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The May Bride by [Dunn, Suzannah]
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The May Bride Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product Description


After so many literary trips to the Tudor history well, it might seem writers would find it bone dry. Yet as Hilary Mantel proved with her Man Booker Award-winning Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, there are still fresh stories to be drawn from an always fascinating period in English history. Dunn (The Confession of Katherine Howard) finds it in the little-known scandal that rocked the family of Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour. "

Rich in period detail, The May Bride will appeal to readers who enjoy a domestic drama set in the world of Henry VIII without court intrigue or extensive battle scenes. "

It's Wolf Hall revisited. Dunn embroiders a capable historical novel around the few known facts about Katherine Filliol.

Dunn brings a fresh voice to historical fiction, embracing the humanity of her characters in modern language. Yet it is her exposure of the innermost secrets of the nobility that will resonate most with historical fiction fans.

Book Description

From the bestselling author of The Confession of Katherine Howard, the story of two years at the Seymour family home, Wolf Hall, that changed Jane Seymour's life for ever.

'I loved this powerful book and can't recommend highly enough' Martina Cole

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1443 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (13 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #141,493 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have read and loved all of Suzannah Dunns' previous novels, and so was expecting great things from 'The May Bride'. I wasn't disappointed!! It is the story of the early days of Jane Seymour (pre-HenryVIII), and gives a different look at the somewhat colourless lady-in-waiting that history has portrayed. Jane is 15 at the time of the books' setting, and her elder brother, Edward (later to become Lord Protector of England) has brought home his bride, Katherine Filliol, to Wolf Hall, the Seymours' family home. Katherine is 21, and Jane is captivated by her. Not just her beauty, and her grace, but by everything about her, her attitude to life, to Edward, her aptitude for fun, and her ability to enjoy life. Jane is drawn like a moth to a flame to Katherine, and is dazzled by her. Katharine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn hover in the background of this book, as of course does Henry, but they are merely extras in this story. This is about Jane, the Seymours, Edward, Thomas, and of course, Katherine. Jane Seymour is not my favourite Tudor consort, she didn't live long enough to leave her mark, and she didn't dazzle like some, but this book gave me an insight into her childhood, her loyalties, and answered some questions that I had about her character. It made her more real, more solid, than I had previously thought, and I really enjoyed this book. Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Jane Seymour is fifteen when her eldest brother, Edward, returns to Wolf Hall with his twenty one year old wife Katherine. Jane is dutiful, plain and, even at her young age, suspects that her life will be spent as a spinster sister. In fact, it seems almost inconceivable that she ever leave the comfortable confines of Wolf Hall, where she has her world of loving parents, servants, younger sisters Elizabeth, Dottie and Margie and her other brothers Thomas and little Antony. Her days are filled with work, the children’s chatter and the evenings with sewing, while Father James snores by the fire. Yet, arriving at Wolf Hall, with all its traditions and reassuring ways of doing things, Katherine is a breath of fresh air and Jane is dazzled. By her beauty, her lightness of step, her seemingly limitless small treasures – gold leaf, brightly coloured thread, extra cushions in her room – and the way she laughs and trips effortlessly through the day. What is more, Katherine chooses Jane as her confidante and the young girl happily embraces her new sister in law as the fount of all wisdom.

Then, Edward goes off to war and Thomas is left champing at the bit. Jane’s brothers are ambitious and their desire is not to make a home at Wolf Hall, but to be at Court. Can Katherine be the wife that Edward wants and needs to further his career, or are the two dangerously ill matched? Then Edward makes a terrible allegation and things for the Seymour family will never be the same again. Jane finds herself transplanted to Court, where she never imagined she would ever visit, let alone live, sewing dutifully by the side of another Katherine.
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Format: Hardcover
If the Tudors are our national soap opera, then this gives an original and oblique spin on that well-told story. Here Dunn approaches the story via Katherine Filliol, the first wife of Edward Seymour, and their story set at Wolf Hall is narrated by the young Jane Seymour, later third wife to Henry VIII.

I like Dunn’s modern take on the historical novel and here, as in her previous books, she gives her characters a contemporary idiom and language (someone, for example, is a ‘good bloke’). The relationships at Wolf Hall take their cue from the gossip and rumours of history (though Katherine Filliol’s story is not as well known as some). It’s only at the end that the parallels between Katherine and Edward and a more famous tale are made clear, and the result is a very modern retrospective on Tudor marriage.

If you’re looking for a ‘traditional’ history novel then this may disconcert, but I enjoyed this fresh and critical view of Henrician marriage.

(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher)
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Format: Paperback
I used to read quite a lot of Historical and had a real soft spot for Tudor fiction but it's been ages since I dipped back into the genre.

I like something gentle every now and then though, to break up my usual reading material (Apocalyptic) and I'm so glad to have had this one to hand because I really liked it.

Now, aside from reading a lot of Tudor fiction I don't know a great deal about them. I usually Google a little bit after I've finished a book but it's just a light search to see what's real and what's not. I don't really mind if it's completely made up or just loosely based on known facts because most times I don't know the facts to start with and can just get caught up in the story.

I don't know the first thing about Jane Seymour so was looking forward to finding out a bit more of her time as Queen. Since she's the narrator I thought I'd be taken right into the thick of it all. I love a bit of palace intrigue :D

Jane's not the May Bride of the title though, that honour goes to her sister-in-law Katherine who marries Jane's eldest brother Edward in the first chapter.

That disappointment aside, I actually really liked her story. I didn't really like most of the characters (the Seymours) and it all takes place 10+ years before Jane is Queen so pretty much 90% of it is set at Wolf Hall where the Seymours live so there's little to zero court intrigue, and not a lot happens and it's all pretty pedestrian...but I still liked it. It's a good story.

I'm surprised how much I liked it, actually. One of the things that REALLY rubs me up the wrong way is modern speech in an Historical setting, and this has that in bucketful's.
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