This masterful performance of historical fiction centers on Katharine Howard -- clever, beautiful, and outspoken -- who catches the jaded eye of Henry VIII and becomes his fifth Queen. Corruption and fear pervade the King's court, and the dimly lit corridors vibrate with the intrigues of unscrupulous courtiers hungry for power. Soon Katharine is locked in a vicious battle with Thomas Cromwell, the Lord Privy Seal, as she fights for political and religious change.
Ford saw the past as an integral part of the present experience and understanding, and his sharply etched vision of the court of Henry VIII -- first published in 1908 -- echoes aspects of Edwardian England as it explores the pervading influence of power, lies, fear, and anxiety on people's lives.
About the Author
Ford Madox Ford was an English writer and critic, best known for his novel The Good Soldier, considered to be one of the greatest literary works of the 20th century; the Parade's End tetralogy, which was influenced by Ford's military service during the First World War; and The Fifth Queen trilogy, which chronicles the life of Henry VIII's ill-fated wife, Katherine Howard. As a critic, Ford championed new literature and literary experimentation, and his journals, The English Review and The Transatlantic Review, launched the careers of critically acclaimed authors like Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, Henry James, D. H. Lawrence, and Ernest Hemingway. Ford died in 1939 at the age of 65.
A.S. Byatt is an internationally acclaimed novelist, short-story writer, and critic. Her books include the Booker Prize winning Possession, as well as The Children s Book and the quartet of The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower, and A Whistling Woman. She was appointed Dame of the British Empire in 1999 and has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award, and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize. She lives in London, England.