Henry VIII’s Last Love Blog Tour Day 7 – Sanctuary in Poland

Posted By on March 15, 2015

A drawing of a more mature Katherine by George Vertue (1684- 1756), now at Sudeley Castle. The legend on the reverse reads ‘Catherine Willoughby Duchess of Suffolk, fourth wife of Charles Brandon, copied by Vertue from the original by Holbein at Kensington’. Image courtesy of Sudeley Castle.

A drawing of a more mature Katherine by George Vertue (1684- 1756), now at Sudeley Castle. The legend on the reverse reads ‘Catherine Willoughby Duchess of Suffolk, fourth wife of Charles Brandon, copied by Vertue from the original by Holbein at Kensington’. Image courtesy of Sudeley Castle.

Today I am honoured to be the final stop on David Baldwin’s blog tour for his book Henry VIII’s Last Love: The Extraordinary Life of Katherine Willoughby, Lady-in-Waiting to the Tudors. Amberley Publishing is also offering one lucky Anne Boleyn Files follower a copy of David’s book too – see further down for details. The giveaway is now closed.

Over to David…

Katherine and her family eventually found sanctuary in Poland, but not before they had been pursued from town to town by Queen Mary’s agents and attacked by brigands. The following extract describes her flight from Santon to Wesel in February, 1555. – David Baldwin

Foxe says that ‘so soon as the duchess had landed in Brabant, she and her women were apparelled like the women of the Netherlands with hukes [long hooded cloaks]; and so she and her husband took their journey towards Cleveland [the Duchy of Cleves, in the Holy Roman Empire], and being arrived at a town therein called Santon [modern Xanten], took a house there, until they might further devise of some sure place, where to settle themselves’. They hoped to find permanent refuge in Wesel, another of the Duke of Cleves’s towns some eleven miles distant, ‘wither divers Walloons [a French-speaking people who live in Belgium] were fled for [their] religion and had for their minister one Francis Perusell, then called Francis de Rivers, who had received some courtesy in England at the duchess’s hands’. Through Perusell, Bertie asked the Wesel authorities to grant them a permit of residence, and Foxe implies that he obtained it the more readily because the chief magistrate knew who they really were.

But even while their application was being considered their presence in Santon aroused suspicion. It was rumoured that they ‘were greater personages than they gave themselves forth’ i.e. than they were pretending to be, and Bertie was warned that the Bishop of Arras, Antoine de Perrault, was planning to question them about their reasons for being there and their religious opinions. They decided that they must leave for Wesel immediately, and one cold February afternoon, ‘about three of the clock’, set out on foot ‘without hiring of horse or waggon for fear of disclosing their purpose’. They took only two servants with them, and again carried baby Suzan in their arms.

Their journey was far from easy. In the late afternoon ‘there fell a mighty rain of continuance, whereby a long frost and ice, before congealed, was thawed, which doubled more their weariness’. As darkness fell, they sent their servants into the villages they passed to attempt to hire a cart or other conveyance, but none was available and they were obliged to struggle on as best they could. They reached Wesel at between the hours of six and seven, but Bertie did not know where to find Perusell and could obtain no shelter for his family. ‘For going from inn to inn offering large money for small lodging, they were refused of all the inn-holders, suspecting Berty to be a lance-knight [landsknecht], and the duchess to be his woman. The child for cold and sustenance cried pitifully; the mother wept as fast; [and] the heavens rained as fast as the clouds could pour.’

With their situation becoming ever more desperate, Bertie left the others in the porch of St Willibrord’s church while he tried to find someone who could direct him to Master Perusell’s dwelling. He supposed his fluency in French, Italian and Latin would stand him in good stead, but found that none of the locals he approached could understand him. Finally, when he had almost given up hope, he overheard two boys speaking Latin, and offered to reward them if they would take him and his family ‘to some Walloon’s house’. By chance, they led them to the very house where Perusell happened to be dining that evening, and when he came to the door ‘beholding master Berty, the duchess, and their child, their faces, apparels, and bodies so far from their old form, deformed with dirt, weather, and heaviness, [he] could not speak to them, nor they to him, for tears. At length recovering themselves, they saluted one another, and so together entered the house, God knoweth full joyfully; master Berty changing his apparel with the good man [the householder], the duchess with the good wife, and their child with the child of the house.’

Extract taken from David Baldwin’s new book, Henry VIII’s Last Love (published by Amberley, 2015). The book is available to buy from all good bookstores, as well as online at the Amberley website, Amazon (Amazon US and Amazon UK) and The Book Depository.

9781445641041 (Copy)


To be in with a chance of winning a copy of Henry VIII’s Last Love, all you need to do is to comment below saying why you find Katherine Willoughby so interesting. Comments must be left before midnight Friday 20th March. A comment will be picked at random and the winner contacted shortly after the closing date. The giveaway is international.

The Author

David BaldwinDavid Baldwin is a historian who has taught at the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham for many years. He is the critically acclaimed author of The Lost Prince (‘A fascinating new theory’ THE DAILY MAIL), Elizabeth Woodville (‘Inspirational… brings her alive for the general reader’ PHILIPPA GREGORY), Richard III (‘A believably complex Richard, neither wholly villain nor hero’ PHILIPPA GREGORY), Robin Hood (‘Excellent… a pleasure to read’ BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE) and co-wrote the bestseller The Women of the Cousins War. He lives in Leicester.


‘A gripping biography of the woman who might have been Henry VIII’s seventh wife… David Baldwin is a brilliant historical detective.’ PHILIPPA GREGORY (author of The White Queen).

‘A vivid and fascinating account… brings Katherine Willoughby deservedly to the forefront of the Tudor age.’ ALISON WEIR.

If you’ve missed the other stops on David’s tour then do look at the schedule below so that you can catch up with them – click on it to enlarge it.

Finished image

137 thoughts on “Henry VIII’s Last Love Blog Tour Day 7 – Sanctuary in Poland”

  1. Michael Leaver says:

    I found Katherine as an interesting character due an interest in learning more about Brandon but finding out she was a possible love of King Henry VIII takes it to a whole new level.

  2. paola lauwers says:

    i would very much like to read this book, i’m intrested in everything TUDOR

  3. Tabby says:

    Oh wow, that’s an interesting extract. I have to say that I’ve been following this since I read about it. I knew who Katherine Willoughby was, but didn’t know about the suspicions of her possibly being another wife to King Henry VIII. That’s really new information for me and definitely something I’m going to have to look into more. I wonder what it would’ve been like had he chosen to marry her. . . and how he would have gone about making it happen. Things to ponder!

  4. rachael says:

    I had no idea Henry had an interest in katherine
    Especially because of Charles..but then again this is Henry we are talking about.
    Id love to know more…especially how her feelings towards him were.

  5. Anneka says:

    I’ve read a hundred books about Tudor times and about all the Kings, queens princes and princess’s but until reciently ive never even heard of this Katherine I would love to ready up more about her from such s fabulous author

  6. Heather D says:

    I simply know almost nothing about her, and would like to learn.

  7. Kathryn Nunez says:

    I find Katherine so interesting because of her connections back to Queen Katherine….being the daughter of one of her best friends, Maria de Salinas. Interesting that Henry would have been interested in someone so close to his former wife. Possibly even named after her. Life almost went full circle for him.

  8. Lisa Corbitt says:

    I find Katherine Willoughby interesting because I don’t know anything about her. Intriguing!

  9. Sally Hackney says:

    Just reading this heart wrenching account of Katherine’s escape was so compelling. I must read more! And the poor child,,,

  10. Kimberly W. says:

    I love all things Tudor, York, Lancaster, all the monarchies!

  11. Maria says:

    I would love to understand more about her and her relationship with Henry and Brandon. I wonder if Henry did this with knowledge of his close friend.. Or only after he died. I love to read Tudor history.. I have a great collection. I would love and treasure this book.

  12. clare skillen says:

    Im sure there’s still lots we dont know or been uncovered about henry. This adds to my own thoughts that there couldve been another child with another woman we dont know about – yet!
    Katherine is another woman in a strong line of tudor women that I admire and want to know more about.

  13. Kim Rushworth says:

    I’ve only recently heard about Katherine. The fact that she ran is interesting in itself. Was that out of love for her husband or self preservation? Maybe a little of both. Husbands were never much of a barrier for Henry, so what happened when he found she’d gone?

  14. karen says:

    I know nothing about her and id like to learn alot there is alot sbout the tudors i dont know and would like to

  15. Marloe says:

    I have read that this Catherine was such an extraordanary woman. The role of such a woman in the Tudor Court I find very interesting. Moreover, I know my mother would be over the moon with this book, so if I would win the book, I will give it to her first (and read it later myself).

  16. Sarah Johnson says:

    I find her interesting because I know so little about her. I’d love the chance to learn more.

  17. Crystal Wescott says:

    My interest of Katherine Willoughby comes from the fact I didn’t know about her, and when it comes to anything Tudor related, I have to read about it.

  18. Paul Evans says:

    Anything to do with history be it monarchy our buildings our people always makes for a great read this incredible lady had a fascinating life to read about her in depth would be a joy.

  19. Jaime Dix says:

    This excerpt is amazing! I think Katherine is interesting for many reasons, but it’s interesting to ponder what might have changed if Henry had married her.

  20. Naomi Doble says:

    Daughter of Maria de Salinas, lady in waiting to Katherine of Aragon, I believe. She bacame the ward of Charles Brandon after Maria’s death and while he was married to Princess Mary (Henry’s sister). After Mary’s death, Charles Brandon married her and a few years later passed away

  21. Jessica Cannella says:

    As with all the women of the tudor court time, they all seem to have an interesting story all their own. From the wives of henry, to kin like margeret pole (plantagenat ), to jane boleyn, catherine knollys, madge shelton, and all other noble ladies and even ladies in waiting. I find reading from the womans point of view is awesome! I dont know much about her except how they portrayed her in the tudors, and the only other book that mentioned her story at all was in wendy j dunns book the light in the labrynth. I know she was brandons word, that she was meant to marry his son henry, but when his previous wife the princess died he took her for his wife instead. I never knew anything about her possible relationship to the king and i cant wait to get my hands on this book. Afterf reading about all the other wives and mistresses this will be a great continuation with something new for me to learn.

  22. Eileen says:

    Because she named her dog Gardiner after the bishop of Winchester 🙂

  23. Patricia Perry says:

    I’ve probably read at least 500 books regarding The Tudors and people associated with them, but finally there is a book about Katherine Willoughby’s life. Most books end at Charles Brandon’s death, but this awesome book covers her entire life which was quite fascinating! She was such an integral character in the Tudor era, and the reader gets an entirely new viewpoint of the principal characters who lived (and died) then. I did purchase the kindle version of this fabulous book, but…I need an actual hard cover book for my beloved mother who also loves reading, and loves in particular reading about the Tudor years. Thank you so much for not only publishing this book, but also for offering this giveaway!!

  24. Stephanie says:

    Though I’d heard of Katherine being “hoovered up” by Charles Brandon as she was an heiress, I had no idea that Henry was interested in her himself or that she was so feisty, and that she had to go on the run in Europe ; I would love to find out more about this part of her life (what a good subject for a film this would be !)

  25. Denise says:

    I’m fascinated by the Tudor timeframe. This is the first book I’ve seen on Katherine Willoughby and I would love to have a copy!

  26. Denise says:

    I’m fascinated by the Tudor timeframe. This is the first book I’ve seen on Katherine Willoughby and I would love to have a copy!

  27. Barbara says:

    I find Katherine Willoughby be most interesting, mostly due to the wife of Charles Brandon and a good friend to Queen Catherine Parr. As well as the possible love interest to King Henry VIII. I would love to win a copy of the book, “Henry VIII’s Last Love”.

  28. I find Katherine intriguing from many standpoints. The first that she married the man she had expected to be her father in law and rather than becoming a submissive wife to this “father figure” she spoke her mind and was very persuasive. She was loyal and steadfast to her friends and even after Suffolk’s death remained influential at court. She lived an admirable life and truly made the most of the lot dealt to her and eventually surpassed all expectations of women of her day. I admire her and would love to read more about this intriguing Tudor woman.

  29. Ashlee says:

    What I find interesting about Katherine is the mystery surrounding her care of Katherine Parr’s baby after her death. Also, she was known to be very strong willed and beautiful, which would be awesome to learn more about her character!

  30. HAZEL POLLARD says:

    I would just love to read this book, it sounds very interesting. xx

  31. Ellen Penick says:

    im interested in her relationship with Katherine Parr, and why she resented having to take custody of her child. I’m also curious about her second marriage to a man of much lower rank. This was a rare occurrence indeed!

  32. Rachel says:

    I don’t know much on Katherine, other then that she was married to Charles Brandon. I know that her mother was lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine of Aragon. I would love to read David Baldwin’s book- to learn more about Katherine and her relationship with Henry VIII which fasinates me.

  33. Wendy Meyer says:

    I would love to read this book. It sounds like a wonderful read!

  34. Erinn Pierce says:

    I knew she was the wife of Charles Brandon. Finding this out about Henry is very interesting indeed. I love learning anything historical!

  35. Laura Johnson says:

    On pins and needles for this book! I had no idea Katherine was a possible 7th wife for Henry VIII!

    1. richard says:

      I don’t believe a word of it , sorry……

  36. Eliza says:

    Katherine was an interesting woman with a fascinating life… Married to Charles Brandon, being his ward first… I would like to learn more about her!

  37. Katy S says:

    Just now delving into the history of this family. I would appreciate the chance to learn more about this person’s involvement in the lives of the Tudors.

  38. Henny Crijns says:

    I enjoy reading anything Tudor. Katherine sounds like a very interesting woman of her time. I would like to know more about her. Thank you

  39. Tara says:

    I had no idea she was a romantic interest to Henry and having been married to Brandon who was Henry’s friend makes it all the more intriguing! I would absolutely love to read this book.

  40. Bente Hansen says:

    Kathrine is a very interesting woman. One of the strong women in the Tudor era.
    I would like to read and learn more about her and her interesting life.

  41. Theresa Roche says:

    This lady fascinates me because she was a clever survivor – in a sense she had something in common with Anne of Cleves. Physically, she could almost be mistaken for the portrait that is always said to be Jane Seymour. Also, the account of the flight out of the country during the reign of Queen Mary is riveting – it also, sadly, makes me feel sad that while wise folk fled in times of religous controversy, it tended to be wealthy wise folk – what about the almost 300 people burned to death during Mary’s reign?

  42. Inese Woodburne says:

    I am fascinated with the Tudor era. What an interesting life Katherine had! I never knew she was a potential wife for Henry. Lucky escape for her.

  43. Penney says:

    I did not realize that the wife of Charles Brandon was a contender for Henry VIII’S heart. It would be fascinating to read a story from the perspective of a woman who had the live of the king, but never became a wife.

  44. Joyce Young says:

    I studied, on my own, this fascinating family and just about emptied my Library of every non-fiction and fiction book I could take out. I don’t remember reading very much about Katherine and would love to continue through her.

  45. Carol Perin says:

    I have never heard of Katherine and would love to read about her.

  46. Tudor King says:

    I’d love to know more about this interesting lady. It would be awesome to get some more information!!!

  47. Vanessa says:

    She led a fascinating life. Facing the king’s interest was always dangerous, and I would be interested to learn more about her.

  48. charliee warmer says:

    i love katherine had had to married the duke of suffolk but made the best of it giving him two sons who bth sadly died ppretty much the same time and i feel shes strong as reading books they read most women would be scared to read and smart if she had stayed in england shes had been burnt by mary tudor theses many things i would still love to now sin e being bed bound i read alot more into anything history i can find

  49. Christina says:

    Wow what an interesting life this woman had!

  50. Rebecca Foster says:

    I honestly am not terribly familiar with Katherine.. but am very interested and excited to learn more!!!

  51. Denise Duvall says:

    I have never heard about this Katherine and since following this tour, have become very interested in her story. From her portrait, she was very pretty. I am surprised, that Henry allowed his friend Charles Brandon to “steal her from under his nose”.She must have been a serious political threat, since Henry’s daughter Mary, continued to pursue her for so long.With Katherine being familiar to Mary, since her mother was part of Katherine of Aragon’s court, Mary must have had strong reasons for her actions.I would like to read more about Katherine Willoughby’s life. Thank you for the giveaway.

  52. Donna Fleming says:

    I would love to learn more about Katherine. This would be a wonderful prize.

  53. Debbie says:

    I’m a complete Tudor geek/fanatic (or thought I was!) and have never heard of this lady in relation to Henry viii.., would love to read about her and as a prize would be fantastic!

  54. Tia says:

    I know absolutely nothing about her, so this book would be greatly appreciated.

    Fingers crossed 🙂

  55. Mrsfiennes says:

    Would love to know more about Katherine in general.She sounds like she lived a very fascinating life.I imagine her story is very intriguing and I can’t wait to learn more.

  56. Michelle says:

    i would love to read about Katherine Willoughby. Married to the 1st Duke of Suffolk at a very young age. I would love to know what happened at court during her stay there. She was around for Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour and I think Anne of Cleaves. She must have had a good view of the court happenings. Thanks Claire for yet another book on my ever growing list or good reading.

  57. Crystal T says:

    I find it interesting that Henry would consider marriage with Katherine Willoughby who was the daughter of Maria de Salinas, the confidant of his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. That would be the first reason I would want to read this book and because it’s about connections with the Tudors is the other reason I want to read it.

  58. Rachel says:

    As someone fascinated by all things Tudor, this book looks like a wonderful resource for learning more.

  59. Brenda Bailey says:

    Would love to read this book! Sounds so interesting!

  60. Nan says:

    I haven’t gotten my copy of the book yet, so maybe it answers this question. But is there any evidence of how Katherine Willoughby felt about Anne Boleyn? I know in The Tudors, their version of Katherine hated Anne (like her husband Charles Brandon did); however, in Wendy Dunn’s The Light in the Labyrinth, Katherine is portrayed as one of Anne’s supporters. I’m wondering if it is known what Katherine Willoughby’s thoughts on Anne actually were.

  61. Annika says:

    I find Katherine interesting because she was such a staunch supprter of protestantism, even though Brandon and her mother had more conservative views.

  62. Banditqueen says:

    At last a modern biography of Katherine Willoughby, and by one of my favourite authors. This book is very much needed. Looking forward to getting deeper into the life of this remarkable woman.

  63. Christina says:

    I find everything about the Tudors fascinating. I have never heard of this woman and am.definitely intrigued. Especially if there’s any connection between this woman and letting wife 6 off easy.

  64. Jordan Moore says:

    I find Katherine fascinating because I know very little about her apart from Charles Brandon’s story. I would have thought Henry would have not pursued the wife of his best friend, but we all know Henry felt entitled to whatever he desired. I would live to win and learn more!

  65. Deanna says:

    I honestly know very little about her, but as a huge fan of the Tudor period, I am always interested I learning more about the lesser known historical figures. The excerpt makes her seem extremely interesting, and I would love to read the entire book!

  66. Lisa says:

    I find Katherine Willoughby interesting because I don’t know that much about her. If Henry was in love with her then she must have been interesting because he was never involved with anyone boring.

  67. josie says:

    I’ve never heard of her this is a new and very interesting story love to read

  68. Maxine says:

    Honestly I know nothing about her but I would love to know how she became so close to Henry VIIIs heart and mind. How different history would have been!

  69. Ann Smith says:

    love to learn about British history, perfect book to learn more!!!!!

  70. JFM1 says:

    This sounds like a wonderful book. I am interested in all aspects of the Tudors and would live to read David Baldwin’s book.

  71. Marianne Lyons says:

    Since the age of 12 I have been drawn to and fascinated by the Tudor period. I’d love to discover more, especially about a woman little has been previously been written about, but who had an integral role throughout the dynasty.

  72. Melita says:

    i’ve read this extract…and now i am so interested to read the whole book that i don’t know if i should be able to sleep tonight 🙂

  73. Jessica says:

    This sounds like an amazing book and would be a great addition to the rest of my Tudor books 🙂

  74. Libby (Elisabeth Millard) says:

    I know very little about Katherine, but anyone who was married to Henry and survived is worth reading about I’d love to win a copy of this book.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this book

  75. Kristina O'Toole says:

    i love Tudor history and I can’t believe I didn’t know about Katherine.. Yes, I’m very interested and would absolutely love a copy of this book.

  76. Adrienne B. says:

    Any woman who Henry VIII fell in love with is bound to be fascinating. Henry has always been the regent I am most interested in.

  77. Lorraine Qadeer says:

    I love reading about this period in history – would love to read about the woman who could have been wife number 7 had Catherine Parr not outlived Henry VIII! History could have been very different..imagine a male heir from their union..British monarchy would look very different today!

  78. Sally says:

    Intriguing! I would love to learn more about Katherine Willoughby.

  79. I am intrigued by Katherine s relations with Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, and also her exile. And of course her correspondence with Robert Dudley.

  80. Sharen Stennett says:

    I live in the USA and last year discovered Tudor history. I am so addicted everything Tudor. This book would mean the world to me. Thank you.

  81. Anna says:

    i want to find out more about a wpman who could have been so well-known as the 7th wife , but in fact is often forgotten instead

  82. Andi says:

    well this has shaken me! I consider myself to be a bit of a Tudor expert and I know absolutely nothing about Katherine, which is rather annoying. I would love to win and find out more!

  83. Bill says:

    I’d hope to find out what might have happened to Katherine Parr to make room for this Katherine. Hopefully that is covered in a book about the potential seventh wife of Henry VIII.

  84. C.M Padget says:

    OMG! I am so glad to hear that this is actually coming out!
    There were some website saying that it was out-of-print/publisher canceled.

  85. Christine says:

    She was described as being quite feisty therefore I doubt if she would have been a suitable Queen for Henry although he was quite possibly attracted to her, Anne wasn’t meek and she lost her head because of it I can see Katherine in a similar position had she married Henry, she’s seems an interesting character tho and her early flight abroad gives her story a dash of romance and adventure, her mother also who was Katherine’s maid and friend appears quite formidable the way she forced her way into Kimboltan Castle so she could be with Queen Katherine as she lay dying, what an admirable woman she was and a true friend, her daughter could well have inherited some of those qualities.

  86. Sandy says:

    As so many others have said, Katherine Willoughby is somewhat of a mystery to me. I’ve never read anything that elaborated more than the fact Charles Brandon married her. She is one of the many women of the times that was more than just someone’s wife. My interest has been piqued and I look forward to filling in the blanks with this book. It would be fabulous to win a copy, but I will definitely read it either way!

  87. Lisa H says:

    I am delighted to know there is finally a biography of Katherine Willoughby. She strikes me as a very strong women, but most of what I know of her is in the time of her marriage to Charles Brandon. I’d like to know more about her early years – I have no doubts she inherited her strength from her mother, whose own story is fascinating in its own right. And history usually drops Katherine’s story with Brandon’s death and the rumors that Henry planned to put Katherine in Queen Katherine Parr’s place – this must have been truly distressing to her since she was a close friend of the Queen. But what became of her after Henry VIII’s death is a story we never hear, and I would be very interested to find out.

  88. Lisa H says:

    I am delighted to know there is finally a biography of Katherine Willoughby. She strikes me as a very strong women, but most of what I know of her is in the time of her marriage to Charles Brandon. I’d like to know more about her early years – I have no doubts she inherited her strength from her mother, whose own story is fascinating in its own right. And history usually drops Katherine’s story with Brandon’s death and the rumors that Henry planned to put Katherine in Queen Katherine Parr’s place – this must have been truly distressing to her since she was a close friend of the Queen. But what became of her after Henry VIII’s death is a story we never hear, and I would be very interested to find out.

  89. Ceri C says:

    Poor lady – she must have suffered, not being used to such hardships!
    I had heard of Katherine Willoughby often and was curious about her, as she was close to so many key people – but I had not realised that this included Henry!

  90. Barbara says:

    I have always found Katherine Willoughby very interesting Tudor character. She was at the Tudor court at a very young age married the Duke of Suffolk instead of his son, and continued on and off at the court I until run out of England. I have always wondered if she was the one who had custody of Catherine Parrs daughter after her death (The Ivy Crown) for I believe They had been friends since childhood. I would love to read this book. Thank you for the rare opportunity to perhaps get to read it as a reward.

  91. Catherine says:

    A fascinating woman and I want to read this!

  92. Cathy says:

    I know nothing about Katherine Willoughby and would love to read this book. Thank you.

  93. Ann says:

    I find this fascinating. I knew Katherine Parr was walking a tightrope during her marriage to Henry VIII, but I had no idea Henry had earmarked his next wife. I would love to read more about Katherine Willoughby and her plight. I wonder how Henry planned to terminate this marriage. Would accusations of heresy been leveled. Would another wife of Henry VIII have faced the block or would he feel he had out played that hand and sent her to the stake. I shudder to think.

    1. Claire says:

      Congratulations, Ann, you have won the book. I’ll email you for your details.

  94. Nancy says:

    I would like to read more about Katherine Willoughby because she was such a fascinating person – a woman ahead of her time.

  95. juan carlos says:

    Must say know nothing about her but the book sounds more interesting to find out more about her

  96. Anne Barnhill says:

    I have always been interesting in Cahterine Willoughby, mainly because she was snatched up by Charles Branson at such a young age, yet, as a grown woman, she was educated and a devout Protestant, friend of Katherine Parr. As a matter of fact, she had charge of Parr’s daughter, who sort of disappears from the world without a word. And, Willoughby had complained of having to support Parr’s daughter in the custom which the child’s status demanded. She was certainly a complex woman and I’d love to know more about her. Thanks!

  97. Cathryn C. says:

    Katherine Willoughby Bertie has fascinated me ever since I read snippets about her as a child. Katherine was the daughter of the devout Roman Catholic Lady Maria de Salinas — yet Katherine became a major player in the New Religion (which evolved over time into the Anglican faith). Maria was the devoted lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon, and Katherine was a dedicated member of Queen Catherine Parr’s household.

    Katherine was married at the age of 14 to the widowed brother-in-law of King Henry VIII, namely Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.

    Once Charles Brandon died, Katherine did something remarkable in the Tudor age: she married for love. Her adventures with Mr. Bertie took her all over Europe during the reign of Roman Catholic Queen Mary Tudor, and she returned to England in 1558, when Protestant Elizabeth I ascended the throne.

    So…Katherine Willoughby Bertie was a sophisticated, learned, well-travelled, cosmopolitan lady who is largely unknown.

    That she was rumoured to be Henry VIII’s last love interest is really astonishing, as Katherine Willoughby’s loyalty to Henry’s last queen was undoubted and well-known. But as Henry was accustomed to getting whatsoever and whomsoever he wanted, he may have made a play for her.

    So I would LOVE to win this book! 🙂

  98. Beth says:

    Quite simply I find Katherine fascinating because she led an extraordinary life. As a teen supposed to wed one mand and instead wed to his father? That’s quite a situation. How did she feel about it? And yet as Duchess she was a success. Then to attract the king’s notice as well, not to mention all the changing of monarchs and religious upheaval causing such marked rises and falls in her fortunes. I’d love to win the book!

  99. Ellen says:

    I know who Katherine was, but very little else. I would like to read this book to learn more about her and the Tudors. It is my favorite period of history to read about.

  100. Dawn Pinnataro says:

    Her early life is interesting but it is her years as wife to Brandon and her life thereafter that fasinates me! Just the fact that she is the daughter of Katherine’s lady-in-waiting, Lady Maria de Salinas and then becomes a major player in her own right and her dedicated friendship/support of Queen Catherine Parr. This looks to be a very interesting book and one I would love to read.

  101. Jemma Robertson says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard of Katherine and would love to read this to find out more about her. Love learning new things.

  102. Emma says:

    Wow, this is totally new to me. I’ve heard Katherine’s name before but didn’t really know any information. I would love to learn more about her… a possible love of Henry VIII!

  103. Margaret Henley says:

    Although not a fan of Henry VIII, I find the Tudor women fascinating. Katherine Parr had a lucky escape with Henry’s death it would seem.

  104. Emma Plaskitt says:

    I am quite mortified that having read dozens of books on the Tudors, including biographies of Catherine Parr, I know next to nothing about Katherine Willoughby. Our attention is doubtless focused on Charles Brandon’s famous wife, Mary Tudor, Queen of France, but from the snippets I have read here, Katherine Willoughby is highly deserving of her own biography. How marvellous that this period of history continues to offer more and more fascinating information! I shall be reading this biography and look forward to expanding my knowledge!

  105. Sue Crawford says:

    I find it satisfying that authors are writing more about the women of the time rather than focussing upon the men. It provides yet another perspective to the study of the period and provides a more rounded viewpoint of events. I look forward to adding this book to my “read” list.

  106. Suzy says:

    I love reading about the Tudors! I knew that Katherine was the wife of Brandon, but had no idea that Henry VIII had an interest in her. I am most intrigued! Looking forward to reading this and hopefully winning a copy!

  107. I would love to ready this new book. I like finding out new things about the king. I bet this is a good read. I hope I win.

  108. Audrey Forrest says:

    I am very interested in Katherine. I wonder if Queen Mary saw her evangelical Protestantism (she was part of Katherine Parr’s group) as a betrayal since her mother Maria was the closest waiting woman and friend to Katherine of Aragon? to Mary, it must have had great impact as usually she was generous towards people who had been close in some way to her mother, and Maria certainly was. Maybe Mary felt betrayed and that her mother and Maria were also betrayed by Katherine’s faith.

  109. Theresa says:

    I am excited to read this book!. I too am really pleased that more is being published about women of the Tudor times. I never knew Katherine existed…and now I’m intrigued!

  110. Beth Gunter says:

    I can’t believe I haven’t heard about Henry’s interest in making this Katherine wife number 7! I’ve read a vast amount of nonfiction Tudor history and never read anything about her. This sounds like a truly fascinating book and I’m excited to read it. It would be great to add this to my permanent Tudor library.

  111. Sarah Hodge says:

    Katherine is an interesting character. She is much like Anne Boleyn in her evangelical Protestantism as was Catherine Parr however as the wife of Charles Brandon this also places her in an interesting position in the social landscape of the Tudor court. Brandon and Henry were very close however had their moments of betrayal (Charles marrying Henry’s sister Mary) and for Henry to have been in love with her provides an interesting complication to their relationship and Henry’s own honour. The fact that she was also forced to flee England and seek sanctuary in Poland is interesting as the concept of someone going from royal favour to royal persecution is always an interesting one!

  112. Caren says:

    Have read many books over the years about all the Tudors and know who Katherine was but had no idea Henry was interested In her! Would love to delve!

  113. Dawn Robinson says:

    2 reasons I’d liked this book. One is to shed more light on Henry in his dotage, and thereby to further explain his attitude to his wives. Second is because it becomes a truly global (well, european story) on a scale I had never really taken on board, so a focus on improving my knowledge from someone else’s labour.

  114. Amanda Belshaw says:

    I admittedly do not know much about Katherine Willoughby, but this all sounds so intriguing and I would love to read more!

  115. David Leighr says:

    Found story interesting for the strength of the people to escape and survive. Lives of other than blue bloods is seldom reported and helps flesh out how the times were.

  116. Hannah R says:

    I love everything about the Tudor era. I love learning about new people and becoming more and more educated about the time. Katherine is a new figure to me. I’ve read about her and stuff, but I’ve never extensively researched her. She seems like a very interesting character in the Tudor court.

  117. Maria says:

    I’m interested in Katherine Willoughby’s relationship with Mary I. They were raised together, both the daughters of Spanish mothers and English fathers. Furthermore, their mothers were good friends; Maria chose to live in exile along with Katherine of Aragon. Yet Mary hunted her down. Katherine had to flee. It would be interesting to see how their relationship reached that point.
    I’d also like to learn about her relationship with Katherine Parr. They also grew up together, and I wonder how Henry’s interest in her would have affected that.
    Lastly I’d love to hear about her relationship with her stepdaughters. From what I understand, they did not like each other. At all.

  118. Terrylee Warren says:

    I would love to win and read this book. As I am very interested in the tudor erra.I don’t know much about Katherine Willoughby but would like to know more.

  119. Ralphine L. Lamonica says:

    Finally! It’s so good to see the shaded members of the Tudor court get the full book treatment. Although I love books about Anne Boleyn, some members of the Tudor circle have been in information overload……both good and bad. It’s refreshing to shed light on other important individuals of the era. From what I know of Katherine’s story she seems to be a perfect candidate to learn more about!

  120. Cora says:

    Oh wow, this really caught my eye. I am interested in reading this book because of my interest in Charles Brandon. I knew she was his ward and eventually married him but didn’t know that Henry V!!! had an interest. I guess before Katharine Parr then it must have been and I hadn’t read of his interest in anyone else. Nice that someone has focused on her. I be a great read.

  121. Angela Bliss says:

    I know nothing about Katherine and this sounds absolutely fascinating.

  122. Ludmi says:

    Hi!, I´m from Argentina and I would love to win a copy of this book. Nowadays it is really difficult to find this kind of good books to read here. I´m a Pharmacist. but since I was a child my Mother encourage me to read, She is a History teacher, and we both love the Tudor period. Thanks for giving us the chance!

  123. Ines Eusebi says:

    Thank you for the chance you give us to win this book. I sometimes find it hard to get books from my library on the Tudors. This book would be a great new source to give my classes. I´m a High school teacher and I can’t believe I haven’t heard about Henry’s interest in making this Katherine wife number 7! I’ve read a vast amount of Tudor history and never read anything about her. This sounds like a truly fascinating book and I’m excited to read it

  124. Guille Espinola says:

    I’ve read this extract…and now i am so interested to read the whole book that i don’t know if i should be able to sleep tonight…. 😉
    By the way, congratulations Claire, I am sure I am not the only one of who visits your site appreciates all your hard work that you put into the Anne Boleyn Files, which gives a great insight to these fascinating people, and much enjoyment and knowledge to its visitors.
    Thank you!, It is a pleasure to be a part of it, and I am sure the site will go from strength to strength.

  125. Heather Crouse says:

    I would love to read this book! I don’t know anything about Katherine and the thought of how history might have been different had there been a 7th wife is fascinating!

  126. Caroline says:

    From what I’ve read, Katherine Willoughby was an intelligent and fiery woman and I’d love to know more about her life. I’ve always thought it was brilliant that she named her dog after Bisoph Gardiner.

  127. Jennifer says:

    I am also interested in Katherine Willoughby because of her guardianship of young Mary Seymour. If Mary truly did die as a toddler, it is odd that several families have strong traditions that she survived to marry and have children.

  128. Kerry says:

    What a Woman !!!
    Her life would be a blockbuster at the movies !

  129. Kim says:

    Katherine Willoughby sounds like a really interesting woman. I’d definitely like to know more about her, and this book sounds fabulous! Thanks for the giveaway.

  130. ashley gassner says:

    Katherine Willoughby is intriguing to me as I had not known about her prior. Now, I am wanting to find more information on this, the “last love” of Henry!

  131. Dawn 1st says:

    Sounds an exceptional book on someone who I don’t know a lot about.

  132. Sian Roberts says:

    I have read loads on Henry VIII’s wives but I don’t know much about Catherine Willoughby – I’m curious to know what made her so attractive to Charles Brandon and then Henry. Beauty, money or both?!

  133. Terrylee Warren says:

    I would really love to win this book in read it. I have loved all over old england for the last 3 or 4 years I’ve really been interested in it big time good luck to everybody here but I hope that I win it

  134. Claire says:

    Congratulations to Ann Ormond for winning the book.

    1. Ann says:

      Thank you Claire. I am just chuffed. Can not wait to get lost in this book.

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