The Tudor Roses

The Tudor Roses

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Review of Catherine Howard and Jane Seymour by David Loades

I was thrilled when I received David Loades’ new books on Catherine Howard and Jane Seymour to review as I have read many of his books and have been looking forward to both of these.


I met Mr. Loades last year at the Blickling Boleyn Festival where he spoke about The Boleyn Family - The Rise & Fall of a Tudor Family which coincided with the release of his book of the same title.  He was amazing and I would recommend that if you can get to one of his talks you should!


Catherine Howard - The adulterous wife of Henry VIII


Catherine Howard - The adulterous wife of Henry VIII (by David Loades)


I have read many of David Loades books and love them and this book is the same, plus, it is easy to read which is good. Another nice thing about Mr Loades is that if you have never read a Tudor history book you do not have to worry as he gives you plenty of background history and this one is no different. He gives you the background on Henry and what he went through with his wives and his changes in, and to, religion. Mr Loades tells how each comes about and also an insight in to the mind of Henry in the run up to meeting Catherine Howard.

Catherine does reach out to you in this book as a girl that was pushed and pulled by the people around her from a very young age. Though she was of a respectable up bringing she did not get treated so through the neglect of her elders and betters.

Mr Loades goes into Catherine’s affair with Culpeper making you look at it through Catherine’s eyes as to why she did it (not saying she was right or wrong), as well as her background with Durham.

You get a real insight in to the mind of Henry before, during and after Catherine with the changes this made to him; his personality.

My favourite part is where Mr Loades points out that unlike Henry’s other wives Catherine did not meddle in the politic of Henry’s rule, but, with her marriage and death she made some of the biggest political changes to Tudor England. The book ends showing the impact Catherine had on Henry.

Good book and worth a read.


Jane Seymour - Henry VIII's Favourite Wife


Jane Seymour - Henry VIII's Favourite Wife (by David Loades)


The next book was Mr Loades’ book on Jane Seymour which is yet another very good book to add to his list of titles. Yet again if you have never read a Tudor book and know nothing of the Tudors, not to worry as this book gives you all the before and after history on the people involved and events that take place.

This is a good book as you get to meet the Seymour’s of Wulf Hall and find out about the people around Jane and how the family rises to the top followed by the downfall of her brothers after her death. You get an insight into Jane and even get a glimpse of who she may have been given the chance after the birth of Edward.

Jane always seems to be over shadowed by the people around her but Mr Loades shows that when it counted she gave the king what he wanted and craved the most, a son! Unfortunately though, in given Henry a son, she gave her life as well, a life which is not documented until she caught the eye of the king. Even then it is still patchy but here you see Jane as best we can and what she felt about religion and how she expected her ladies to be.

You also get to learn about her legacy, Edward VI, the son she didn’t see grow up to become King.

The best part is the Seymour family tree, something I have not seen before!


Very good book and a must for anyone’s Tudor bookshelf.


Reviews by Emma Fuery of The Tudor Roses


Both books are available from Amberley Publishing

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