Read The Rose Without a Thorn by Jean Plaidy Online


From the pen of legendary historical novelist Jean Plaidy comes an unforgettable true story of royalty, passion, and innocence lost.Born into an impoverished branch of the noble Howard family, young Katherine is plucked from her home to live with her grandmother, the Duchess of Norfolk. The innocent girl quickly learns that her grandmother's puritanism is not shared by KatFrom the pen of legendary historical novelist Jean Plaidy comes an unforgettable true story of royalty, passion, and innocence lost.Born into an impoverished branch of the noble Howard family, young Katherine is plucked from her home to live with her grandmother, the Duchess of Norfolk. The innocent girl quickly learns that her grandmother's puritanism is not shared by Katherine's free-spirited cousins, with whom she lives. Beautiful and impressionable, Katherine becomes involved in two ill-fated love affairs before her sixteenth birthday. Like her cousin Anne Boleyn, she leaves her grandmother's home to become a lady-in-waiting at the court of Henry VIII. The royal palaces are exciting to a young girl from the country, and Katherine's duties there allow her to be near her handsome cousin, Thomas Culpepper, whom she has loved since childhood.But when Katherine catches the eye of the aging and unhappily married king, she is forced to abandon her plans for a life with Thomas and marry King Henry. Overwhelmed by the change in her fortunes, bewildered and flattered by the adoration of her husband, Katherine is dazzled by the royal life. But her bliss is short-lived as rumors of her wayward past come back to haunt her, and Katherine's destiny takes another, deadly, turn....

Title : The Rose Without a Thorn
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780609810170
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Rose Without a Thorn Reviews

  • Hannah
    2019-06-03 05:56

    Katherine Howard has always been my least favorite of the wives of Henry VIII. She lacked the royal dignity of Katherine of Aragon, the wit and sophistication of her cousin Anne Boleyn, the quiet calculation of Jane Seymour, the sweet (yet canny) acceptance of Anne of Cleves, and the mature calm of Katherine Parr. Katherine Howard was little more then a uneducated, teenage nitwit. The fact that she was uneducated was completely out of her control. The fact of her youth is more an indictment against fat, salacious King Henry then herself. However, the fact of her nit-wittery can be firmly laid at the foot of her royal bed, beside the equally stupid figure of Thomas Culpepper. Were these two people on crack? Who the heck thought that carrying on an adulterous sexual affair under the nose of their rampantly paranoid sovereign was a smart move? Does this monumental lapse of self-control (not to mention good judgement) completely cement the fact that sex IS the most driving force in the universe?I've read several fiction and non-fiction accounts of Katherine Howard's rise and fall, and have always been glad to come to the end of her wretched story. This royal marriage always feels more like a Tudor-era Entertainment Tonight special on the nuptual exploits of Kim Kardashian - all flash, no substance.So when I give a fictionalized book about Katherine Howard 4 stars, you have to know that it takes one heck of a writer to render the fifth Tudor wife worthy of any sympathy and understanding that I possess. Jean Plaidy is that writer, and her tale of Katherine's sorry excuse for royal adultery makes me a bit verklempt by the time she has her pretty little empty head removed from her body. Under Plaidy's pen, Katherine is a girl more wronged against then in the wrong. She has a type of emotional purity that makes you want to put your arms around her, go buy a gallon of ice-cream with two spoons and find a quiet place to sit and have a nice long girl-chat. You sympathize with her struggles as she realizes that she's not an intellectual powerhouse - only a warm, beautiful girl who exudes a sexual charm she can't control. In the end, Katherine knows her faults, accepts them, but still stays true to her loving nature. And in the end, you as the reader can't help but love her, too.The real Katherine Howard will never be known to anyone; how she acted, what she thought about, why she did the things she did are forever lost. But if you want to read a good story about how Katherine Howard could have been, and want a story that shows this fifth wife with some redemptive qualities, this is the book for you.

  • chucklesthescot
    2019-05-21 06:54

    In the books about Katherine Howard she is either portrayed as the sluttish Queen who cheated on Henry VIII or a young and hapless girl who was never taught proper behaviour and ended up dead at her family's ambition. The author casts Katherine in this book as a bit silly, over enthusiastic with her feelings and a victim.I have always liked Jean Plaidy as a Tudor writer because she really brings the characters to life and takes time to develop them through the story. This book is the same. Katherine is sent away from her family to live a better life with the Dowager Duchess who barely remembers she is there and has little time to bother about her education. She is much more focused on Anne Boleyn's rise and fall from power. She knows nothing of what is happening at Court, has not had the same education or life experience as the other girls and feels stupid all the time. It is easy to see how she fell for the flattery of Henry Mannox. She feels betrayed and used when she discovers what his intentions really are-and you feel as if you are watching a sad puppy as poor Katherine vents her feelings.Her misery leaves her ripe for the seduction of Francis Dereham and her lack of guile means she tells everything to the other girls, including the decision to marry. The portrayal of Francis in this book is not the boastful braggart who gets Katherine into trouble at Court, but instead is a man who loves her deeply and will do nothing to betray her or cause her trouble. I liked seeing a different version of him. Of course the relationship is broken up and the Duchess will hear nothing of Katherine's pleas about being betrothed, telling her to pretend none of it happened. Katherine is broken hearted...for about five minutes, and then the excitement of a real betrothal to Thomas Culpepper and a position at Court serving Anne of Cleves has her forgetting Francis and being ashamed of her behaviour with him.Katherine is shocked to discover that she was used to bait the King and that he will be her new husband. Despite her growing love for Thomas, Katherine finds herself as a mostly happy wife, treated well by Henry. I liked the portrayal of Henry as a sad and lonely old man who thinks that nobody could love him as a man if her wasn't King. Katherine has sympathy for his feelings and does everything to make him feel young and happy. Thomas and Katherine are portrayed as being deeply in love and conflicted over whether to start an affair, which is different from a lot I've read about the cruelty of Culpepper. It can be nice, however, to see these different versions of a person in the different books.The other interesting character in the book is Jane Boleyn, who befriends Kathrine as soon as she comes to Court. Jane is shown here as someone who loves to gossip and meddle, and who is excited by the intrigue of helping Katherine meet Thomas. It is a dangerous game made worse when people from Katherine's murky past come looking for work at Court. She is horrified to have Mannox and Dereham anywhere near her for fear of the gossip from her women who knew her at the home of the Duchess. As her past catches up with her, Katherine fears for everyone she cares about, Jane included.The story is well told and kept me interested the whole time. I had sympathy for a lot of the characters including Henry and the crusty old Duchess! I recommend all of this author's Tudor books very highly.

  • Rio (Lynne)
    2019-06-08 03:52

    When I saw this book at the library I thought it might give me some new information on Katherine. I know of her life at court and what brought her downfall, but was hoping for a new look into her childhood and what made her make the decisions she made. This is also my first Plaidy novel. This book was not fluffy, but not heavy either. I felt it was accurate, from Kat's poor upbringing due to her great-grandfather fighting for Richard III, to her moving into her aunt's house where there was little supervision. This is where Katherine's life started to turn for the worse. I liked Plaidy's portrayal of her. She wasn't the dim wit we tend to know her as, but simply a naive, uneducated girl who was looking for love and fulfillment. The only part that I wasn't sure about was where Plaidy added that Katherine knew Thomas Culpepper as a child (since he was her cousin) and was later almost betrothed to him, until of course Henry saw her. A lot of this book can be skimmed as Plaidy recalls a lot of the history which I was already familiar with. Overall Plaidy did help me look at Katherine in a new light. I recommend this for people who want to learn more about her story and are interested in the Tudor period.

  • ToniS
    2019-06-03 07:00

    This is the first Jean Plaidy book that I have read. The story is told from the perspective of Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry the VIII. I picked it up after watching season 3 of the The Tudors, where she is introduced. I realized I knew nothing about her and thought the way she was portrayed was totally scandalous and I needed to know more! This book isn't quite as titillating as the TV show, of course, but it is probably closer to the truth. I found the writing very repetitive. I know the family trees and history are complicated, but I really don't need the same paragraph, word-for-word every time a character shows up explaining who he is. Sometimes I literally thought I had lost my place and was re-reading the same page again. Totally irritating. It is a very quick read, though, so I wasn't irritated for very long.This might be better for a younger reader who is just getting into historical fiction. The sex scenes are fairly mild. I'd say this is a PG kind of a book.

  • A. E. S.
    2019-05-19 07:51

    Pros: This author has more experience and thus is a better writer than Gregory, being much older and wiser by this point in her career (it's Victoria Holt using a pen name). She paints a lovely picture of those days and times; my favorite part was Katherine's sweet yet haphazard childhood.Cons: Granted, the times were far more difficult than the author would lead you to believe. This book is great for fans of Katherine Howard who are ready to apply a lot of suspension of disbelief to her character as well as nearly everyone in this book. Also - though not Holt's problem at all - a lot of the information is either distorted or outdated, seeing as this book was written in 1993.

  • Ashley W
    2019-05-29 10:10

    First let me say this: I don't care what anyone else says about Katherine Howard. She was definitely a VICTIM of her time period and the patriarchal traditions of England at the time. She was not a dumb blond, a slut, or any other derogatory name given to women who might be a little too friendly with the opposite sex. From a young age, Katherine has been a VICTIM, and I absolutely commend Jean Plaidy for portraying her thus. Jean Plaidy made Katherine Howard a strong character where usually she is portrayed as a materialistic dumb blonde. Yes, she was naive and innocent, but she didn't know any better. When she was brought to be raised in her grandmother's home, Katherine was immediately forgotten and left to her own devices. She was never given a true education except in music and was left in the care of girls who scorned her because she was of a noble family and had what can be known as parties in their dormitory with young men of the household. At the age of around 11, Katherine was taken advantage of by her much older music teacher. She believed she loved him, but still their relationship was squicky. After that was over, she fell in love with a man considered below her who she could never marry and her grandmother paid enough attention to her then to put an end to that. When she came to court, he was tired of his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, and wanted something new...and Katherine was that something new because she was young and lively. It was never proven that she did have an affair with Thomas Culpepper, but if she did who could blame her? Let's face it: she wasn't executed for adultery, she was executed because she was "damaged goods" and Henry VIII threw a hissy fit because he wasn't the first one. Her story has always made me extremely sad because she was so young when she died and when she married Henry VIII, she had no idea what she was getting into.

  • Page (One Book At A Time)
    2019-06-18 06:04

    I read quite a few of the books by Jean Plaidy in the Queen's of England series when I was younger. They're hard to come by since they are out of print. I decided to collect the rest (still missing one) and catch up on my royal reading. I'm hoping my feelings for this book have more to do with the fact that I've read a better one about Katherine Howard than I may no longer like the writing style. It started out fine, although I was a little disgusted by the way Katherine was allowed to behave when she moves to her grandmother's house. I would think a Duchess of the court would have better sense of what was going on in her household. But, history seems to have proven otherwise. I also felt that the author made Katherine seem much more simple than she really was. But, maybe her families ambitions were just way outside of her knowledge. The book also lacked the terror that must have been going through the young queen's mind towards the end of her life. What a tragic ending for a young women who had almost no hope from the start. I would recommend reading The Queen's Mistake by Diane Haeger over this one.

  • Amalie
    2019-06-05 03:44

    I love Jean Plaidy's ability to tell a story of the history in her novels and I liked the way she has articulated Katherine Howard. Plaidy has made Katherine likeable. Katherine is naive, and comes of age very quickly at a time when one needed to fully understand the world around them. The story starts out with Katherine Howard talking to a scribe/friend, and it is all presented as the story she is telling to that person in the days leading up to her death.Although the story is not a new one, it has been presented in a new way. In that Katherine knew her actions were dangerous and she gave into them heedless of the consequences. Perhaps Plaidy has made her simpler than she really might have been, but I enjoyed Katherine in this novel, over the whiny, hyper sexual, and just purely unlikable Katherine I've seen in some other books.

  • Michelle Cristiani
    2019-06-02 01:54

    although not the most gripping of the novels in this series, it is an adequate retelling of the life of Catherine Howard. I enjoyed learning more about the intricacies, and Trust Jean plaidy's writing to be sound and elegant. But something about this one did not merge the history and the characters as well as I would have liked.

  • Christine Cazeneuve
    2019-06-03 05:12

    I really enjoyed this book but I wasn't surprised because she has become one of my favorite authors. This is the first book I've read on Katherine Howard that did not make her look completely stupid. It really showed why she was the way she was - a product of her circumstance.

  • Vasilena
    2019-06-10 04:00

    Jean Plaidy weaves a good story - sadly the life of Katherine Howard is short but the story is deepy nuanced.

  • Whitney White
    2019-05-20 02:48

    This wasn't a great book, but it wasn't a bad book, either. It was mediocre. However, I did learn a lot about Catherine Howard that I had not known before.

  • Mihai
    2019-05-21 05:55

    The Rose Without A Thorn was my first historical fiction book and I chose it thanks to Tamzin Merchant's performance of Katherine Howard in the fourth season of The Tudors.The book tells the story of the fifth queen of Henry the VIII ,Katherine Howard being the narrator.Spoilers and plot alert !! The story begins with Katherine in The Tower talking to The Scribe, deciding to tell the truth version of the facts that led her to this place.This way we are taken back to the time Katherine was a little girl at her father house with her siblings. We have a sweet encounter between her and Thomas Culpepper (curious if this really happened). She was little,poorly educated and naive but sweet and caring. Then she is taken to the Dowager Duchess house where everything started to work against Katherine. Young and impressionable she is convinced by the older girls of the house to enjoy some forbidden pleasure.Thinking that she is only having an innocent fun and looking for love she gets involved in two relationship with Henry Manox, the music teacher, and Francis Dereham (my favorite character from the book after Katherine,the third being Jane Rochford).She finally leaves the Dowager Duchess house and goes to serve Queen Anne Of Cleves thinking that her past will remain a secret. Unfortunately for her, The King is taken with her and makes her his Queen. She doesn't see any danger in this, only the sorrow of not marrying Thomas Culpepper and from this moment the question is when, not if, Katherine past will catch up with her. I liked this portrayal of Katherine, even if it is pretty flawed.Jean Plaidy did her research and presented a more accurate view of Katherine Howard. Here she is not some stupid slut, ruled by her craving of clothes (still not so fun and lively as The Tudors's version) but a young, naive, uneducated woman who looked for love and attention (moral and material), something that she never received from her so called family.It was easy to connect with her but I found her too naive for my taste. This also made the prose to feel weak to me in many places. It was mostly well written and it kept my interest though I am not sure I could read it again from start to finish.The book had the right amount of history (not too much to bore you but not too little to feel like the book is lacking in substance). Even so the book was not entirely accurate. The author inaccurately states the date of Cromwell's death.In reality he was executed on 28 July 1540 but here he is executed somewhere in spring (the book didn't have a clear timeline so it was kind of confusing). The Dowager Duchess is also presented as Katherine grandmother when in truth she was her step-grandmother. The romance between Katherine and Culpepper was not build as well as the one between Katherine and Francis, but it had a lot of sweet and interesting moments. Also Katherine's speech it is a popular culture element, very romantic, but unfortunately made up. The author most likely included it for the romance part and I am very glad she did so. In a sum up, The Rose Without A Thorn it is a beautiful and nostalgic read but it could have used a bit more excitement.

  • Kylie Cheung
    2019-06-12 03:59

    Of all of Henry VIII's six wives, Katherine Howard stood out -- and still does today -- because she was the least meant for the crown. Catherine of Aragon was essentially born into her betrothal with the English throne, Anne Boleyn had all the intelligence and charisma the position required and more, Jane Seymour knew how to stay in the good graces of a royal husband, Anne of Cleves was a German princess, and Katherine Parr was dutiful and smart. Yet Katherine Howard grew up in what is the female and Tudor-era equivalent of a frat house, impoverished, uneducated, naive, and pleasure-seeking. Once she caught Henry's eye, she was easily taken advantage of by her family and a lusty obsessive king, both parties eager to push her onto the throne. Helpless and naive, she was charmed by the jewels and wealth that royalty had to offer, as the king was by her youth, but just as all women do, Katherine learns that even the most decadent lifestyle has its thorns.I'm still fairly new to Katherine Howard's story -- I think this is only the third fictional piece I've read about her, and one of them was by the same author. She is portrayed sympathetically for a (refreshing) change, instead of as the ditsy whore who brought her fate on herself; however, her character still commits adultery. To this day, historians still debate if she and Culpeper actually had sexual relations. It's likely that they did; we can tell she was in love with him just by reading her surviving letter to him, and sweet and innocent or not, she had extensive sexual knowledge. What's nice about this book is that at least her infidelity is justified and isn't used to malign her character; she is genuinely in love with Culpeper and her husband is a monster old enough to be her grandfather. "The Rose Without a Thorn" is thoroughly recommended to anyone who loves the Tudors -- and has some background knowledge of them because of the Henry VII/Wars of the Rosess references -- and is particularly interested in his fifth wife. Just be mindful of the irksome repetitiveness of this book. It generally is Plaidy's style -- and I can say this because I've read around four books by her -- to describe characters in the same way, again and again and again, and reiterate character histories again and again, and use a phrase like 'the Howard look' 8387507 times. A little bit annoying, yes, but her work is still fascinating, and her sympathetic, poignant and romantic portrayal of Katherine Howard makes it worth enduring.

  • Lisa (Harmonybites)
    2019-06-10 07:44

    "Rose without a thorn" is what Henry VIII called his fifth wife, Katherine Howard, a callow teen when he married her. The prologue already begins with her in the Tower and sure she's about to suffer the fate of her cousin and predecessor, Anne Boleyn, who was beheaded by Henry. Katherine asks a woman with her to set down her story so she can better understand what led her to this point--the conceit of the novel that what follows is the story of her life as told to this lady. Katherine comes across as a ninny. That might be true to history, the Reader's Guide at the end of the book calls Katherine a "bimbo," but it doesn't make for an engaging first person narrator. Moreover, what the Reader's Guide calls Plaidy's "spare" style to me seems far too bare bones. We're told a lot here, a lot that happens off the stage. I never really feel as if I'm looking through Katherine's eyes or getting inside her head and the dialogue is forgettable. (And repetitive--if only I had a dollar for all the times Katherine was described as having "the Howard look.") It all seems a rather dry history lesson. Katherine is presented as having her first carnal relationship at 11-years-old. Plaidy is vague as to how far it went, but has Katherine talk of having "abandoned myself to Manox," her music teacher. I know back in the 16th Century they married very, very young--even before puberty, and people thought of children as miniature adults, but this case of child molestation (at the least) is presented so matter-of-factly, so lightly. No fear. No guilt. Katherine feels little throughout the novel and as a result I care little. And I feel that's rather unfair to the historical Katherine Howard. I have a friend whose opinions I respect who loves Plaidy--or at least loved her in her teens. I admit I found her bland when I first read her novels in my own teens, and this novel did nothing to change my mind.

  • Marci
    2019-05-26 04:59

    I've long known the history of King Henry VIII of England--he and his many wives. (Think "divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. Ha!)The most well known to me was Anne Boleyn, his 2nd wife. Most probably from the movie ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS, with Genevieve Bujold and Richard Burton. Anne lost her head over her husband, quite literally. I did not, however, know very much about Henry's 4th wife, Anne Boleyn's 1st cousin, Katherine Howard. I did know she met much the same fate as Anne, but I knew nothing of her history. In Jean Plaidy's wonderful book THE ROSE WITHOUT A THORN (the title is taken from the king's loving name for Katherine)I found myself completely immersed in young Katherine's life. She was but 19 when she married the king--he was 49. His love for her was perhaps deeper than for any of his other wives. While tidbits about Henry are evident,this book is definitely told from Katherine's perspective. The book begins as Katherine is preparing to meet her fate. She employs a friend (who is never identified) as scribe and thus records her life and what has brought her, she who has risen to the status of Queen of England, to this ignoble end. I truly could not stop reading the last 100 pages. I knew what was coming, but Katherine's thoughts, recollections, experiences, personal reflections held me enthrall. I give this the highest of recommendations. Sad, sad tale--wonderful book.As a side note, Jean Plaidy has written books on other wives of Henry VII. And also, you may know Jean Plaidy other of her noms de plume: Philippa Carr and Victoria Holt. Eleanor Hibbert, her real name, had sold over 100 million copies of her books at the time of her death in 1993.

  • Linda Lipko
    2019-06-03 07:57

    From the start, Catherine Howard didn't stand a chance of survival in Henry VIII's snake pit of a court.Unlike Catherine of Aragon, she lacked depth of spirtual quality; unlike her clever, quick-witted cousin Anne Bolyen, she lacked savvy; unlike Jane Seymour, she lacked grace; unlike Anne of Cleves, she lacked the ability to sit quietly and learn the strange customs of a court filled with political intrigue and danger.A mere child when she arrived at her grandmother's lax household, she blindly followed the elder, more seasoned ladies. Nightly romps and touching games with men excited Catherine, and soon she was a part of the revelry.Sent to court as a lady in waiting for Anne of Cleves, Catherine was a silly, dim-witted young fawn. Possessing a seasoned sexual beguilement, she soon came to the attention of Henry.Quickly, she became the fifth wife of Henry VIII. Like many men in mid life crisis, Henry was obsessed by the promise of youth that she brought to him. Quickly, he learned she was not the rose without a thorn.When inviting handsome Thomas Culpepper to her bed, she was too obtuse to realize the danger in her hedonism. Too young, naive and silly, she soon lost her life.As the crowd cheered, her head was placed on the block and severed from her body and from Henry.Should we pity poor Catherine? I think not. What a silly little fool to think that there was no price for her actions.

  • lia
    2019-05-26 09:59

    I'm not sure about this book. I want to like it but found that i couldn't. The positive side is this book is easy to read and with only 200 pages or so, hence making it a fast read. The things that i don't like very much are: - first person narrative. Never really like it. And in this case, making the story unbelievable. Katherine Howard is being pictured as simpleton, naive and innocent. So it doesn't make any sense when several times in this book she knows what she knows. - I don't believe Katherine Howard that is being portrayed in this book. Yes she is naive, and quintessentially stupid to cheat from a possessive and neurotic Henry VIII. But her innocence in this books comes out as something entirely unbelievable. It comes out as she got IQ close to zero and barely have her head above water. Which i don't think the case with the real Katherine Howard. IMO, Katherine Howard in the Tudors TV series are the closest one to the real one. She is a hedonist, a sensual, a teenager who thinks that the world is at her feet. - It spend so much time in KH's childhood so it doesn't have the space / pages to tells the story of KG in the palace. Which i think should be more interesting. In the book she only spend very limited time with Henry before he decided to make her his wife number 5. I mean really? only 3 meetings and he wants this little girl as his wife?

  • Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
    2019-05-20 10:08

    Katherine Howard among those of Henry's queens that I knew the least about (her and Catherine Parr). In fact all I knew about her was that she was related to Anne Boleyn. Plaidy does give a good account of her life and a very readable one at that. Some chapters into the book, I thought back to the only other Plaidy I've read so far- on Sir Thomas More, and how much 'richer' the descriptions of his life in that book seemed than this one, but then it occurred to me that this was probably because his life was that much richer. But poor Katherine Howard may have been a silly young girl who certainly didn't consider the consequences of her actions (we all know where they lead her) but despite that, Plaidy makes us feel rather sorry for her, for after all she is just a pawn used by her relatives to better their positions before the King, and some are as quick in giving her up when troubles begin as they were in claiming her as their own. One character rather surprised me because from her conduct throughout I was expecting something quite different to happen in her context than what did. Three and a half stars.

  • Sharon
    2019-06-04 08:55

    Katherine Howard grew up in an impoverished family. Her father was often away at Calis. Her overwhelmed mother died young. Katherine, one of eight children, had little education or direction. The Duchess of Norfolk (Katherine's grandmother) favors Katherine and offers her a home. Katherine now has regular meals and adequate clothing. She is instructed in music-the virginals.In the years that follow, Katherine becomes romantically involved with Henry Manox, Frances Derham, and Thomas Culpepper. The Duke of Norfolk (Katherine's Great-Uncle) is powerful in the Court of Henry VIII;Katherine is given a place at court. Katherine is thrilled with her prominence in court and the opportunity to be near Thomas Culpepper whom she loves. When Katherine sings with her lute at a royal banquet, Henry VIII takes notice and begins to woo her. Katherine is a very young woman;Henry is fifty. In the beginning of their marriage, Henry is very happy with the vibrant Katherine.This account of the brief, tragic life of Katherine Howard the fifth wife of Henry VIII is worth reading.

  • Mirah W
    2019-06-16 04:57

    I really enjoyed this Plaidy book about Katherine Howard. In this version Katherine is portrayed as the lovable one of the Howard family whose primary fault is giving away her heart too easily. At times I was annoyed by her but most of the time I felt bad that she was born into such a cunning and manipulative family. I liked that it is told in hindsight and Katherine acknowledges throughout the story where she might have gone wrong and what she could have done differently. I liked both Francis and Thomas and felt sad that their demise was due to loving the wrong girl. The only reason I decided on 4 stars instead of 5 with this one is because I wish there would have been more regarding her relationships with Thomas and Henry VIII....I felt there was a lot leading up to these two relationships and there wasn't a lot of substance to them in the book.

  • Luci
    2019-06-15 06:49

    I have really become fond of Philippa Gregory. With Gregory, the reader can indulge a love of history, but still be entertained with a good story and interesting characters. The Queen's Fool is no exception.Told from the vantage point of Hannah Verde, a clairvoyant, the reader experiences the death of Edward and the ascention of Mary Tudor. Hannah still has many of her own adventures outside of court life, but her connection with the ruling class is always at the forefront of this tale.This book should be read after The Other Boleyn Girl, and it should be noted that it briefly overlaps The Virgin's Lover. I am really looking forward to Gregory's next work, The Boleyn Inheritance, because she will be examining Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. And, if you like Gregory, be sure to try Jean Plaidy, who also wrote about Henry VIII's wives.

  • Veronica
    2019-06-13 04:02

    Henry VIII's fifth wife, Katharine Howard was very young. Many at the time saw a difference in Henry after he married Katharine. He felt younger and seemed in better health. In this historical novel, Jean Plaidy examines just how Katharine may have felt. She paints a picture of a young girl who didn't understand what she was getting into. Katharine is someone who was born to love and that love is what ultimately doomed her. When she went to live with her grandmother, she entered a place where dallying with young men was the norm, not that her grandmother knew that. Henry believed he had married an innocent girl. Katharine's fault was in not correcting his belief. Katharine is perhaps the most tragic of Henry's wives simply because she is too young to understand what she is taking part in. Great new look at a woman many people just deem promiscuous.

  • Heather
    2019-06-17 06:12

    I read this book immediately following Philippa Gregory's "The Boleyn Inheritance", which made sense seeing as they both cover the same characters. I liked reading them back to back in order to get a more well rounded view of her character. Plaidy's Katherine is looking back on her life retelling all of the events that have led up to her present state. You even get some little side notes like "if I had only known" or "I would have done that differently". It's refreshing to see someone of that time period recognizing their faults. Plaidy makes Katherine likeable, naive, and comes of age very quickly at a time when one needed to fully understand the world around them. This was my first Plaidy book and I found her to be a very refreshing writer. I will definately be back for another one of her books. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes Tudor history.

  • Katie Bliss
    2019-06-18 03:55

    I've read "The Other Boleyn Girl", which was far more sensational (and covered Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn), whereas this book is told from the point of view of Henry's fifth wife, Catherine Howard. This is a much cleaner historical novel and did a good job showing what it would've been like to be young, beautiful and naive, but with a strong family name that eventually took you places - like marriage to the king. That part also made the book a little frustrating; you just wanted to shake this girl and be like, what makes you think you're going to avoid the same fate as his other wives?? Also, the way the book is prefaced, I feel like there should've been better reflection about how she could've perhaps made different decisions to spare herself.

  • Eva
    2019-05-19 08:57

    The Rose Without a Thorn is the story of Catherine Howard (cousin of Anne Boleyn), the young and vibrant fifth wife of Henry VIII. Jean Plaidy weaves a enthralling account of her young, poor, uneducated and unsupervised life. In a first person narrative, Catherine tells us how she came to court and to the notice of the fat, old (49 to Catherine's 19)king, her short stint as queen and her demise. Having read several accounts of the young Catherine, Plaidy's had me liking her, sympathizing for the young girls lack of knowledge in almost all aspects of life. Basically running free and wild without notice or care, she is put in the path of the King to serve her unscrupulous Uncle's ambitions. I enjoyed Plaidy's writing and dialogue and plan on reading more of her Tudor series.

  • Lauren
    2019-06-09 04:02

    This is a short novella about Katherine Howard, fourth wife of Henry VIII. Jean Plaidy does a good job of getting across that Katherine was a ditzy teenager with poor supervision and lax parenting who inadvertently captured a king. She was a pawn of her powerful uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, but little loved by her family. Her downfall was of her own doing - she was unfaithful to a vain, violent, vengeful king who had already murdered one wife. Yet, Katherine is a sympathetic character, yoked to an aging tyrant when all she wants to be is a silly girl. The Rose Without a Thorn is the best novel I have read so far about Katherine Howard, far superior to Phillipa Gregory's The Boleyn Inheritance.

  • Melodee
    2019-06-16 09:44

    I didn't like this book as much as some other similar historical fiction I've read. It told the story of Katherine Howard, another of Hnery VIII's wives. I much preferred the book about Anne Boleyn to this one. Maybe I am getting tired of the first-person narrative by someone at Court who feels caught up in something against their will. I think the premise has been overdone. It was a pleasant read, interesting in the historical details, but repetitive. I really had little sympathy for Katherine. I recommend this book only to people who really enjoy historical fiction that is a little indulgent on the author's part.

  • Crystal
    2019-06-13 02:45

    I love Jean Plaidy, I’ve never made any secret of that fact, and I found that she does a fabulous job of articulating what I’ve always thought about Katherine Howard, Henri VIII’s ill fated fifth wife. The writing is as masterful as always, and even if you’re familiar with the tale of Katherine Howard, I think you’ll find yourself wrapped up in this book. The story starts out with Katherine talking to her friend, the scribe, and it is all presented as the story she is telling to the scribe in the days leading up to her death.To read the rest of my review, please visit:

  • Anjanet
    2019-06-18 04:54

    This is a short book, which inherently means the story progresses rather quickly. Of the wives of Henry VIII, this is not my favorite one. She is always portrayed to have very little intelligence, and this book follows suit. But it was done in a way where you felt sorry for Katherine, not annoyed (well, most of the time).Someone who is just jumping in to historical fiction of this period may want to start with a different book to have the context around Henry VIII's numerous wives. This is a detailed (well as detailed as you get in so few pages) about Katherine, one of his less infamous wives; not a Tudor saga.Overall a solid book.