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Young and Damned and Fair: The Life and Tragedy of Catherine Howard at the Court of Henry VIII by Gareth Russell at Abbey's Bookshop,

Young and Damned and Fair: The Life and Tragedy of Catherine Howard at the Court of Henry VIII

Gareth Russell


9780008184926

Harper Collins


Biography: historical, political & military;
History;
British & Irish history;
Early modern history: c 1450 to c 1700;
Advocate - History


Paperback

336 pages

$32.99
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In the five centuries since her death, Catherine Howard has been dismissed as ‘a wanton’, ‘inconsequential’ or a naïve victim of her ambitious family, but the story of her rise and fall offers not only a terrifying and compelling story of an attractive, vivacious young woman thrown onto the shores of history thanks to a king's infatuation, but an intense portrait of Tudor monarchy in microcosm: how royal favour was won, granted, exercised, displayed, celebrated and, at last, betrayed and lost. The story of Catherine Howard is both a very dark fairy tale and a gripping political scandal.

Born into the nobility and married into the royal family, during her short life Catherine was almost never alone. Attended every waking hour by servants or companions, secrets were impossible to keep. With his research focus on Catherine’s household, Gareth Russell has written a narrative that unfurls as if in real-time to explain how the queen’s career ended with one of the great scandals of Henry VIII's reign. More than a traditional biography, this is a very human tale of some terrible decisions made by a young woman, and of complex individuals attempting to survive in a dangerous hothouse where the odds were stacked against nearly all of them.

By illuminating Catherine's entwined upstairs/downstairs worlds, and bringing the reader into her daily milieu, the author re-tells her story in an exciting and engaging way that has surprisingly modern resonances and offers a fresh perspective on Henry's fifth wife. Young And Damned And Fair is a riveting account of Catherine Howard’s tragic marriage to one of history’s most powerful rulers. It is a grand tale of the Henrician court in its twilight, a glittering but pernicious sunset during which the king’s unstable behaviour and his courtiers’ labyrinthine deceptions proved fatal to many, not just to Catherine Howard.

By:   Gareth Russell
Imprint:   Harper Collins
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   700g
ISBN:   9780008184926
ISBN 10:   0008184925
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   February 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Gareth Russell was a student at Down High Grammar School in Northern Ireland before studying Modern History at Saint Peter's College at the University of Oxford. A playwright, novelist and historian, he writes the blog The Confessions of a Ci-Devant, which profiles his historical research and artistic interests. He has written for the Sunday Times, Tatler and the Irish News. He is the author of the novels 'Popular' and 'The Immaculate Deception'.


'A timely and powerful re-examination of Henry's fifth queen... Gareth Russell has done some beautiful new research to indicate that Catherine was not as foolish as some historians have suggested, and that her death was managed and manipulated by her offended husband, purely for his own revenge ... I love it when historians take the women who have been neglected by history seriously and study their lives rather than accepting stereotypes' Philippa Gregory 'Russell marries slick storytelling with a great wealth of learning about sixteenth-century personalities and politics. The result is a book that leads us deep into the nightmarish final years of Henry VIII's reign, wrenching open the intrigues of a poisonous court in a realm seething with discontent. At the heart of it all is the fragile, tragic figure of Catherine Howard, whose awful fate is almost unbearable to watch as it unfolds. This is authoritative Tudor history written with a novelist's lightness of touch. A terrific achievement' Dan Jones 'A magnificent account of the rise and fall of Henry VIII's tragic fifth queen - compelling, thought-provoking and above all real. In Russell's meticulously researched narrative Catherine Howard and her household are brought to life as never before. Hugely enjoyable' Adrian Tinniswood 'This fascinating and ultimately heartbreaking account of Henry VIII's doomed fifth wife brings to life the cruel, gossip-fuelled, back-stabbing world of the court in which Catherine Howard rose and fell. The uncommonly talented Gareth Russell has produced a masterly work of Tudor history that is engrossing, sympathetic, suspenseful, and illuminating' Charlotte Gordon, author of 'Romantic Outlaws' 'Securely rooted in the sources and mercifully devoid of sentiment, this is the most fully rounded, best written biography of Catherine Howard we have' Julia Fox, author of 'Jane Boleyn'

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