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Publisher's Summary

Alison Weir, historian and author of the Sunday Times best-selling Six Tudor Queens series, recounts the story of Henry VIII's last wife - Katharine Parr, the queen who survived him.

A woman torn between love and duty.

Two husbands dead, a boy and a sick man. And now Katharine is free to make her own choice.

The ageing king's eye falls upon her. She cannot refuse him...or betray that she wanted another. 

She becomes the sixth wife - a queen and a friend. Henry loves and trusts her. But Katharine is hiding another secret in her heart, a deeply held faith that could see her burn.... 

Katharine Parr. Henry's final queen. Her story.

Renowned, best-selling historian Alison Weir reveals a warm, clever woman of great fortitude who rose boldly to every turn her life took.

©2021 Alison Weir (P)2021 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic Reviews

"This brilliant series has brought Henry VIII's six wives to life as never before. This novel will enthral and inspire, just as much as it will break your heart." (Tracy Borman) 

"Katharine Parr deserves better than to be known just as Henry VIII's sixth wife - the one who survived. And there's no-one better placed than Alison Weir to restore her to her rightful place." (Sarah Gristwood) 

What listeners say about Six Tudor Queens: Katharine Parr, The Sixth Wife

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Once again..

Ms Weirs love affair with Tudors is more akin to a fairy tale than the real issue of a king that both abused and murdered his wives. The excuse of its was done in those times and ‘they knew no better’ does not gel. It was just as wrong then as it is now. This is historical fiction at both its best insofar as entertainment value only and at its very worst as romantic fluff. Read it with care. Read real history over a board spectrum of commentators for a better grasp of the subject.

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  • S. Morris
  • 30-06-2021

A Worthy End To A Magnificent Series

Catherine Parr is perhaps one of the most forgotten about queens of Henry VIII. Probably because she outlived him and not being divorced from him as Anna of Cleaves was. History has appeared to focus more on the other queens and so it was with anticipation I awaited the release of this final book in the Six Tudor Queen series. This series as a whole has to be one of Alison Weir's finest works, a masterpiece of story telling and has, for me, been a rich tapestry of the period covered.

Alison Weir, being an esteemed historian, has a solid knowledge of known facts to work with, but what perhaps is her strength is her ability to weave a convincing narrative around those facts that really fleshes out the bones of history. These fictionalized treatments of history fill in the gaps that the text books cannot provide. however, Weir doesn't indulge in flights of fancy and comes up with highly plausible fictionalized sections that cover periods little known about as well as connecting specific events that may have little by way of historical documentation.

All the books in this series achieve this seamlessly with the known facts. Reading these stories really gives one a sense of the personalities, their lives and how they fit into history far more so than a dry history book.

One such example of how Weir is able to draw together known traits, behaviours and likely reasons for the way people act is the famous scene where the young Elizabeth, future queen of England, has her clothes cut to shreds. Now, to be honest, I am not sure if history tells us what the precise rationale was for this and, more importantly, why Catherine seemingly tolerated it by holding Elizabeth while her husband cut her clothes off, but if not, then Weir does a good job of explaining Catherine's behaviour that day.

I imagine that the early life of Catherine left Weir having to create a back story as I would imagine there is little source material from which to work with. This has probably been the case to varying degrees for other books in this series where Weir has to work harder to produce a believable history that fits with the known facts. If I had any criticism, it would be that those early years are rather a slow preface to the main events. I do understand, though, why Weir had to do this, so I'm not marking the book down for this, it's just my only minor niggle.

Narration is handled by Beth Eyre, whom I previously had no experience of. She is a competent narrator, but I did feel that in the earlier part of the book that she read rather quietly, as if reading a story to a child in bed. It wasn't until much later into the book that she appears to become a little more confident. I did note that she pronounced the word ;uncle' rather oddly, as if the word began with an 'O', sounding more like Oncle.

Having now completed this epic series, it would be interesting if Weir turned her considerable abilities to writing fictionalized books on some of the men in this pivotal period of English history. Weir has, for the most part, focused her efforts on the women of the period and done an amazing job of it. However, I'd love to see her also write about the key men that surrounded and influenced Henry VIII. Men such as Thomas Woolsey, Thomas Cromwell, Thomas Cranmer. Thomas Moore and Stephen Gardiner all spring to mind. Perhaps Weir might create a series to do just that. It might be called 'The kings Men' :)

In addition, Weir might write books focusing on the Seymour brothers, Edward and Thomas who feature in this book. They both suffer ignominious downfalls soon after the events of this book. Catherine's husband, Thomas Seymour, only lived a scant six months or so after the birth of their daughter and the story behind his and his brother's fall from grace must be a rich source from which to draw from.

This is a worthy conclusion to this magnificent series from Weir and I look forward to what she may have next in the works.

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  • Caroline Barnes
  • 21-06-2021

Enjoyable listen.

Good all round. Was relieved the narrator was different from the authors previous audio books in the same series.
Good call.

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  • bryan judge
  • 31-05-2021

Excellent

What an excellent series this has been and so well written. The narrator is so important to the enjoyment of the book and Beth Eyre was perfect for this story. Well done

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-05-2021

Good book

What I love about this book is the story from start to finish. Like every book in this series it’s a page Turner! & compared to the rest is it seems to link back to Alisons other book (towards the end) - ‘The Innocent Traitor’ which is nice as it was one of the first books I got of hers. It’s sad to see the series end but if Alison has anything else up here sleeve I will be purchasing! Thank you for the great series.

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  • A Scott
  • 23-05-2021

Fantastic conclusion

All six books in this series have been amazing to listen to. Thank you Alison. can we now have a similar book for Edward VI and Mary I.

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  • J E BEASLEY
  • 22-05-2021

Excellent

I have read/listened to all six books in this series and I have enjoyed each one more than the previous one. This is an excellent finale to the story of Henry VIII’s wives.

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  • Craig Sage
  • 20-05-2021

Great series

I really enjoyed every single one of the series would highly recommend them to all

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  • Jennifer Chennell
  • 20-05-2021

disappointing

Bitterly disappointed in this last book.. have for the most part enjoyed the previous 5 but the narrator made dreadful prose even worse.. ended up skipping chapters and then just gave up...

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  • TheFluffyViking
  • 16-05-2021

Let down by the narration

Loved the story, well crafted and researched as all the other books in the series, but I felt let down by the narration. Far too many unnecessary gaps in the speech that left the narration stilted and rather breathy. The other books in the series have been extremely well narrated, but this particular reader was a disappointment with her stop-start speech.

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  • gillian perry-keene
  • 15-05-2021

Excellent as ever

The last of the series of six Tudor queens is the best.
The narrator sends a strong emotional message

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