Her Royal Cleav– Er, Destiny

I spotted this 1985 historical novel on eBay and knew that it was my duty as a blogger to share it with the Internet public.

Because Henry VIII is on the cover, it has to be about one of his wives, but which one? Katherine Howard, you’re thinking? No, no–this blond bombshell is none other than Katherine Parr. She looks a wee bit different from her portrait on the right sidebar of this blog, doesn’t she?

One would assume that the hunk Katy is embracing is Thomas Seymour, but a skim through the novel indicates that this isn’t necessarily so, since Eady’s Katherine has adulterous dalliances not only with Seymour, but with her stepson. Nonetheless, Katherine retains her historical interest in religion, so that on one page she tells her stepson, “‘I will confess to you that sometimes the fact we have to be so secret in our new faith frightens me,'” while on another she utters the time-honored, “‘Take me, take me.'”

Katherine also has a knack with herbs, a fact that apparently was of some concern to the publisher’s legal staff, for the copyright page of this novel contains a “Cautionary Notice” advising the reader, “The herbs, spices, and remedies listed throughout the book are for historical interest only and are not for contemporary use in the form given.”

Buying this novel solely for its cover, I haven’t read it straight through, but if one can overlook what seems to be a lot of ahistorical bonking (Katherine is also given an out-of-wedlock child–and it’s not Seymour’s or the stepson’s), it doesn’t seem to be all that bad.

Just don’t do anything silly with those herbs.

8 thoughts on “Her Royal Cleav– Er, Destiny”

  1. Sorry, messed up my previous comment.

    I’ve read this (part of it anyway) and couldn’t get past Katherine’s dalliance with her stepson (which is presented rather explicitly as I recall) and other historical errors. The cover describes the contents quite well.

  2. Margaret Evans Porter

    I’m grateful to you for reading this one, so I won’t have to!

    That cover is amazing!

    I don’t believe I’ve read anything about Katherine Parr, besides the Jan Westcott one. Perhaps the Jean Plaidy.

    Perhaps someday I shall try the new Carolly Erickson one.

  3. Hey, have you canged to Bet Blogger? I suddenly get that stupid warning about unsafe objects I always get from these, and I don’t think it has anything to do with Katherine’s cleavage. Rather with the fact that Beta Blogger is still messy.

    Ahem, messier than the normal version. 😉

  4. Susan Higginbotham

    Sarah, yes, I think the cover artist wasn’t lying with this one!

    Margaret, I liked Mary Luke’s novel about Katherine Parr, The Ivy Crown. Never saw the Jan Westcott one–have to check it out. I’ve got the Erickson one on order, though I found her novel about Marie Antoinette disappointing.

    Gabriele, I did make the Blogger switch. Haven’t posted with it yet, though. Maybe the missing letters fell down Katherine’s cleavage? Looks like an SUV could hide in there!

  5. I am reminded of one of Daniel’s lines from Bridget Jones’s Diary, which goes something like, “Men want a bottom they can park a bike in and balance a pint of beer on”. Substitute cleavage for bottom and SUV for bike and this Katherine would be right up his street. The cover would likely have saved me the trouble of reading this one, but thanks for your review confirming it!
    I remember I liked the Jean Plaidy very much when I read it years ago.

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