Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII

Young and Damned and Fair The Life of Catherine Howard Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII Written with an exciting combination of narrative flair and historical authority this interpretation of the tragic life of Catherine Howard fifth wife of Henry VIII breaks new ground in our underst

  • Title: Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII
  • Author: Gareth Russell
  • ISBN: 9781501108631
  • Page: 298
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Written with an exciting combination of narrative flair and historical authority, this interpretation of the tragic life of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, breaks new ground in our understanding of the very young woman who became queen at a time of unprecedented social and political tension and whose terrible errors in judgment quickly led her to the executioneWritten with an exciting combination of narrative flair and historical authority, this interpretation of the tragic life of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, breaks new ground in our understanding of the very young woman who became queen at a time of unprecedented social and political tension and whose terrible errors in judgment quickly led her to the executioner s block.On the morning of July 28, 1540, as King Henry s VIII s former confidante Thomas Cromwell was being led to his execution, a teenager named Catherine Howard began her reign as queen of a country simmering with rebellion and terrifying uncertainty Sixteen months later, the king s fifth wife would follow her cousin Anne Boleyn to the scaffold, having been convicted of adultery and high treason.The broad outlines of Catherine s career might be familiar, but her story up until now has been incomplete Unlike previous accounts of her life, which portray her as a na ve victim of an ambitious family, this compelling and authoritative biography will shed new light on Catherine Howard s rise and downfall by reexamining her motives and showing her in her context, a milieu that goes beyond her family and the influential men of the court to include the aristocrats and, most critically, the servants who surrounded her and who, in the end, conspired against her By illuminating Catherine s entwined upstairs downstairs worlds as well as societal tensions beyond the palace walls, the author offers a fascinating portrayal of court life in the sixteenth century and a fresh analysis of the forces beyond Catherine s control that led to her execution from diplomatic pressure and international politics to the long festering resentments against the queen s household at court.Including a forgotten text of Catherine s confession in her own words, color illustrations, family tree, map, and extensive notes, Young and Damned and Fair changes our understanding of one of history s most famous women while telling the compelling and very human story of complex individuals attempting to survive in a dangerous age.

    One thought on “Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII”

    1. Of the six wives of Henry VIII, Catherine Howard is usually the least enviable and least admired of the lot. Portrayed by contemporary and modern writers as a vixen, temptress, whore, idiot, pawn, simpleton, innocent and thought of as empty-headed, frivolous, lewd, lascivious, faithless, deceptive, ignorant, only in Gareth Russell's extremely engaging and readable biography do we finally achieve a comprehensive picture of the elusive fifth consort of Henry. Throughout Russell weighs various theo [...]

    2. 3.5 An ominous beginning. A very young Catherine Howard, marries Haney VIII, on the same day his former favorite Cromwell is beheaded. This man child of a king has discarded precious wives like used candy wrappers, and keeps his court in a state of fear. He rewards greatly but punishes in horrific ways. One probably would not be reading this unless they were a Tudor fan or have a interest in this much married King and his unfortunate wives. Catherine Howard was the last to lose her head, but why [...]

    3. I have to admit I never thought I'd want to read another bio of one of Henry VIII's wives again (agh, the Tudors yet again, agh!), and especially not Catherine Howard - I mean, how could there possibly be anything new or interesting to say about a young woman who was dead when she was barely out of her teens? But I've enjoyed reading Gareth Russell's blog and one or two of his previous books, so when I received an advance copy of Young, Damned and Fair (thank you to the publisher!) I decided to [...]

    4. As queen, Anne Boleyn did well by her extended family, capturing a post in Calais for her mother’s brother who was Catherine Howard’s debt-ridden father. Catherine was then sent as a ward to the estate of her step-grandmother to be prepared for court life. By day she learned the art of conversation, music, protocol, obedience and ceremony. Other young wards lived there too in close quarters; their evenings were unsupervised. Catherine was beautiful and popular. It was here, in the care of th [...]

    5. Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII, is generally portrayed as the young, superficial, fluttery, promiscuous, stupid, slut of the six wives. Although her image has been receiving some rehabilitation; it rather continues in this strain. Historian Gareth Russell questions these views and dives into finding out who Catherine truly was as both an individual and public figure in opposition to the frilly girl in, “Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of [...]

    6. This is now my go-to book on Catherine Howard. It is detailed, meticulously researched and well-referenced. It also has the benefit of Gareth's engaging reading style.

    7. Shout out to Simon and Schuster and Gareth Russell for the opportunity to read this book and offer an unbiased review.July 28, 1540, was a momentous day in England-Cromwell was beheaded and Henry VIII married Catherine Howard. She was probably about 18 years old; he was middle aged , obese, and ulcerated. A match made in heaven. Catherine was a grandchild of the Duke of Norfolk and was brought up in the home of her grandmother, the Dowager Duchess, a grossly negligent chaperone. She was reared w [...]

    8. Note-Perfect Since that frigid day in 1542 when Queen Katherine Howard ascended the scaffold to her death, the life of this tragic figure has been poked and prodded, twisted and stretched to fit into whatever narrative is in vogue. Was she naïve or just stupid? A tart or a victim? Desperate or arrogant? We may not ever know the truth of what happened between the queen and her husband's gentleman or her motivations for the relationship, but Gareth Russell's finely drawn portrait of this oft misu [...]

    9. Another so so so so good book I finished within a couple days. Again, I am faced with the challenge of writing a proper review, seeing as how I barely stopped to take any notes during the course of my reading. THAT should definitely tell you something at least. Really fantastic look at Catherine Howard as a person, not just the flighty, moron she is so often portrayed as. Full review to come.

    10. Excellent biography of Henry VIII's fifth wife Catherine Howard.It is even handed, extremely well written, and leavened with a dry wit.I learned a few things I didn't know about Catherine, her life and her death.Highly recommended to all those interested in the Tudor period, and the personalities of the Henrician court.

    11. A truly terrific reexamination of the life of this misunderstood and poorly perceived Queen.Catherine Howard is without doubt the most poorly viewed of all Henry VIII's wives. often viewed as a slut, nymphomaniac, airhead, even an 'empty headed wanton' as one historian has called her.In this groundbreaking biography, Catherine Howard is completely transformed from the way she is unfairly viewed. Instead, thanks to Gareth Russell's extensive and thorough research, we see a young woman who cared d [...]

    12. I enjoy English history a great deal. It can be dry and boring in certain respects but for the most part it is fully illustrative of every vice and character flaw known to human nature. There is murder in every imaginable form, sex, intrigue, comedy, disloyalty, cowardice, and in virtually every generation. The only other history that compares is that of the Catholic Church which I also enjoy reading. In this book we have the brief history of Catherine Howard the fifth of Henry VIII's six wives [...]

    13. A bit slow at times - too many details regarding barely related figures for my liking - but nevertheless, a great, thorough biography, showing Catherine in a way more compassionate light than most accounts do. Let the quotes speak for themselves:"It has been argued here that Catherine probably did not commit physical adultery with Thomas Culpepper and that her denials of it were probably truthful, but that adultery would likely have taken place had their liaison not been discovered in November 1 [...]

    14. The author has certainly done extensive and through research for this book. The book is well written for an academic historical reader. It is interesting, but it took me awhile to read as I could not keep all the participants, their titles, and places of origin straight if I ingested too much at one time.I received this book as an ARC from Net Galley and Simon and Schuster. This review is my honest opinion.

    15. On the morning of July 28, 1540, a teenager named Catherine Howard began her reign as queen of an England, simmering with rebellion and terrifying uncertainty. Sixteen months later, she would follow her cousin Anne Boleyn to the scaffold, having been convicted of adultery and high treason, but her story up until now has been incomplete Unlike previous biographies, which portray her as a naive victim of an ambitious family, Gareth Russell’s “excellent account puts the ignored Catherine in her [...]

    16. While I have read multiple Tudor novels, I don't really have any nitty-gritty knowledge - just more of the general facts about Henry's reign until the death of Jane Seymour. The only thing I know about Catherine Howard is that she was queen for a very short time, and that she's usually portrayed as an air-head and a ninny.Despite Catherine's short reign and life, Russell's biography at ~500ish pages seems intimidating. It's anything but. Russell's writing is highly readable, and though I'm not w [...]

    17. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Gareth Russell at an authors event in London so when I found out that he was bringing a book out on Catherine Howard I knew I had to pick it up. And let me tell you – I am SO glad that I did.It’s not often these days that I will sit down and read much in the way of Tudor history, despite the fact that I have plenty of Tudor books sat on my shelf. I’ll stick my nose in every now and then, sure, but every so often a book pops up that makes me remember [...]

    18. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Rating: 3.5 starsDivorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. Everyone knows the rhyme that tells the fates of Henry VIII's six wives. However, in his book, Russell takes a close look at the life of wife number 5 (and beheaded wife number 2): Catherine Howard.Russell offers a fresh look into the life of Catherine Howard as he retells her sad, short life. He offers a lot of support for his point and gracefully refutes [...]

    19. Catherine Howard is often dismissed among Henry VIII's wives as either a silly woman who brought troubles upon herself or as a helpless pawn of the powerful Howard family who used the lovely Catherine to seduce the king away from Anne of Cleves and attempt to regain the status lost by their relationship to Anne Boleyn. But, Russell uses careful study of primary sources to show that Catherine was not completely unaware of politics. But, neither was she, as a young woman of the aristocratic class, [...]

    20. WHAT AN EXHAUSTIVE BIOGRAPHY. Almost certainly younger than 20 when she was executed, Katherine Howard often languishes beside Henry VIII's other five wives precisely because it's so difficult to find information about her. Not any more.I waffled a little on my rating because this book is 60% about Henry and what a petulant child he is (when he's not being a maniac), but this is still the most comprehensive biography I've read about Katherine. Russell dismantles apocryphal records, uses contempo [...]

    21. I graciously received "Young and Damned and Fair" from Simon & Schuster in an exchange for an honest review!For centuries, the six wives of Henry VIII have been the cause of obsessive speculation and endless research. These six women, Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr have played the parts that history has assigned them. It is no mystery that Henry’s historians and contemporary peers were the ones that recorded the facts of [...]

    22. Catherine Howard was the fifth wife of Henry VIII, she was a teenager whereas Henry was middle-aged, corpulent and tyrannical. After the death of Jane Seymour, Henry needed to make a political marriage and his advisor Cromwell settled on Anne of Clever. However Henry did not find her attractive and divorce was quickly sorted. Henry looked for an attractive bride next and the flirtatious young Catherine fitted the bill. Although naive, Catherine had a history, she had been involved in a relations [...]

    23. Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII by Gareth Russell is a worthwhile addition to your Tudor history bookshelf.Russell digs further into Catherine’s short and tragic life while weaving in everyday details of Tudor England inside and outside the royal court.The author gives some very persuasive arguments about his findings regarding some details of Catherine’s life that I’d never read previously. Russell’s writing style keeps things enter [...]

    24. 3.5. The author disagreed with several of the common theories of Catherine Howard's story that I'd heard before, but he explained why he felt the way he did, and supported his arguments with footnotes. I appreciated the different perspective. There was a little more discussion of whether various portraits were of Catherine or not than I liked, but I can see why it would be interesting to other people. Overall I thought it was written in an engaging style and I'm glad I read it.

    25. This is probably the fairest biography of Catherine I've read. Author does a great job of poking holes in the common misconceptions about Catherine.

    26. Highly intelligent, scholarly book which gives vivid insight into the Henrician court and life surrounding it. Recommended for anyone with an interest in these times and/or the historical role of women, particularly in the English ruling class.

    27. This book of Katherine Howard was well researched. It dispels many misconceptions of Katherine that some authors have led the general populace to accept as fact. While Katherine was young and immature to handle the personality of Henry VIII and the intrigues of the court she was not frivolous and un-royal. She may have made impulsive decisions of any 19 year old but nothing that should have caused her to lose her life for. The author provides facts and does not dispense speculation for what he c [...]

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