With only a baby in the cradle for an heir, Henry has to take another wife and the dangerous prize of the crown of England is won by Anne of Cleves.
She has her own good reasons for agreeing to marry a man old enough to be her father, in a country where to her both language and habits are foreign. Although fascinated by the glamour of her new surroundings, she senses a trap closing around her. Katherine is confident that she can follow in the steps of her cousin Anne Boleyn to dazzle her way to the throne but her kinswoman Jane Boleyn, haunted by the past, knows that Anne’s path led to Tower Green and to an adulterer’s death.
The story of these three young women, trying to make their own way through the most volatile court in Europe at a time of religious upheaval and political uncertainty, is Philippa Gregory’s most compelling novel yet.
‘Returning to the scene of The Other Boleyn Girl, historical powerhouse Gregory again brings the women of Henry VIII’s court vividly to life … Gregory’s accounts of events are accurate enough to be persuasive, her characterizations modern enough to be convincing. Rich in intrigue and irony, this is a tale where readers will already know who was divorced, beheaded or survived, but will savor Gregory’s sharp staging of how and why.’ Publishers Weekly, starred review
‘Just when we think we have heard the last of the Boleyns, after The Other Boleyn Girl (2002), Gregory resurrects the ill-fated family in the persona of Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford. After her damning testimony results in the execution of both her husband and her sister-in-law, Anne Boleyn, Jane continues her ruthless scheming as she serves as lady-in-waiting to Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII’s reviled Bavarian-born fourth wife, and naive, doomed [fifth] wife, Catherine Howard. Narrated in turn by this trio of intriguing women, this tale of court politics and treachery unfolds from three equally compelling points of view.’ Margaret Flanagan, Booklist
‘Fascinating…harrowing….If only…history books were written so vividly.’ Entertainment Weekly