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The Rose Without a Thorn Paperback – 1 Jun 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (CA); Reprint edition (Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609810170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609810170
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 374,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

From the pen of legendary historical novelist Jean Plaidy comes an unforgettable true story of
royalty, passion, and innocence lost.
Born into an impoverished branch of the noble Howard family, young Katherine is plucked from her home to live with her grandmother, the Duchess of Norfolk. The innocent girl quickly learns that her grandmother's puritanism is not shared by Katherine's free-spirited cousins, with whom she lives. Beautiful and impressionable, Katherine becomes involved in two ill-fated love affairs before her sixteenth birthday. Like her cousin Anne Boleyn, she leaves her grandmother's home to become a lady-in-waiting at the court of Henry VIII. The royal palaces are exciting to a young girl from the country, and Katherine ?nds that her duties there allow her to be near her handsome cousin, Thomas Culpepper, whom she has loved since childhood.
But when Katherine catches the eye of the aging and unhappily married king, she is forced to abandon her plans for a life with Thomas and marry King Henry. Overwhelmed by the change in her fortunes, bewildered and flattered by the adoration of her husband, Katherine is dazzled by the royal life. But her bliss is short-lived as rumors of her wayward past come back to haunt her, and Katherine's destiny takes another, deadly, turn.

From the Back Cover

GUILTY OF NOTHING, SHE WOULD PAY A HEAVY PRICE FOR HER BEAUTY…

A young noblewoman in the ruthless Tudor era, Katherine Howard's life was far from easy. Left to the mercy of her neglectful grandmother, twice betrothed by the age fifteen, she finds happiness at last with her beloved kinsman, Thomas Culpepper, but those around her have other plans for her future…

At Hampton Court, King Henry VIII has rejected his plain wife, Anne, and Katherine is blind to his true nature, powerful flirtation. Surrounded by enemies, her unhappy past closing in on her, innocence is to be Katherine's final downfall…

‘…Superb storytelling… meticulous attention to authenticity of detail and depth of characterisation…one of the country's most widely read novelists’
SUNDAY TIMES

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The novel's strengths are that it accurately captures the youthful naivete and reckless hedonism of Katherine Howard's nature and that Katherine's attitude towards life makes her tragic end inevitable, but still desperately tragic. The characterisations are often very vivid - the presence of Anne Boleyn, Katherine's elder cousin, is felt despite the fact that she only ever appears in the novel twice. Anne looms over Katherine's life, firstly as a role-model and then later as a warning of what could happen to Henry VIII's queens. The depictions of Katherine's uncle, the duke of Norfolk; Anne of Cleves, Lady Rochford, Dorothy Barwike, Mannox and Dereham, and the dowager duchess are all commendable.
However, the story-line is a little contrite at times especially the romance between Katherine and Thomas Culpepper. Unlike the fully-believable way in which Katherine's liaisons with Henry Mannox and Francis Dereham are portrayed, her love for Culpepper is not particularly realistic. Nor is the image of the King entirely believable, he is a little too soft (but perhaps that's Plaidy's way of showing how smitten Henry was with his teenage bride.)
Historical errors are there as well. A lot of research now supports the idea that Katherine may have been born in 1525, making her several years younger than she is in this book, but, more importantly, the relationship between Katherine and Culpepper was much more sexually-orientated and a good-deal less romantic than Plaidy presents it as. After all, the real Culpepper was a convicted rapist and murderer.
However, the books major failing is that it's difficult to read more than once. The first time I read I greatly enjoyed it, however, once I read it again it utterly failed to hold my attention.
"The Rose Without a Thorn" is a good book, but it's far from Plaidy's best. In conclusion, it's the kind of novel with which to pass a rainy Sunday afternoon.
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By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
In this, the final novel in her "Queens of England" series of books, the author weaves a tapestry of political intrigue, romance, and historical detail into the story of young Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII. A masterful storyteller, the author, who also writes under the name Victoria Holt and has a cavalcade of devoted readers, creates a work of historical fiction that will transport the reader to another time.
The book details the rise and fall of Katherine Howard, a young, impoverished noblewoman of an illustrious family. As a young girl, she was sent to live with her grandmother, the Duchess of Norfolk, where she, unfortunately, fell in with a licentious group of retainers and became ensnared in two unsuitable affairs of the heart. Little did she know that they would serve to haunt her in a way she could never have imagined.
An opportunity, orchestrated by her Machiavellian and ambitious uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, arises for the beautiful, though foolish, Katherine to go to the Royal Court as Lady-In-Waiting to the fourth wife of Henry VIII, the kindly Anne of Cleves. Katherine obligingly goes. There, she falls in love with her cousin, Thomas Culpepper, a gentleman of the King's Bed Chamber. Her hopes of marriage to her handsome cousin are soon dashed, however, when she catches the wandering eye of the King, who loathes his current wife.
Having charmed the King and having little say in the matter, Katherine becomes his fifth wife, once he divorces Anne of Cleves. Katherine's initial happiness as Queen is cut short, however, when her lurid past comes to light and is brought to the King's attention.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely love Jean Plaidy and this book was difficult to put down. It tells the story of Katherine Howard but from her own point of view as she tells it to a friend who writes down the details that the reader sees. She talks of her childhood and how she was raised to Queen and also her past with Henry Manox and Francis Dereham. There is also mention of her cousin Anne Boleyn throughout the book which is appropriate as they were cousins. It is interesting how Katherine regrets her past lovers but remains firm in her love for Thomas Culpepper whom she knew as a youngster. The descriptions of the king are brilliant and the obvious terror Katherine felt when the king discovered her infidelities. It is interesting also (and some historical debate on this) whether Katherine said at her execution 'I die a Queen but would rather die the wife of Culpepper'. Plaidy claims this to be true and also that Thomas confessed his love for Katherine at the scaffold as well. All in all a brilliant read and well worth it if you like Tudor history
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By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Sept. 2003
Format: Hardcover
In this, the final novel in her "Queens of England" series of books, the author weaves a tapestry of political intrigue, romance, and historical detail into the story of young Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII. A masterful storyteller, the author, who also writes under the name Victoria Holt and has a cavalcade of devoted readers, creates a work of historical fiction that will transport the reader to another time.
The book details the rise and fall of Katherine Howard, a young, impoverished noblewoman of an illustrious family. As a young girl, she was sent to live with her grandmother, the Duchess of Norfolk, where she, unfortunately, fell in with a licentious group of retainers and became ensnared in two unsuitable affairs of the heart. Little did she know that they would serve to haunt her in a way she could never have imagined.
An opportunity, orchestrated by her Machiavellian and ambitious uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, arises for the beautiful, though foolish, Katherine to go to the Royal Court as Lady-In-Waiting to the fourth wife of Henry VIII, the kindly Anne of Cleves. Katherine obligingly goes. There, she falls in love with her cousin, Thomas Culpepper, a gentleman of the King's Bed Chamber. Her hopes of marriage to her handsome cousin are soon dashed, however, when she catches the wandering eye of the King, who loathes his current wife.
Having charmed the King and having little say in the matter, Katherine becomes his fifth wife, once he divorces Anne of Cleves. Katherine's initial happiness as Queen is cut short, however, when her lurid past comes to light and is brought to the King's attention.
Read more ›
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