Historian and author Elizabeth Norton’s biography of Catherine Parr was published by Amberley Publishing earlier this year and, like her other books, it is meticulously researched and a great read. I had recently read Linda Porter’s book on Catherine Parr but although Porter’s and Norton’s books obviously overlapped (how could they not?), each author had her own take on Catherine and brought something new to the table.
After Anne Boleyn, Catherine Parr is my favourite wife. “Why?”, you may ask, “Why choose a woman whose life was so boring and who was nothing but a nurse to Henry at the end of his life?”. Well, that is the traditional picture of Catherine Parr, a picture that has been firmly blasted out of the waters with Elizabeth Norton’s book. As Norton says, on the very first page, “She was the most reluctant of all Henry VIII’s queens, but she was also one of the greatest”, and this biography does a great job of celebrating Catherine Parr’s life and telling her real story.
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