Queen's Gambit Paperback – 13 Mar 2014
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The Tudor court comes to life in this gripping story of Katherine Parr, where passion, secrecy and betrayal power the suspense Woman & Home Electric Good Housekeeping Beautifully written and finely observed, this suspenseful tale of Henry the Eighth's last wife expertly conveys all the dangerous intensity and passion of the Tudor court Rachel Hore, author of A Place of Secrets and A Gathering Storm Rich in atmosphere and period detail ... An enticing read Stylist A sumptuous epic Metro With a painter's eye for detail, Fremantle brings the dazzling, dangerous Tudor court to life and sheds an intriguing new light on Katherine Parr, one of history's great survivors. An enthralling tale of power and passion, loyalty and betrayal -- Elizabeth Wilhide, author of Ashenden A powerful debut Guardian Breathes vibrant life into Henry VIII's most intriguing, intelligent and least known wife, Katherine Parr -- Anne Easter Smith A major new voice in historical fiction The Bookseller Wildly entertaining ... One of the best historical novels I've read Huffington Post
About the Author
Elizabeth Fremantle is the author of Queen's Gambit, Sisters of Treason and Watch the Lady. She holds a first in English and an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck. As a Fashion Editor she has contributed to various publications including Vogue, Elle, and Vanity Fair.
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Top Customer Reviews
Elizabeth Fremantle has done an excellent job with Queen's Gambit and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Court of an elderly Henry VIII, now obese, crippled and repulsive, and watching his sly campaign of capturing Katherine Parr. Their relationship reads like a game of chess and, to a great degree, that's exactly what it was. There are times when Katherine isn't safe around Henry and she's scared, nervous and waiting for him to make his move and maybe send her the way of Anne Boleyn. There's a great feeling of intrigue and tension throughout the novel. I thoroughly enjoyed the cat and mouse as Katherine uses her wit and intelligence to outsmart Henry without ever once giving away her true feelings.
There's always been speculation over the relationship between Katherine and Thomas Seymour, it's well know that she married him after Henry's death but; what was their relationshiop prior to that? Queen's Gambit is all about the fear, suspicion, politics and game playing surrounding the Tudor court with Katherine right at it's heart.
The strength of Queen's Gambit is how well Elizabeth Fremantle has bought the era and characters to life. There's been some good research done and a great deal of time spent on setting the stage. Wouldn't be too surprised to see a sequel because the ending of the book is wide open and perfect for a continuation.
This book is full of complexities in the relationships between the women and men at court and with various staff from the kitchens upwards. We know the history of this time, we know the outcome, but Fremantle views it in a refreshingly different way. This was not just an historical account of Katherine Parr and Henry VIII, it promotes the reader to see a delicateness in the way the behaviour of King Henry is seen and managed by the Queen. It personalises their lives drawing the reader into each personality with feeling and understanding.
If you like historical novels where the individual lives of the characters gives detail to historical events then you will not be disappointed. I recommend this as a good read.
I would say it is by far the best historical novel that I have ever read and I have
read a fair few.
Opening in 1543 and written in modern idiom this is an easy and intelligent read that
romps along charting the marriage of Katherine Parr to Henry VIII. Henry is obese,
smelly , mean spirited and extremely bad tempered. There is tension, intrigue, and
drama aplenty as events unfold around Katherine in Henry's court. Throughout it all
she maintains her dignity - though I don't know HOW.
Historical fiction marries with fact to make this an extremely enjoyable read and I
reallyt recommend and cannot wait for her next. Absolutely brilliant.
This straightforward telling of the last two marriages of Katherine Parr feels like a book aimed squarely at fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir's historical novels. It doesn't have the political intelligence of Sharon Penman's books, or the literary flair of Hilary Mantel, and is far more `romantic' in tone with its focus securely on female characters and their relationships with the men in their lives. There's an `upstairs, downstairs' feel to the book as we follow Katherine herself and one of her serving maids, Dot, - and Katherine is even allocated a `gay best friend' in typical rom-com fashion.
This is good as light and easy reading as it makes no demands on its readers, and is written in very modern idiom: a man's breath `pongs'; girls have `teenage crushes'; someone has a hand over `her gob'; a woman is described as `bossy'; and another has `a swarm of screaming sprogs' . There's an awful lot of `huffing' and `spitting' going on which might have been productively culled by a stricter editor (`Katherine emits a little huff', ` "Huh", she huffs', `Elizabeth huffs loudly', ` "The girl is nothing but trouble", spits Anne', ` "Scared are you?" he spits', ` "She knows Greek", Elizabeth spat under her breath').
So this is an amiable and enjoyable read and the relationship, especially, between Katherine and Thomas Seymour is done well. Recommended for light and relaxing reading.
Once more a widow after being the dutiful and loving wife of an older man, Katherine has fallen in love with the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour. However, any romantic ambitions of marital bliss are cruelly dashed when she catches the eye of the King, who soon makes clear his intentions to marry her. As everyone knows, this was a poisoned chalice to say the least.
The vigour and virility of Thomas Seymour merely emphasises the crumbling corpulence of Henry; a man given to tantrums that can lead to fatal results for the unfortunate object of his fury. If you didn't fall out of favour with the King himself (and there were several ways that could happen), there was a scary cabal around him who were on the look out for the slightest threat to their own ambitions and survival. These were dangerous, ruthless times. No matter your status, life was like a game of chess that required you to have your wits about you. One false move and you were out. Fortunately, Katherine Parr was a masterful player.
Diligent, detailed research reanimates Katherine Parr and the reader becomes her unseen companion. Despite knowing that she will outlive her husband, Fremantle constructs such a deft and powerful narrative that we are never sanguine as events unfold but remain as tense, anxious and fearful as the characters themselves. Rich characterisation brings the reader into the court and vividly evokes the times: the vulnerability and grip of fear as every word and gesture are watched, lest you should betray the slightest weakness or cause the slightest offence.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant book. Gripping to the end even though you really know what happened in history.Published 1 month ago by Janet Holmes
It is a long time since I have read a book that I really enjoyed as much as this book. The characters are well written, you feel that you know them. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sue
Elizabeth Frremantle has an amazing nack of taking you to the story, she has researched the subject matter and I got completely swept away with this book, I could not put it down... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Flossie
A brilliant read and a fascinating insite into Tudor Life. I was unaware just what a monster Henry VIII had become in his latter years. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Howard R
I DID NOT ENJOY THIS BOOK AS WELL AS SOME I AM HOOKED ON PHILIPPA GREGORY, AND DONT THINK THERE IS ENOUGH GRIPPING DRAMA AS,PHILIPPAS BOOKS THIS IS JUST MY OPINION. DAVE BOWENPublished 3 months ago by david bowen
"I don't like historical fiction". That's what I thought before I eat this.
It's a cracking good tale and Elizabeth Fremantle is a very talented author. Read more
This was bought for someone as a gift. She seems happy with it.Published 4 months ago by Miss S Orrock