Catherine Howard by Lacey Baldwin Smith

Catherine Howard

A biography of Henry VIII of England's fifth wife, beheaded for playing Henry at his own game - adultery. At seven o'clock on the morning of 13th February 1542, Catherine Howard stepped out into the cold of the great courtyard of the Tower of London. Slowly she was escorted across the yard and carefully helped up the steps of the wooden scaffold. Only a small group of sightseers had gathered to watch the death of a queen; there was no weeping, no...

Details Catherine Howard

TitleCatherine Howard
Release DateJan 15th, 2009
PublisherAmberley Publishing
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Biography, English History, Tudor Period, Historical

Reviews Catherine Howard

  • Kathleen
    AUGH.Okay. This book really frustrated me. I picked it up because I thought it might be a sympathetic view of Catherine-- I thought the author was a woman, based on the name, and I thought a woman might be more understanding. Nope, it's a dude, and he is judgy as all fuck. It was also published in 1961, so, you know, twice as judgy. He calls her things like a silly slut and a frivolous idiot, and I just. Oh my god. She was a child, you asshole. S...
  • Sara
    After reading Ives' "Life and Death of Anne Boleyn", where small comparisons are made between Anne's and Catherine's downfalls, i realized that I didn't know very much about this young woman, fifth wife of Henry the eight. I had this book so I decided to read it and learn more about her. Catherine was very young when she married the king, pushed by her family in the arms of a man that was now old, fat, and ill. It couldn't have been easy for a tw...
  • Danielle Reily
    This book was very interesting. I love to learn new things about the Tudor monarchy and I was very interested in reading more about Henry VIII fifth wife. I feel that her brief reign as queen is often a mere footnote in a lot of biographies. This book goes over a lot of background, exploring possible reasons for the tragedy of Catherine Howard's life. While I enjoyed the background information I also wished there had been a little more substance....
  • Mer
    There’s very little to be said about Catherine Howard. Her date of birth wasn’t recorded, her portraits are all speculative, and the one letter preserved in her hand is badly composed as it is reckless. Lacey Baldwin-Smith didn’t have much to add about Catherine herself that I hadn’t read in other sources, but he did contextualize her life and the Tudor mindset in a way that made her rise to power and alarmingly rapid downfall fathomable....
  • Indiana
    Enjoyed it. This is the first "real" biography I've read of Catherine...i.e. one that is entirely fact based and not bordering on historical fiction. And what was really fascinating was learning how little is actually known about her or her short time as Queen of England. To fill in the gaps, Smith supplements by talking about Catherine's family and giving context to the court and country in which she grew up. But even with the added details, it ...
  • Midgetbee
    The title of the book is a little misleading - this is less a biography of Catherine Howard then it is an examination of the society and situations she passed through on her way to becoming queen.With that in mind, I'd recommend this book to those already familiar with Catherine Howard. It's a fascinating insight into society and familial obligations in the Tudor times, but don't expect too much information about the lady herself.
  • Rachel McQuoid
    ive never really read a historical book before but ive always been really interested in that sort of time period and Henry the 8th and his wives. of all his wifes Catherine Howard was the one i knew least about and i found this book really interesting. it was written in shortish chapters which made it quicker to get through. alll in all i really enjoyed it and it took me less than a day to finish it :)
  • Heraklia
    I read this book first as a teenager a few decades ago, and have kept it on my bookshelf ever since. It's not only a wonderful, careful, thoughtful interpretation of poor Katherine Howard but is a great look at her entire power-brokering family of the Howards, who so carelessly exhibited her as a seductive tidbit to King Henry VIII, and so hastily denied her entirely once her mistakes came to (fatal) light. Even now, the best book on this period ...
  • Laura
    I only know about Catherine Howard through fictional accounts, so I wanted to learn a little more about her short life. This was an interesting, relatively unbiased look at her life and times. The author spends a fair amount of time on her trial and English law at the time; I thought he added just enough background and analysis. If you're interested in Tudor history, I'd recommend checking this out. It's very readable and just the right length.
  • Selkie
    The chapter entitled "The Howard Dynasty" was a bit of dry reading in some parts but overall the book provided an accurate study of the politics & intrigues of the times. And considering how little written history there was of Catherine Howard, it depicted an interesting portrait of the young girl that had been the wife of Henry VIII
  • Victoria
    Although this book is dated (written in the 1960s), I still enjoyed reading it. As not that much is known about Katherine herself, the book was filled with good information on the Howard family and also court life. I like the fact that at the end of each chapter, there are the notes on sources rather than all crammed in at the end of the book. This is definitely worth a read in my opinion.
  • Jonathan
    Reissued by me at Amberley Publishing, the paperback is due out in March in the UK and about June (I think) in the US. Alison Weir described the book as 'brilliant, compelling... essential reading for anyone interested in Tudor history.’
  • Savina King
    Lacey Baldwin Smith is a good historian and this is the second book of his I have read. He does n't fill up with conjecture the gaps in the knowledge available. Really feel like I can taste the Tudor period as he presents it. Two more books on my shelf by him to read and plenty that he has written.
  • Finuala
    Very much enjoyed this. Unlike some historians, Lacey Baldwin Smith has a way with words, causing me to chuckle or nod on several occasions. His death last September at the age of 90 is a sad loss.
  • Keely Watling
    Could not wait to finish it for all the wrong reasons!! Boring! Glad it's done!
  • anita Lauricella
    I have never read a book that was less about the title character than this one. If a third of the book was actually about Catherine that would be a lot.
  • Mrs. Scott
    This book does not romanticize poor Catherine Howard. Instead, she is portrayed as a woman of her time, albeit a very foolish one.
  • Nisha
    Not as good as his other books. I do like this line, "all the Howard's had to dance nimbly the Tudor fandango."