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Murder Most Royal: (Tudor Saga) Paperback – 5 Oct 2006


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Murder Most Royal: (Tudor Saga) + The King's Secret Matter: (Tudor Saga) + Uneasy Lies the Head: (Tudor Saga)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (5 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099493225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099493228
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jean Plaidy, one of the preeminent authors of historical fiction for most of the twentieth century, is the pen name of the prolific English author Eleanor Hibbert, also know as Victoria Holt. Jean Plaidy's novels had sold more than 14 million copies worldwide by the time of her death in 1993.

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Review

"Her novels are still very much to be enjoyed ... Any writer who can both educate and thrill a reader of any age deserves to be remembered and find new fans ... One only has to look at the TV/Media to see that the appetite for this kind of writing is still very much there" (Matt Bates WH Smith Travel)

"Jean Plaidy doesn't just write the history, she makes it come alive." (Julia Moffat, RNA)

"Miss Plaidy has skillfully entwined their [Anne Boleyn & Catherine Howard] two stories." (Sunday Times)

"Plaidy excels at blending history with romance and drama" (New York Times)

"Full-blooded, dramatic, exciting" (Observer)

Book Description

The fifth book in Jean Plaidy's Tudor series telling the tragic stories of two Queens betrayed and beheaded - Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By History Buff on 26 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
Jean Plaidy has made an art of making history come alive. She has a way of painting pictures to illustrate all her words hence one finds themselves being transported in time and becoming a fly on the wall, listening in to all of the comings and goings. This is truly Anne Boleyns side of her story, much has been written of this exceptional woman in numerous works dedicated to Henry VIII. But this is her book, in her words. One gets a true flavour of the ambitions of the noble classes to climb the social ladder of the day, with little if no scruples. Simultaneously the book tells the story of Anne's cousin, Katherine Howard who would later become Henry's fifth wife. Riveting read.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Franny on 28 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
I have read many historical novels about Anne Boleyn and this is by far the best. Jean Plaidy is a very clever writer because she manages to evoke the relationships between the characters and still create a feeling of historical accuracy. Out of all the created 'Anne Boleyns' this one stands out as how I like to believe she really was; spirited, intelligent, moral and alluring. The way Plaidy weaves the lives of the two cousins together is an original approach to the telling of the six wives tale. It's an excellent book to curl up with on holiday!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chris Warne on 30 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a superb piece of historical fiction. Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard truly come alive in these pages. It is easy to read and yet fairly historically accurate which means it appeals to the general reader as well as those with a deep historical interest in the Tudors. Very good!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Joshua on 3 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, for me it had everything. At the beginning it told the tale of Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's sister, as she became Queen of France and married Louis XII. This also gave lots of information on Anne Boleyn because she served Mary then. It describes her fall and death in great detail as well as that of her cousin, Catherine Howard. We also learn a bit about Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves.
However, and this might seem like a tiny detail not worth noticing, but it says that Anne Boleyn is just 7 when serving Mary, and so would have been born in 1507/8 due to serving Mary in 1514/15. Many sources we have in our possession now argue Anne was born in 1501, making her 13/14 when serving Mary. We know that Mary's husband Louis XII said she was to dissmiss some of her ladies, and surely she would not keep a 7 year old with her instead of a more mature lady similar in age - Mary was 18, and so Anne is likely to have been 14 instead of 7.
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Format: Paperback
This novel of historical fiction writer Jean Plaidy follows the lives, and deaths, of two cousins Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. Apart from being cousins, these two women had certain things in common; both were passionate and irresistible, and both were committed to suffer early deaths, as both were queens of Henry VIII who were beheaded them on an adultery charge.

Written in 1949, Plaidy's novels are absent of the 'bodice ripping' which you would find in say, Gregory's novels, but even so her novels are readable and gripping. While most novels on the Tudor period focus on Anne Boleyn solely, with her rise and downfall, 'Murder most Royal' seeks to portray a fictional account of Anne from childhood alongside that of her cousins, Catherine's. The story of Catherine Howard is usually dismissed as 'his fifth wife who had loads of affairs', but this novel provides a story for Catherine before she became queen, and leads us to understand that she was just a young girl in to deep.

This novel does well to intertwine fact with fiction, and in my personal opinion, is one of the best when it comes to explaining the Anne and Henry relationship. I agree with Plaidy with Henry's motives in putting Anne to death, and believe she captured the intense love, and hate relationship well.

One downside of the novel though, is that it felt a little rushed towards the end, with great detail given to Anne's early years, yet Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, and Catherine Howard's rise brushed over quickly. Nevertheless, if you are a fan of Tudor fiction I recommend this novel.
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I have read the entire Tudor saga. I have read so much about this very interesting time in England, and thoroughly enjoyed reading this series. However, the actual history is akin to reading Gone with the Wind: it gives one writer's fantastical take on real events but is in no way to be construed as history. Ms Plaidy is not factual at all but prefers to take a fanciful indulgence of her obvious contempt for Henry VIII.
So learn from those who write the history then enjoy these interesting depictions but do not look for deep characters. The author seems very unworried that Henry at age three is already plotting and already bears the characteristics for which he is infamous; makes it difficult when she later wishes to acknowledge the greatness of Elizabeth who is "so like her father", but in this context that is to be high praise, Nonetheless, a fun read.
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By Mrs. A. L. Maddocks on 10 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've always been interested in Henry VIII and his six wives. Although this book doesn't go as far as Catherine Parr, it does go into detail about Henry's five wives, particularly Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard and makes this book a very gripping and interesting read indeed.

Jean Plaidy made Anne Boleyn come across as quite an manipulative and intelligent woman, and it seems to me that Anne Boleyn was the only one of his wives who knew how to get the best out of Henry VIII to suit her own ends. Also after reading this book it seems very plain to me that Anne Boleyn was the main love of Henry VIII's life despite her downfall.

Very richly written with brilliant attention to detail and this novel certainly brings the characters to life. Would recommend.
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