Anna of Cleves with Heather Dairsie on Clubhouse

Heather Darsie works as an attorney in the US. Along with her Juris Doctorate she has a BA in German. She is currently studying for her Master’s in Early Modern History through Northern Illinois University. She runs the website MaidensAndManuscripts.com. Heather has been researching the Von der Mark (Cleves) Dynasty for roughly ten years.

Using German sources for her first book, Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s Beloved Sister (Amberley 2019) looked into the political reasons for Anna’s marriage and swift annulment with Henry VIII of England.

Her second book, Children of the House of Cleves: Anna and Her Siblings (Amberley 2022) looks at the lives of Anna’s sisters and brother, and the impact the Von der Mark Dynasty had during the 16th century.

You can find Heather on Twitter under @HRDarsieHistory, Instagram under @HDarsieHistory, and on Facebook under, “Heather R Darsie, Historian”. She is most active on Twitter and Instagram. You can also visit Heather’s website and connect with her there: https://maidensandmanuscripts.com/

About Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s Beloved Sister:

Anna was the ‘last woman standing’ of Henry VIII’s wives ‒ and the only one buried in Westminster Abbey. How did she manage it?

Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s ‘Beloved Sister’ looks at Anna from a new perspective, as a woman from the Holy Roman Empire and not as a woman living almost by accident in England. Starting with what Anna’s life as a child and young woman was like, the author describes the climate of the Cleves court, and the achievements of Anna’s siblings. It looks at the political issues on the Continent that transformed Anna’s native land of Cleves ‒ notably the court of Anna’s brother-in-law, and its influence on Lutheranism ‒ and Anna’s blighted marriage. Finally, Heather Darsie explores ways in which Anna influenced her step-daughters Elizabeth and Mary, and the evidence of their good relationships with her.

Was the Duchess Anna in fact a political refugee, supported by Henry VIII? Was she a role model for Elizabeth I? Why was the marriage doomed from the outset? By returning to the primary sources and visiting archives and museums all over Europe (the author is fluent in German, and proficient in French and Spanish) a very different figure emerges to the ‘Flanders Mare’.

US

UK

The Boy King

King Edward VI

by Jessica Brain

One of the most famous Kings of England, perhaps one that epitomises the Tudor period the most, was Henry VIII. His reign was dominated by the Reformation which shared the spotlight with his tumultuous and well-documented private life.

His son and heir, young Edward, son of Jane Seymour looked set to be inheriting a disjointed and divided legacy from his father. King Henry VIII knew that before his death he needed to unite the different factions that were jostling for power, so that Edward’s inheritance would not be the continued infighting and factionalism that had dominated his reign.

King Henry VIII

Unfortunately, his pleas for unity were too late and on 28th January 1547 he passed away.

With Henry VIII’s infamous reign now over, Edward at the age of nine was now the new king.

Whilst Henry VIII was laid to rest at Windsor alongside Edward’s long since deceased mother, Jane Seymour, four days later Edward became Edward VI in a coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

The Archbishop Thomas Cranmer presided over the ceremony declaring Edward the leader of the Church of England, destined to continue the difficult and complex process of the Reformation.

With Edward now formally king however, his youth would mean that power would reside in a council that would, until he came of age, make the decisions.

Edward VI

Only a few months earlier, whilst Henry VIII was on his deathbed, a new will and testament had been produced, however such a document resulted in controversy and speculation as Henry’s signature was the work of a scribe rather than his own.

In this context the will would be easy to contest and remain under scrutiny as the men gathering around Henry saw fit to control the new young monarch Edward.

One of the principal characters who would rise to the occasion was Edward’s own uncle, Edward Seymour, the self-styled Duke of Somerset who would also serve as the Lord Protector until Edward was older.

Such an arrangement however, had not been agreed by Henry, who believed that a Protector held too much power and instead arranged for a “Council of Regency” to be appointed. Nevertheless, only days after Henry’s death, Edward Seymour was able to seize power, with thirteen out of the sixteen executors agreeing to his role as Protector for Edward VI.

Edward Seymour’s power grab was successful, his popularity and previous military successes held him in good stead and by March 1547, he had obtained letters patent from Edward VI giving him the right to appoint members to the Privy Council, a monarchical right which essentially gave him power.

With the power behind the throne held by Edward Seymour, what could be said of the figurehead, nine year old Edward?

Henry VIII, Jane Seymour (posthumous) and Edward

Born on 12th October 1537, he was the only legitimate son of Henry VIII, born to his third wife, Jane Seymour who sadly died only a few days after his birth.

Without his mother, he was placed in the care of Lady Margaret Bryan, whilst Henry doted on and invested in securing the future of his son and heir.

Edward was given comfort, a good education and luxury, trained in typical medieval kingship skills such as riding and fencing. He was also given a well-rounded education, learning both Latin and Greek by the age of five.

In terms of his personal relationships, Edward had become close to Henry VIII’s wife Catherine Parr and was influenced by her Protestant ideals. Meanwhile, he had grown close to his sisters, both Elizabeth and Mary, although Mary’s Catholicism would bring distance to their relationship later.

King Henry VIII, his children Edward, Mary and Elizabeth, and his jester Will Somers

The religious divide between Catholicism and Protestantism would permeate Edward’s short six year reign as despite his father’s break from Rome residual elements of Catholic worship still existed whilst the new Protestant doctrine was introduced.

Nevertheless, Edward was a devout Protestant and embraced it wholeheartedly.

Aside from the Reformation, Edward found his reign marred by continued conflict with both Scotland and France as well as economic issues.

Under the Lord Protector, the war which had pervaded Henry VIII’s reign would look set to continue, with the principal aim of implementing the Treaty of Greenwich which had been signed in 1543 with two main goals, establishing peace between Scotland and England as well as securing the marriage of Edward VI and Mary, Queen of Scots.

At the Battle of Pinkie in September 1547, held on the banks of the River Esk, the English forces would secure a blinding victory against the Scottish. It would be the last pitched battle between the two before the Union and became well-known thanks to an eyewitness account that was published.

Edward Seymour, Lord Protector

The defeat for the Scots became known as “Black Saturday” and resulted in the young Queen Mary being smuggled out of the country. She would be betrothed to the Dauphin of France. Edward Seymour saw fit to occupy large parts of Scotland.

His choices however would prove to be detrimental to the cause, as such an occupation weighed heavily on the Treasury finances. Moreover, such a victory ultimately drove the Scottish closer to England’s other enemy, France, and the next summer the French king, in support of Scotland sent around 6,000 troops and declared war on England.

Seymour’s foreign policy was close to collapsing, bringing unity and a sense of purpose to England’s enemies as well as draining the Treasury.

Meanwhile, another central goal during Edward VI’s time as monarch was the establishment and implementation of the Protestant church. This was pursued with a rigour and voracity by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer.

Cranmer’s Protestant ambitions were really beginning to take shape and by July 1547, established forms of Catholic worship were banned.

The enforced iconoclasm of the period resulted in a sweeping prohibition of typical Catholic idolatry such as bell ringing, stained glass windows, painting and decoration. Under the Act of Uniformity, these measures were legally enforceable and marked a swift and decisive move towards Protestantism.

Thomas Cranmer

Whilst England remained in a state of religious transition, social unrest began to breed, particularly with the publication of Cranmer’s ‘Book of Common Prayer’ which resulted in an uprising in the West Country. The Catholic defence even led to the city of Exeter being besieged whilst across the country in East Anglia, more social drama was unfolding in the form of land enclosures.

This was the beginning of the end for Edward Seymour, with peasants rising up in defiance of their landowners, resulting in the Kett’s Rebellion of 1549, whereby a group of rebels amounting to almost 20,000 stormed the city of Norwich.

Later that year, Somerset was visibly losing support from the council. Religious controversy, economic weakness and social discontent would ultimately bring an end to Edward Seymour’s autocratic governance.

In October 1549 a coup was initiated by John Dudley, the 2nd Earl of Warwick which resulted in the successful expulsion of Seymour from office.

With Seymour out of the way, Dudley now declared himself the Lord President of the Council and by the beginning of 1550 was the new man in central authority. Dudley, with a new title of the Duke of Northumberland dealt with the grievances spilling over from Seymour’s time, dealing with the conflicts with Scotland and France.

Edward VI

Meanwhile, what could be said of young King Edward VI?

By this point he was now fourteen years of age and showing clear signs of rapidly declining health. With no heirs and no prospect of him being able to produce heirs, his successor was destined to be his sister Mary.

There of course was only one slight problem with such a prospect: she was a devout Catholic.

Suddenly, a chaotic scene presented itself at the prospect of newly reformed England having all of its policies reversed by a Catholic Queen.

Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland realised that simply disinheriting her on the grounds of illegitimacy would also result in Elizabeth facing the same fate although she was Protestant.

Instead Dudley made alternative arrangements in the form of Lady Jane Grey, the 15-year-old granddaughter of Henry VII’s daughter Mary. In a move of ever-increasing political ambition, he made sure to arrange an advantageous marriage for his son, Guildford Dudley who was to be married to Lady Jane, the future queen.

Lady Jane Grey

Edward VI was thus consulted on this new plan which he agreed to, naming Lady Jane Grey as his successor in a document called “My devise for the Succession”.

After some initial controversy, the document was signed by several members and passed on to parliament.

Edward in the meantime was deteriorating rapidly, summoning his sister Mary before he died. Nevertheless, Mary, sensing that this was a trap, chose to travel to her estates in East Anglia.

On 6th July 1553, at the age of fifteen King Edward VI died, leaving Lady Jane as his successor, a fate that would see her reign last for just nine days.

Edward VI, the boy king, a monarch with a famous and imposing father, was never able to attain real power as king. His reign was dominated by others, symptomatic of the power-plays and infighting dominating the court. Edward VI was a figurehead, nothing more, in a time of great change.

Published courtesy of Historic UK. Jessica Brain is a freelance writer specialising in history. Based in Kent and a lover of all things historical.

Kathryn Howard

Late November 1541 was a traumatic and unbearable time for Henry VIII’s fifth queen, Kathryn Howard. This is vividly brought to life in Alison Weir’s book The Tainted Queen – the American title is The Scandalous Queen

It’s said that when she was arrested at Hampton Court Palace, she broke free from the guards and ran to the doors of the Chapel Royal, where she believed Henry was at prayer.

Enjoy this little video of Siobhan Clarke, Guide Lecturer at Historic Royal Palaces/ AWT, a part of which recreates Catherine’s flight down the gallery.

The History Guides
Share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. www.youtube.com

Purchase by clicking on the following books:

Love Letters

Letters written to Anne Boleyn by Henry VIII

As I work on my upcoming fiction series which is a modern day retelling of the love story of Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn, with a touch of magic, I want to get insight into Henry before he became the monster who executed his own great love. While researching, I’ve found numerous websites detailing ‘Henry’s First Letter’ yet they were all different missives. I’ve reached out for more clarification. As of this writing one Tudor expert has responded and says the order of the letters is debated. So, I’ll start with the first letter which I found in a book that is based on the letters as released in a volume which was published by Oxford in the 1700s.

If anyone can offer insight as to the chronological release of these tomes, that would be greatly appreciated. Meanwhile, enjoy Letter 1.

Look for my first story The Beckoning, to be released in 2021. 

On turning over in my mind the contents of your last letters, I have put myself into great agony, not knowing how to interpret them, whether to my disadvantage, as you show in some places, or to my advantage, as I understand them in some others, beseeching you earnestly to let me know expressly your whole mind as to the love between us two. It is absolutely necessary for me to obtain this answer, having been for above a whole year stricken with the dart of love, and not yet sure whether I shall fail of finding a place in your heart and affection, which last point has prevented me for some time past from calling you my mistress; because, if you only love me with an ordinary love, that name is not suitable for you, because it denotes a singular love, which is far from common. But if you please to do the office of a true loyal mistress and friend, and to give up yourself body and heart to me, who will be, and have been, your most loyal servant, (if your rigour does not forbid me) I promise you that not only the name shall be given you, but also that I will take you for my only mistress, casting off all others besides you out of my thoughts and affections, and serve you only. I beseech you to give an entire answer to this my rude letter, that I may know on what and how far I may depend. And if it does not please you to answer me in writing, appoint some place where I may have it by word of mouth, and I will go thither with all my heart. No more, for fear of tiring you. Written by the hand of him who would willingly remain yours,

H. R.

Katheryn Howard, The Scandalous Queen

KH2

Katheryn Howard, The Scandalous Queen: Review by Samantha Yorke

From the publisher: Bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir tells the tragic story of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, a nineteen-year-old beauty with a hidden past, in this fifth novel in the sweeping Six Tudor Queens series.

In the spring of 1540, Henry VIII, desperate to be rid of his queen, Anna of Kleve, first sets eyes on the enchanting Katheryn Howard. Although the king is now an ailing forty-nine-year-old measuring fifty-four inches around his waist, his amorous gaze lights upon the pretty teenager. Seated near him intentionally by her ambitious Catholic family, Katheryn readily succumbs to the courtship.

Henry is besotted with his bride. He tells the world she is a rose without a thorn, and extols her beauty and her virtue. Katherine delights in the pleasures of being queen and the power she has to do good to others. She comes to love the ailing, obese king and tolerate his nightly attentions. If she can bear him a son, her triumph will be complete. But Katheryn has a past of which Henry knows nothing, and which comes back increasingly to haunt her–even as she courts danger yet again.

*****

There can be little doubt that Alison Weir has made an indelible mark on the public’s fascination with Tudor History. I was hesitant to take this ARC copy at first because I generally find the author’s fiction to be difficult to read. However, there are many good points to be taken from this fictional story of Katheryn Howard.

The book begins are the death of Katheryn Howard’s mother. From there we are taken on the journey of her short, tragic life. Ms. Weir shows us a young girl who is overlooked and passed first from relative to relative, then from man to man, all the while she merely yearns for a home and a place to be loved and belong.

She catches the eye of King Henry VIII. The reader will feel the anxiety that the young queen experiences, afraid that her past lovers will come to light. We share her joy as the King spoils her and she finally appears to delight in being cherished and adored.

Then, just as quickly as she ascended, Katheryn Howard is doomed by the shadows and whispers of her past. Weir vividly paints a sympathetic, doomed young girl trapped and caged in the trappings that she has grown to love as she finally felt secure in the world the King created for her.

Weaving a novel length story about a life that we know so little takes a great amount of skill and talent.

This book is not as long as most of Ms. Weir’s fiction, which will be a bonus for some readers who may find her rambling, extensive stories tedious. The book opens with brief family trees of the Tudors, Howards, Culpepers, and Derehams-which is impressive. Her devoted following will love this book, and I believe she will garner new appreciation for the sheer volume of research she did on the life and story of this poor pawn in the machinations of a tyrannical king. This is also an ideal book to get lost in for a few days. Due to these factors, I’m giving the book four stars.

*****

Special thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair review. Release date is May 12, 2020.

You may purchase the book here.

KH

Shadow of Persephone: The Story of Catherine Howard

February 1542
A young woman awaits her execution in the Tower of London, sent to death on the orders of her husband, Henry VIII.

Daughter of the nobility, cousin to a fallen Queen, Catherine Howard rose from the cluttered ranks of courtiers at the court of Henry VIII to become the King’s fifth wife. But hers is a tale that starts long before the crown was placed on her head. A tale of tragedy and challenges, predators and prey; the story of a young girl growing up in a perilous time, facing dangers untold.

The fifth wife of Henry VIII would end her life on the block, like her cousin Anne Boleyn… But where did her story begin?

Shadow of Persephone is Book One in the series The Story of Catherine Howard, by G. Lawrence (Gemma Lawrence)

Purchase here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Queen Jane Seymour and St George’s Chapel

On October 12, 1537, King Henry VIII’s wife Jane Seymour gave birth at Hampton Court Palace to his only surviving legitimate son, the future King Edward VI. The labor had been exhausting, but Jane appeared to recover and wrote a letter to Thomas Cromwell announcing the birth of Henry’s heir. After a few day it was apparent that Jane was seriously ill. There are theories on the exact cause of her death but what we do know is that she died on October 24.

This week in 1537 saw the burial of the beloved third wife of Henry VIII.

After the beheading of Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII and Jane were married quickly. The wedding ceremony took place only eleven days after the execution, with Jane being fitted for her wedding dress as Anne was beheaded.

Yet, as brief as her reign and marriage was, Jane Seymour did something that none of Henry’s previous wives had been unable to do-she gave him the long awaited legitimate male heir he wanted.

Magical Windsor Castle

Henry was devastated by her death and withdrew to Windsor. By November 1, Henry decided Jane would be buried there, in St. George’s Chapel. The court was ordered into mourning with appropriate clothes issued from the Great Wardrobe.

After choosing the date and place of the burial, Henry delegated the plans for the funeral to the Duke of Norfolk and Sir William Paulet.

Jane was the first Queen of England to die in good estate since King Henry’s mother Elizabeth of York in 1503. Norfolk and Paulet followed the protocol set forth in her funeral. As per custom, the King did not attend the funeral.

The ceremony at St. George’s Chapel saw the Queen laid to rest with full honors beneath the Quire of the Garter Chapel.

After the coffin was lowered, the Queen’s officers broke their staves over the grave, symbolizing the end of their service to her. All the while the bells of London tolled for six hours.

Even today, on the roof of the chapel, sitting as quiet sentinels are heraldic statues known as the Queen’s Beasts. Among them are the lion of England, the red dragon of Wales, the falcon of York, and the panther of Jane Seymour.


British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk
Henry VIII: The King and His Court,  Alison Weir   
Jane Seymour: Henry VIII’s True Love, Elizabeth Norton
The Six Wives of Henry VIII,  Antonia Fraser 
The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Alison Weir  

Windsor Castle, Royal Collection Trust https://www.rct.uk/visit/windsor-castle

Photos by the author from an October 2019 visit and shared by written permission of the Chapter Office, St. George’s Chapel.

Katheryn Howard, The Play

Katheryn Howard

★★★★ “Seen through fresh eyes, and particularly from a 21st century perspective, (Katheryn’s) story is not just tragic but horrifying…A strong debut production… historically interesting and emotionally impactful” -The Blog of Theatre Things

Producer: Goosebite Theatre

Playwright: Catherine Hiscock

Director: Alex Pearson 

Chorus Director: Emmanuela Lia

Casting Director: Natalie Harper 

★★★★ “Contemporary and heartbreaking….Catherine Hiscock gives an outstanding performance as Katheryn-London Pub Theatres 

An all-female cast retells the story of seventeen year old Katheryn Howard, fifth wife of King Henry VIII, in this poignant examination of power, truth and blame 

A young woman on trial 

Locked within her rooms, whilst men investigate their conduct, the young queen and her ladies await the interrogations they know will come. 

Set against the shallow and oppressive world of the Tudor court and influenced by classical Greek drama, Katheryn Howard is a new play that is both contemporary and hauntingly relevant. 

There are men talking about me now 

Talking about you but mainly about me 

Written by Catherine Hiscock, Katheryn Howard was expanded from a short monologue that first appeared at Glass Splinters-a writing night at The Pleasance Theatre, dedicated to ‘untold stories’ of women from history. Developed into a full length production, the play enjoyed sell out shows at The Brockley Jack Theatre. The show is under the direction of Alex Pearson with movement direction by Emmanuela Lia. 

Cast:

Catherine Hiscock ~ Katheryn Howard, Natalie Harper ~ Jane Boleyn, Emmanuela Lia ~ Kit Tilney, Francesca Anderson ~ Joan Bulmer, Srabani Sen ~ Isabelle Baynton 

Catherine Hisbock as Katheryn Howard

“★★★★ “An intriguing assertion of Howard’s version of events -London Theatre1

Wednesday, November 6th will be the anniversary of the day King’s men burst into Katheryn’s rooms at and informed her and her ladies that they were under house arrest. On this night the theatre will be holding an informal social. This will include a free drink from the bar and a chance to meet the cast and creatives with any questions. They will be raising money for the charity Tender that works with young people using drama and arts to end sexual abuse and domestic violence.

The all-female cast of Katheryn Howard

Theatre info here:

The Hope Theatre
207 Upper Street
London N1 1RL
29 October – 16 November
Tuesday – Saturday at 7.45pm
Tickets £15 & £12

www.thehopetheatre.com 

Follow on Social Media at these sites: 

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Goosebite Theatre

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For more information, interviews and press bookings please contact:

Goosebite Theatre Company

Telephone: 07592459403

Email: goosebitetc@gmail.com

PRESS NIGHT:

7.45pm Friday 1st November


A Day at Hampton Court Palace

Today we had the honor of taking a private tour of Hampton Court Palace. My husband & I have been before but this was our first trip together. It’s been a magical day. Here are a few highlights.

Entry to the Tudor kitchens via the Grace & Favour apartments
Anne Boleyn’s Gateway, Tudor brickwork & ceiling
I’m so in love with this clock! ❤️
The color, symbolism & pageantry of Henry VIII
Ceiling medallions of the Tudor Rose & Royal insignias from the Henrican Court
Jane Seymour’s Phoenix Rising crest
Victorian reproductions of Tudor stained glass
The Tudor’s Great Hall & tapestries
Henry & Anne inscription
Commerative memorial to Anne Boleyn outside the Queen’s Quarters
The turret room in the Anne Boleyn quarters where she prayed for days knowing that Henry had grown tired of her.
Jane Seymour gave birth to Edward VI in the rooms on the top floor.
Selfie in the William & Mary wing of the palace.
The immortal Rainbow Portrait of Elizabeth I
Close-up of the Bacton Altar Cloth. The fabric appears to be similar, possibly the same, as the bodice of the dress worn in the Rainbow Portrait.
Henry VIII’s apartments

What a dream come true!

Janet Wertman

By day, Janet Wertman is a freelance grantwriter for impactful nonprofits. By night, she indulges a passion for the Tudor era she has harbored since she was *cough* eight years old and her parents let her stay up late to watch The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R.  Janet Wertman is the author of Jane the Quene and The Path to Somerset – the first two books in her Seymour Saga trilogy (the third book, The Boy King, is expected in 2020). She also runs a blog (www.janetwertman.com) where she posts interesting takes on the Tudors, and hosts a radio show, Author Notes, on the Tudor Radio Network where she talks about writing the Tudors and everything that entails.

Jane the Quene

England. 1535. Jane Seymour is 27 years old and increasingly desperate for the marriage that will provide her a real place in the world. Meanwhile, King Henry VIII is 45 and increasingly desperate for a son that will secure his legacy. He left his first wife, a princess of Spain, changing his country’s religion in the process, to marry Anne Boleyn — but she too has failed to deliver the promised heir. As Henry begins to fear he is cursed, Jane’s honesty and innocence conjure redemption.

Thomas Cromwell, an ambitious clerk with his own agenda, sees in Jane the perfect vehicle to calm the political unrest that threatens the country. He engineers the plot that ends with Jane becoming the King’s third wife. 

Jane believes herself virtuous and her actions justified, but early miscarriages shake her confidence and hopes. How can a woman who has done nothing wrong herself deal with the guilt of how she unseated her predecessor?

Reviews:

Finalist, 2016 Novel of the Year – Underground Book Reviews

Semi-Finalist, 2017 M.M. Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction

Readers’ Award, Chill With a Book; Honoree, BRAG Medallion


“Wertman describes the pageantry, gowns, and architecture of pre-Elizabethan England; presents an ample cast of nobles and ladies-in-waiting; and exposes the tense religious turmoil and malicious political machinations of the Tudor court, led by dastardly Thomas Cromwell.This enticing, historically accurate story lends immediacy to the events.”  – Publishers Weekly 
“A touching and insightful reading experience.” – Historical Novel Society

“[A] thoughtful depiction of Jane Seymour…gives readers a compelling story.” – Nancy Bilyeau, Author of The Crown, The Chalice and The Tapestry, an award-winning Tudor-mystery trilogy published by Simon and Schuster.

The Path to Somerset

After the tragic romance of Jane the Quene, the second book in The Seymour Saga trilogy, The Path to Somerset, takes a dark turn through an era in which King Henry VIII descends into cynicism, suspicion and fits of madness – and in which mistakes mean death. 

Edward Seymour’s future is uncertain. Although his sister Jane bore Henry the son he’d sought for twenty years, when she died in childbirth, Henry’s good nature died with her. Now the fiercely ambitious Edward must carve a difficult path through Henry’s shifting principles and wives. Challenged at every turn by his nemesis, Bishop Stephen Gardiner, Edward must embrace ruthlessness in order to safeguard not only his own future but England’s as well. 

This is the account of Henry’s tumultuous reign, as seen through the eyes of two opponents whose fierce disagreements over religion and common decency fuel epic struggles for the soul of the nation. And for power. 

Reviews:

“The way this story is told truly makes history come to life” and “I highly recommend ordering this book!”  – Tudors Dynasty

“The novel’s sweeping historic detail and bewitching blend of rivalries and romances will dazzle devotees of Tudor England.” – Publishers Weekly


“Author Wertman masterfully weaves the political intrigue of the Tudor court…The narrative is engaging, and characters come to life on the page…Highly recommended.”
Historical Novel Society

“Machinations behind the scenes are shown here with some exceptional dialogue. Wertman brings these people to life.” – The Freelance History Writer Notes and Reviews


“Janet Wertman does a fantastic job navigating this complex political landscape to show Edward Seymour in a new light. This may be my first time reading a book by Janet Wertman, but this will not be my last.” – Adventures of a Tudor Nerd

Amazon purchase links:

Jane the Quene

The Path to Somerset

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