Suzannah Dunn The Confession of Katherine Howard

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Inhaltsangabe zu „The Confession of Katherine Howard“ von Suzannah Dunn

The new novel from the bestselling author of THE SIXTH WIFE.

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Eine interessante Aufarbeitung historischer Fakten, deren Lücken sinnvoll durch Fiktion ergänzt wurden.

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  • Rezension zu "The Confession of Katherine Howard" von Suzannah Dunn

    The Confession of Katherine Howard
    kubine

    kubine

    03. September 2010 um 19:57

    Divorced, beheaded, died, divorce, beheaded, survive – these old rhyme tell you the order of Henry VIII.'s wives destiny. When you ask someone (outside the UK) what he or she know about Henry VIII. You often get the answer: 'Isn't it the king with the many wives and didn't he killed them all?' Well, he „only“ gave order to execute two of them (and to be historically correct, the decisions were made by others, he just signed the death warrants). But what do we know about the queens? The first, Catherine of Arragon, was over 20 years the one and only queen. Unfortunately for her, she failed to give the king a son. And as she gets older and chances the give birth to a male heir became pretty low, the king, who always had been a womanizer, was looking for someone else. He soon was in love with Anne Boleyn. After several years when different popes denied to claim the king's first marriage null and void (because she was his brothers wife before), Henry did that on his own by starting a reformation. He married Anne Boleyn, who also just born him a daughter. She fell from favour and courtly intrigues sealed her fate. Henry VIII. then married Jane Seymour, who, at least, gave birth to the long-expecting son, but died several days later. The king's advisers then forced him to marry Anne of Cleves – for political reason. Henry didn't like her and so they were divorced as soon as possible. He then fell in love with Katherine Howard, a cousin of Anne Boleyn, with whom she shared the same destiny. At the end, an old and ill king married Katherine Parr, who survived him. That is, what history tells us – summarized, through the distance of time, documentary facts. But how was it like to be a queen, how have they been grown up (all of them were noble, but just one was royal), what really happened? Suzannah Dunn tries to find an answer in her latest book. This time she chose Katherine Howard. Her story is told through the perspective of Catheryn 'Cat' Tilney. Cat was send to the Duchess of Norfolk at the age of 12. There she should be well educated, as growing up in the Duchess' household meant having an advantage in finding a proper husband later. And although Cat was not very happy to be sent away, she knew that it was her on whom her parents count to bring the family further. Arriving at the Duchess' Cat soon learnt that all her parents knew about it, was not true. Of course, she and the other girls learnt how to manage a household, they get lessons in reading, writing, dancing – but she all had that at home before, even much better. But as an obedient daughter Cat did not complain. After 6 months there she first met Katherine – and did not like her. Katherine did everything to please her teacher, but by doing that she was very indifferent. She was more interested in young man rather than be good friend with anyone. She also seemed not to car much about her future. She was a Howard, the niece of the duke of Norfolk (far related, but related), so she will make her way. When a new music teacher, Henry Manox, arrive, Katherine did everything to catch his attention. And she got what she wanted, even a bit more. One Day Manox was gone, without any comments to the girls. They were wondering why, but every day gossip and future plans were more important. Soon, Kate finds someone more interesting – Francis Dereham. He really loved her and wanted to share his life with her. Kate was not that sure about their future, as she lived only for the moment. So she did not care about what the other girls were saying when she let Dereham and a friend of him into the girl's bedchamber. She even forced Cat to start a relationship with Derehams friend – and Cat did, although she quickly realized that she did not loved him, she only liked him. The affair with Dereham lasted quite long and continued, when the complete Duchess' household moved to London. There Kate met Thomas Culpeper and started fiddling around with him. She asked Cat to take care of Francis Dereham in whom Cat was secretly in love. Cat did and also Francis fall in love with her. Both wanted to marry and made plans for their future. Meanwhile Kate was summoned to court as a maid-in-waiting to queen Anne of Cleves. Soon the king noticed her and after his divorce from Anne he soon made Kate his new queen. Kate was very happy about that, but did not stop her affair with Culpeper, despite Cats warnings. When rumours about Kates childhood affairs occurred and Francis was imprisoned Cat had to do something to save the man she loved. Even if that meant to be disloyal to her old childhood friend Katherine Howard... Not much is known about Katherine Howard life (not even when she was born), besides the facts which led to her execution. That will cause quite some difficulties for an author who like to write a book, even a historical fiction book, about it. But Suzannah Dunn managed it quite well. Critics of the book said it is written in an too modern style but who are we to judge how people 500 years ago really lived? We have our own imagination how life could be at the time, but we cannot proof it. In the book we get to know Katherine Howard as a typical teenager, interested only in clothes, jewellery, dancing and boys. General speaking, that girl just wanted to have fun. She was not thinking about any consequences of her behaviour, she loved life and was pretty naive. Because of her unknown birth date you cannot exactly say how old she was when she became queen, but definitely not older than 19. As a counterpart to Kate Suzannah Dunn chose Catheryn Tilney. Cat is a calm person, always trying to do everything right and had a clear moral attitude. She is also fascinated from Kate, how Kate lived her life for the moment. But she is the only one who sees the danger Kates behaviour will bring with for all of them. And she is the only one who can speak with Kate openly, even when she was the queen of England. But naive Kate did not listen and while reading you could sometimes strangle Kate for putting the lives of her friends at risk just for her own pleasure. And later for getting rid of the accusations. As history showed with not much success. Suzannah Dunn tries to make history alive and she did a good job although she had only a few facts. But it could have been that way, couldn't it? The novel is quite easy to read and although some words used are not very common (for a foreign language reader) any good dictionary will do. Readers interesting in historical fiction books of the Tudor time will find a very good example in this novel. Suzannah Dunn also wrote some more fictional books about that time. For more information visit her website: www.suzannahdunn.co.uk

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