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Queen Katherine and Media: Review of “Lamentation” by CJ Sansom

The day I found out that a link had been added to a Guardian Book Review was last year on this day. The highlighted “Lamentations of a Sinner“, went directly to my web site, TUDORQUEEN6. I was astonished and flattered. So, lets look back on this review…
A series of novels have been written about Queen Catherine Parr. Recently, Catherine was a hot topic for historical fiction authors like Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Freemantle. This book, “Lamentations”, is an older novel that deals with a reoccuring narrator named Matthew Shardlake.
In this novel, Shardlake and the queen go back a long way, to a time when she was merely the widowed Lady Latimer and Shardlake entertained vain hopes that she might overlook his hump if he offered his hand (in the manner of all great detectives, Shardlake’s vast intellect and emotional insecurity mean he doesn’t have much luck with women). But though Shardlake has repeatedly vowed to cease putting himself in danger, he can’t resist the commission to trace the whereabouts of a secret, potentially heretical manuscript that has been stolen from the queen’s bedchamber.
Catherine did write a book and published it during the King’s reign. The book, Prayers and Meditations, was a huge success and the Queen was encouraged to write more. A mere encounter with almost being arrested quieted the Queen, just enough to make her the only surviving wife of King Henry. After Henry’s death in January of 1547, the Dowager Queen was once again encouraged to put forth her writings by her brother, William, now Marquess of Northampton and the Dowager Duchess of Suffolk, Katherine Willoughby. Lamentations of a Sinner was published. The book was more “heretical” than her earlier publication. If Catherine had tried to publish the book under Henry’s reign, she most definitely would have been arrested and tried for “heresy” by the Catholics at court. Whether or not she would have been put to death, we will never know, because Catherine was smart enough to plead her case to the King before the Catholic faction could even arrest her. Way to go Catherine!
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About tudorqueen6 (140 Articles)
Meg McGath is the author behind the articles on tudorqueen6; she has been studying the history and genealogy of the Parr family since 2007. Now, a decade later, she is still writing about her favorite Tudor queen, Kateryn Parr. Meg studied Women's Studies with an emphasis on English Women's History at the University of Maryland. One of her goals is to end the myth that Kateryn Parr was nothing more than a nursemaid to the aging King Henry VIII. "It simply isn't true, she did so much more for the Royal Family and her country," says Meg. And, of course, to educate Tudor enthusiasts on the prestigious lineage and connections of the Parr family. "Kateryn was related to everyone at court by blood or marriage. She was a descendant of the Beaufort line of John of Gaunt, son of Edward III, and Katherine Swynford. She shared this line with two of her husbands, Lord Latimer and the King," Meg states. A book is always her end game with Parr, but Meg has yet to put all the information together and send it to a publisher. "I've been told by many, including Professors, that I am a good writer..." says Meg. "The book, would focus on the generations before the Queen and how the Parr family became courtiers and relatives of The Crown."

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