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Kateryn Parr (Hardback)

Henry VIII's Sixth Queen

P&S History > British History > Tudors & Stuarts P&S History > By Century > 16th Century P&S History > Royal History Women of History World History > UK & Ireland > England

By Laura Adkins
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 20 mono
ISBN: 9781399082853
Published: 14th March 2024

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Katheryn Parr is mainly remembered today as being the sixth wife of King Henry VIII, the one who ‘survived’. Katheryn was not only a wife but a queen, mother, reformer, and author.

Katheryn would face a number of events in her lifetime including being held to ransom during the Pilgrimage of Grace, being placed as regent while Henry was in France, a role which only one of his five previous wives held, her namesake Katherine of Aragon, and overcame a plot which would have led to her arrest and execution. While Queen she was able to unite the Tudor family and establish some form of happiness for Henry VIII’s three children.

Raised by her mother Maud Parr, under a humanist education, Katheryn was intelligent enough to understand her role in life and was not afraid to do her research. Although raised a Catholic, Katheryn became a reformer and went on to write a number of religious texts, being the first female in England to ever have a book published under her own name. She was loyal not only to her family but her servants and the women of her court. She loved her stepchildren and provided them with a mother's love and a role model which her stepdaughters could learn from. Her views on what was expected of her placed her into an open conflict with her brother-in-law Edward Seymour and his wife Anne.

This book explores the various roles she had in her lifetime and the passion and duty she put into them, even if it meant putting others first. It will explore her love for Thomas Seymour and how it blindsided her and led to a sad end of her life, and the book will finally look at her legacy - the influence she had on Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth I.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This was a beautifully written bio about Henry VIII's last wife. There is not really that much about her in history books like his other queens and so I am always wanting to read more about her and her life. This is a great read and I highly recommend to all Tudor fans out there.

NetGalley, Heather Michael

Kateryn Parr is unique in many ways. Obviously one of the things that sets her apart from some of her counterparts is that she was able to survive the tumultuous Henry VIII. As his last queen, she was walking into a position that was not one of the most secure in the nation. She set aside her own wants to do take on the role of queen.
She had a very interesting life, and was one of the movers in some of the newer religious thoughts that were starting to sweep through Europe. Religious freedom was not a thing in England, and so to even read some of the documents that were making the rounds could have cost her.

Laura Adkins did a fantastic job with this book... I highly enjoyed this one!

NetGalley, Rebecca Hill

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

"Kateryn Parr" by Laura Adkins offers a captivating exploration of the life and legacy of the often-overlooked sixth wife of King Henry VIII.

While Katheryn Parr is primarily known for being the wife who survived her marriage to Henry, Adkins delves deeper into her multifaceted identity as a queen, mother, reformer, and author. From her upbringing under a humanist education to her role as regent during Henry's absence, Katheryn emerges as a woman of intelligence, resilience, and compassion.

Adkins skillfully navigates through the pivotal events in Katheryn's life, including her involvement in religious reform, her relationships with her stepchildren, and her ill-fated romance with Thomas Seymour. Through meticulous research and rich storytelling, Adkins brings Katheryn's story to life, shedding light on her influence on future generations, particularly her stepdaughter, Princess Elizabeth.

"Kateryn Parr" is a compelling portrait of a remarkable woman who defied expectations and left an indelible mark on history. Adkins's narrative is both informative and engaging, offering readers a deeper understanding of Katheryn's enduring legacy and her significant contributions to the Tudor era.

NetGalley, Chelsea Littleton-Harper

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

In this incredible biography of Henry VIII’s final wife, Adkins brings Kateryn Parr’s fascinating life to the forefront of this biography. Focusing on her family, her education, her four marriages and relationships with her stepchildren, and her time as Queen of England, Adkins emphasizes Kateryn in her own right -- not as the mere wife of some other man. Considering her mother’s role at court and her hard work to protect her children’s interests, Adkins centers Kateryn’s life in a larger tradition of powerful and capable English noblewomen with the practical knowledge and the humanist education to wield power at the highly patriarchal English court. Adkins also emphasizes how Kateryn really was an equal partner in many of her marriages and the care she took to cultivate positive relationships with her stepchildren (which includes three monarchs of England); Adkins particularly focuses on Mary Tudor and Kateryn’s relationship, rather than Elizabeth and Kateryn’s, an interesting angle with a wealth of historical information. Drawing on some truly marvelous primary sources, Adkins explores Kateryn’s written record as a writer through her Lamentations of a Sinner and her correspondence, analyzing specific word choices and the significance of such documentation. A must-read for any Tudor lover, Adkins’s biography of Kateryn Parr is absolutely stunning in its detail and analysis.

NetGalley, Lily Amidon

The author included letters written to and by Kateryn, which were some of my favorite parts. Definitely recommend for anyone interested in Tudor history and is looking for a strong introduction to this remarkable woman.

NetGalley, Danielle Holeman

A great biography of Kateryn Parr, too often dismissed as "survived". here we see the many influences on her life that she brought to the throne, the leadership she showed in politics, religion, the arts, and publishing, and how she then in turn influenced others. Adkins is both effusive in praise for what Kateryn Parr did right, but doesn't shy away from pointing out the many mistakes she made at the end, otherwise known as "Thomas Seymour."

NetGalley, Kara Race-Moore

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It feels thoroughly researched and it is enjoyable to read some of the letters that she wrote. I feel like this book would be a good jumping off point for anyone interested in learning more about the wife who survived. She accomplished a lot during her brief life.

NetGalley, Stephanie Peterson

Kateryn Parr was certainly an interesting figure of her time. She was many things aside from being the last wife of Henry VIII but not much actually gets told/portrayed accurately in media (hisfic, movies, etc.), so I would consider this book to be a must read for those that want a better understanding of what is known about the life of Kateryn Parr and those that were important to her.

NetGalley, Christina Childers

Following the life of Kateryn Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII, Laura Adkins brings Parr's life to light from the shadow of her infamous husband and his family. Adkins gives Parr back her place in history as a Queen, Mother, Writer; Woman. Well-researched and well-written, I thoroughly loved this book of the last Tudor consort and woman melded into history as one of Henry VIII's six wives. Understanding the woman behind the legend, Adkins strips away the myths and rumours around Parr and lets her tell the life that few people know before or after her marriage.

I highly recommend Kateryn Parr to anyone who enjoys Tudor History and wants to read more about the woman behind the title: the one who survived.

NetGalley, Megan Rose

Kateryn Parr: Henry VIII’s Sixth Queen is an excellent short biography of Henry VIII’s last wife. Kateryn (as she spelled her name, and it also helps to distinguish her from Henry’s two other wives named Catherine) doesn’t get the same level of attention that Catherine of Aragon or Anne Boleyn, but she’s a fascinating woman and this book is a great place to start when learning about her.

In the rhyme about Henry’s wives (divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived), Kateryn is the one who survived. But she almost didn’t. There was a Catholic plot to bring down Kateryn, who favored the reformed religion, but she figured out the plan and threw herself at Henry’s mercy, saving herself from arrest and likely execution (once Henry imprisoned his wives, they were dead to him).

Kateryn was well educated and a very intelligent woman who authored books in a time when women rarely did so. She was a loving stepmother who built close relationships with Henry’s three children and she helped Henry improve his relationships with his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, both of whom he had previously disinherited.

This isn’t a traditional biography. Instead of a timeline sort of narrative, each chapter focuses on a different aspect of Kateryn’s, as a wife, a stepmother and mother, a religious reformer, an author, and a Queen.

If you’re new to Kateryn Parr or Tudor history, this book is a great place to start. The author has included a detailed timeline and who’s who, both of which are really helpful. I highly recommend this book as a great way to get to know one of England’s lesser known but most fascinating queens.

NetGalley, Etta Kavanagh

‘Kateryn’s last few years of her life had been just as chaotic as her centuries of disturbance while dead.’

Kateryn Parr is the sixth and final wife of Henry VIII. In this book you get to know everything about her from where she grew up, her education, her previous husbands, to her finally marrying for love.

A quick and easy read.

A must read for any history and Tudor fan.

I wonder what would have been if Kateryn had decided to stay a widow, never to re-marry or have any of her own children.

In chapter 10 (final chapter) gives you details of all the people mentioned in this book. Like a mini history lesson :)


‘Kateryn showed her two stepdaughters that a woman was able to wield power in a world of men.’

NetGalley, Georgi Lvs Books

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Kateryn Parr: Henry VIII’s Sixth Queen by Laura Adkins is loaded with interesting information about Kateryn Parr and the court. I have always had a fascination with history, especially this time period, so when I saw this book I jumped on the opportunity to read it. I am glad I did because this book has information that I have never heard before.

Kateryn Parr is most known for being “the wife that survived,” as in the only wife of King Henry VIII that outlived him, but she accomplished much in her lifetime.

“A small number of women even began to become authors themselves like Kateryn did. She would be the first to publish under her own name in England.”
We are not taught in history, the significance on her accomplishments in a time when women were seen as property. She deviated from the typical traditional role, and became a published author. She believed knowledge and education was important and imperative for everyone, not just the rich.

“Like with her portraits, Kateryn would use her writings as a form of propaganda too.”
She was the first Queen to have a full body portrait commissioned, and used these portraits to show her status and value to the kingdom, as well as the world. She broke from traditions and portrayed herself in a different form, one that makes her stand out from others of her time

“Her confidence of putting her name to her work for the first time would lead the way for other female writers in England to follow. Kateryn represents a real breakthrough in an age when only the most privileged women were to receive an education.”
Kateryn Parr was an exceptional woman, knowledgeable caring and steadfast in her beliefs. She not only was a trendsetter, but a pioneer, living her life for service and duty, but at the same time being cognizant of the dangers around her.

“Kateryn Parr was not just the wife who survived Henry VIII but a woman who excelled in her duties and role which life had given her.”
She was a mother to all her stepchildren, giving them love as well as guidance throughout her lifetime. They were more than chess pieces, they were her family and she was raised to know the meaning and value of that word.

I found it very interesting learning that her grave had been disturbed, having been lost for years.

I would definitely recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about that time period and of a Queen that was more than just a wife, but a remarkable figure in history.

NetGalley, Carolyn Wyman

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Laura Adkins really brought Kateryn Parr to life, it had everything that I wanted. It was a great way of bringing the Kateryn Parr to herself and not just one of six. I was enjoying the research and how everything worked with this concept, the research was shown and had a great writing style. I look forward to reading more from Laura Adkins.

NetGalley, Kathryn McLeer

It was easy to read and included actual letters written to and by Kateryn. A loyal wife and stepmother who influenced those around her long after she died. If you want to read a solid biography about this remarkable woman, I suggest you read, “Kateryn Parr: Henry VIII’s Sixth Wife” by Laura Adkins.

NetGalley, Heidi Malagisi

Remembered as King Henry VIII’s sixth wife, Kateryn Parr was an intelligent and passionate reformer. She survived treacherous Tudor politics, united Henry’s family, became England’s first woman author, and mentored Elizabeth I. This informative biography is interesting, enjoyable, and easy to read.

NetGalley, Andrea Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This was such a good non-fiction novel detailing the life of Katheryn Parr. I've always been interested in the Tudor Dynasty and very interested in the wives of Henry VIII. Definitely give this book a read if you love historical non-fiction books.

NetGalley, Liz Nesbitt

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Over the last week or so, I have learned more about one of the most underrated Tudor icons than I have in my lifetime and you know what? I am all over it because Kateryn Parr was a Queen in every sense of the word, traditional and contemporary slang. Wowsers.

So she was known and "the one that survived" Henry VII (even since school so many years ago I remember; "divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived" Henry had a pattern that is for sure! So Henry is remembered for not exactly working at his marriages and the Mary Rose ship. Moving on from him and on to our new icon, Keteryn Parr.

So a couple days back I reviewed Women's Lives in the Tudor Era by Amy McElroy and The Mysterious Death of Ketherine Parr by June Woolerton and now, with reading Kateryn Parr by Laura Adkins, I have really grown to adore this incredible, underrate Queen.

In Tudor England, every part of a woman's life was ruled by men and even the nobility had limited education and opportunities outside of wedlock. So for a Kateryn Parr to become a reformer as well as an author in her widowhood, was simply unheard of. She united people, she was a devoted mother and highly intelligent whilst keeping her counsel and watching. A little known fact was that she was the first ever woman in England to have a book published in her own name and as such, in my humble opinion, should be the patron saint of all female authors, or at least an icon.

While Kateryn Parr's end was utterly unjustified, her life is one to be revered in the highest order and this incredible book does just that. Written and presented beautifully, an essential addition to any scholars library.

NetGalley, Ink Reads

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book is a concise and interesting biography of Katheryn Parr, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII. Not only did I learn about this incredible woman and her selflessness despite a difficult life and even more tragic end, but it was fascinating to see the influence her life had on the future Queen Elizabeth I and how it still resonates today. Reading this during Women’s History Month was fitting; Katheryn deserves recognition beyond being just one of the wives.

The author did a wonderful job and I recommend this book for anyone interested in the Royals.

NetGalley, Michelle Dawn

About Laura Adkins

Ever since being inspired by her history teacher in secondary school and the 1997 movie Titanic, Laura has had a passion for history, especially medieval and Tudor eras. She writes her blog the Local History Blogger which focuses on her home county of Essex, England.
In her past jobs, she has been fortunate to work in historic locations such as the Tower of London and Banqueting House, Whitehall where she gave public talks on its history and talks on the Tudors and Stuarts.
Her other passion in life is her daughter who now joins Laura on her history trips and outings. When she is not exploring Laura enjoys reading and adding to her growing collection of books. Katheryn Parr: Henry VIII's Sixth Queen is her first book

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