From the New York Times best-selling author of The Last Wife of Henry VIII comes a powerful and moving novel about Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII, who married him only days after the execution of Anne Boleyn and ultimately lost her own life in giving him the son he badly needed to guarantee the Tudor succession.
Born into an ambitious noble family, young Jane Seymour is sent to the court as a maid of honor to Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s aging queen. She is devoted to her mistress and watches with empathy as the calculating Anne Boleyn contrives to supplant her as queen. Anne’s singleminded intriguing threatens all who stand in her way; she does not hesitate to arrange the murder of a woman who knows a secret so dark that, if revealed, would make it impossible for the king to marry Anne. Once Anne becomes queen, no one at court is safe, and Jane herself becomes the victim of Anne’s venomous rage when she suspects Jane has become the object of the king’s lust.
Henry, fearing that Anne’s inability to give him a son is a sign of divine wrath, asks Jane to become his next queen. Deeply reluctant to embark on such a dangerous course, Jane must choose between her heart and her loyalty to the king.
Acclaimed biographer and best-selling novelist Carolly Erickson weaves another of her irresistible historical entertainments about the queen who finally gave Henry VIII his longed-for heir, set against the excitement and danger of the Tudor Court.
©2011 Carolly Erickson (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
The content became more and more outlandish. I have read several of Carolly Erickson's biographies (Mistress Anne, Great Harry, The first Elizabeth, and Bloody Mary) and I had thought this was a biography of Jane Seymour. Instead it was a wild tale with the "popular" names of the times and situations but pure fiction.
The speaker did an admirable job with the material given. The mistake was mine in not realizing what type of book this was or in reading the reviews before I bought it.
The point where I had finally had enough was when Anne Boleyn came down with the sweating sickness. Instead of the historical tale or even a vaguely possible tale, Anne Boleyn was locked in the castle with Katherine of Aragon and her ladies having just been admitted to the locked down castle after Henry VIII left her in a village when he had learned the sweating sickness had broken out. Anne beat on the castle door to be let in and once inside Jane Seymour discovers Anne has the sweating sickness after inspecting Anne's armpits. They contemplate tossing her out a window into the moat (with Anne struggling and screaming to be let go) when Katherine rescues Anne at the last minute and has her placed in a linen closet to recover. Katherine then states that she will nurse her back to health and bring her food if no one else was willing.
Frankly I am tempted to listen to the rest of it just to see how idiotic it can become. Prior to the sweating sickness incident they had Anne pulling down her top in France in competition with her sister Mary to see who could get men to sleep with them faster.
I have never listened to any of Kate Reading's other performances before that I am aware of but she was very pleasant to listen to and made good use of voice and accents for the different characters.
I have studied Tudor history for years and the only redeeming quality this book has is total unpredictability. It seems to hit the highest points in history - Henry VIII is king and he has a first wife named Katheryn and he is interested in Anne Boleyn who is related to the Duke of Norfolk. It also had the name of the gentleman correct who at one point in time was considered a potential prospect for Jane Seymour (plus the other characters did have recognizable names and were in approximately the relationships they should have been). However, other than that it is a wild ride of inaccuracy and speculation filled with intimate details of a lurid type nature (so far though of the PG13 brand when I stopped reading).
I am really shocked that the author who wrote the biographies I have read regarding Tudor times (which seemed to match well with other documentation) could have written a book that has little resemblance to the actual history (or at least currently considered history). It most closely resembles a 99 cent throw away novel written by someone with only the basic knowledge of Tutor history and a vivid puerile imagination.
Allright, I don't know all the truth of the story, no one does. It all happened a long time ago, but we know a lot. This was a pretty well discussed era, even during the events. This book describes a story that is unrecognisable to what really happened, or at least, what historians and other fiction writers have presented. I have read extensively on this era, the history, the religion, and many biographies, but I do not recognize the Jane Seymour, the Anne Boleyn, nor the Henry VIII presented in this book.
The narrator was pretty good, although most of the women sounded alike.
Maybe the book took a turn for the better, but I doubt it. I only got through a couple of disks, and had to stop. I rarely stop before finishing a book. This one was just too bad.
I look forward to reading what others have to say about it.
Reading is the way I stay connected to the past, stimulating my imagination and curiosity; reminding me to keep history alive!
Hearing a woman narrate it, and hearing her emotion in her telling of this story.
Obviously, Jane Seymour!!
I've not heard any other performance by Kate Reading.
Yes, when Jane continued to care for her nephews after their father declared them not his own.
Most descriptions of Jane Seymour that I've read portray her as a mousey, dull, frail woman who had no personality...a drone....But this narrative gave me a different perspective, in that she was shown to be a young woman who was passionate in her beliefs, and was quite intelligent. She knew what she wanted and didn't seem afraid to get it, all the while maintaining a sense of self-respect. She was genuinely an honest woman who made the best of what she faced in a time when women were only bargaining tools in a world of greedy, self-indulgent rich men.
The story over all was good. the Narrator as well. However I was looking for a story about Jane Seymour. More details about her and her life. Instead it was a story told as if Jane was writing it. it focused primarily around Cathrine, and Anne, though told through Jane's perspective. the last two hours of the book were all that was written directly about Jane. Perhaps it is the way it was written, diary style that made if feel less like a story about her and more about her telling the story for Henry's first 2 wives.
I would if they liked history in the court of Henry the Eighth. The book was slow moving and lacked excitement, however I learned alot of new things I didn't know before .
The discription of the childbirth, and how she was allowed to bleed to death and also die from a severe infection.
The preformance as excellent. She was easy to listen to
It did not cause Any strong reactions except sadness when Jane Seymour died
"Good book poor narration"
The book itself was good however the narrator got on my nerves so much could not finish listening to it and bought the book to read myself.
"A 'nice' story"
It wasn't an 'edge of your seat' sort of book, so I don't think I will listen to it again, but it was an interesting idea and well written so I am glad I listened to it once.
The main character and biggest voice in this book was Jane herself, and Kate Reading did a very good job capturing her essence.
I really wanted to read a book about Jane Seymour. She wasn't the most dramatic of Henry VIII's wives and so there are very little historical fiction books based on her. Listening to the book you can kind of see why - she doesn't make a stir or rock the boat, just sits in the background and observes some of the more exciting stories relating to Henry's queens.
From the little there was to work with, Carolly Erickson did a great job. The book was well written and I was interested by her interpretation of Jane's character and life. It was a 'nice' little tale but overall this book is not edge of your seat stuff, more middle of the road. However, it was interesting and performed well and so I am glad I listened to it.
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