom met unhappy ends, brought social, political, and religious change to sixteenth-century England. But as this book's foreword reminds us, most are only shown in relation to Henry. Here six YA authors tell each queen's story, while Anderson, the seventh, provides interludes from the increasingly unpredictable king. Most recognizable is the doomed Anne Boleyn, whose imprisonment and execution is recreated by Stephanie Hemphill, but it's the lesser-known wives who make the biggest impact. In her last days, Jennifer Donnelly's Anna of Cleves reflects on Henry, her short time as his fourth wife, and his other wives, all of whom she outlived. Linda Sue Park's Catherine Howard is young, vivacious, and charming—qualities that made her a queen, and then damned her. And Deborah Hopkinson's clever, careful Kateryn Parr understands how to keep herself alive in a dangerous world. For history buffs, this feminist examination of a volatile time in England is unmissable. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Seven young adult authors provide consistent, captivating accounts of the six marriages of Henry VIII of England, told from the perspectives of his wives and the king himself. Henry's entries (written by Anderson) reflect a lust for life and power, as well as his growing disillusionment and isolation. Already in his 40s when courting his second queen, the king is in physical decline and is becoming desperate for a male heir, resulting in a series of ill-fated marriages. Through a mix of dialogue, narrative, and flashback, the authors create a distinctive voice and personality for each queen while recounting the events leading up to her demise. By concentrating religious as well as political authority in his own hands, Henry rendered each of his queens a pawn. Only Jane Seymour (depicted here by Lisa Ann Sandell), his third wife who died soon after giving birth, escaped manipulation. A final page presents an alternative: Elizabeth I, Henry's daughter by Anne Boleyn, as an Amazon. Some authors capture the period more successfully than others, but most readers will find the subject matter—including bedroom scenes—too engrossing to mind. Back matter includes a helpful chronology and a section on "Who's Who in the Court." Ages 12–up. (May) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—All too often, teenagers learn history through a sanitized account written in a textbook, or through decontextualized primary source documents that do not provide the flavor of a time and place. This volume is neither sanitized nor decontextualized, as six well-known authors of historical fiction take on the first-person persona of each of Henry VIII's six wives in chronological order. Candace Fleming's Katherine of Aragon is resolute in her attempts to live up to the model of the warrior queen manifested by her mother, Queen Isabella of Spain. Stephanie Hemphill's Anne Boleyn is a seductress, loving mother, and political victim. Lisa Sandell's Jane Seymour, who dies soon after giving birth to Henry's much-longed-for son, is penitent and introspective, while Jennifer Donnelly's Anna of Cleves, in sharp contrast, is outspoken and independent. Linda Sue Park's teenaged Catherine Howard is lusty, impulsive, and naïve. Deborah Hopkinson's Kateryn Parr is measured, academic, and patient. We see glimpses of each queen in the other queens' stories, punctuated by M.T. Anderson's musings as an aging Henry VIII. A "Who's Who in the Court" helps readers navigate the ever-changing power dynamics, and an extensive bibliography will send them off to do their own research and interpretation of the queens. VERDICT Tudor fans eager to know more about Henry's court, and historical fiction lovers searching for multiple perspectives on complex moments in history are certain to enjoy. A strong choice.—Mary Ann Cappiello, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Evocative first-person accounts by such award-winning and best-selling authors as M. T. Anderson, Linda Sue Park and Jennifer Donnelly reimagine the tragic lives of Henry VIII and his six wives. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Perfect for anyone fascinated by the Royal Wedding, Netflix's The Crown, or Wolf Hall, this is a pitch-perfect reimagining of the romance and tragedy of Henry VIII and his six wives, told from multiple points of view by some of your favorite authors.If you were one of King Henry VIII's six wives, who would you be? Would you be Anne Boleyn, who literally lost her head? Would you be the subject of rumor and scandal like Catherine Howard? Or would you get away and survive like Anna of Cleves?Meet them and Henry's other queens--each bound for divorce or death--in this epic and thrilling novel that reads like fantasy but really happened. Watch spellbound as each of these women attempts to survive their unpredictable king as he grows more and more obsessed with producing a male heir. And discover how the power-hungry court fanned the flames of Henry's passions . . . and his most horrible impulses.Whether you're a huge fan of all things Tudor or new to this jaw-dropping saga, you won't be able to get the unique voices of Henry and his wives--all brought to life by seven award-winning and bestselling authors--out of your head. This is an intimate look at the royals during one of the most treacherous times in history. Who will you root for and who will you love to hate?ONE OF THE NYPL TOP TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR "Ambitious and exciting." --Bustle"A clever, feminist reimagining of one of English history's most fascinating moments." --Refinery29"These stories of love, lust, power and intrigue never fail to fascinate." --Shelf Awareness, Starred ReviewWho's Who:M. T. Anderson - Henry VIIICandace Fleming - Katharine of Aragon, wife #1Stephanie Hemphill - Anne Boleyn, wife #2Lisa Ann Sandell - Jane Seymour, wife #3Jennifer Donnelly - Anna of Cleves, wife #4Linda Sue Park - Catherine Howard, wife #5Deborah Hopkinson - Kateryn Parr, wife #6