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Extended Audio Sample The Last Wife of Henry VIII: A Novel Audiobook, by Carolly Erickson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,570 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carolly Erickson Narrator: Terry Donnelly Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2006 ISBN: 9781593979881
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From the luxuries of court to the last gory years of the outsize King Henry when heads rolled and England trembled, Catherine bestrode her destiny and survived to marry her true love. She was the least known of Henry VIII’s six wives, but was the cleverest of them all.
Alluring, witty and resourceful, she attracted the king’s lust and, though in love with the handsome Thomas Seymour, was thrown into the snakepit of the royal court. While victims of the king’s wrath suffered torture and execution, Catherine withstood the onslaught, even when Henry sought to replace her with a seventh wife. She survived her royal husband, and found happiness with Seymour—but it was shadowed by rivalry with the young Princess Elizabeth, whose affection Seymour coveted. Catherine won the contest, but at great cost.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacey | 2/13/2014

    " Will I ever grow tired of hearing about pimptastic Henry and his poor wives? Doubtful. This book was fascinating because it spanned the history of them all and, through the eyes of his last wife Katharine Parr who survived Henry and knew him from the time she was a child, showed a really interesting character portrait of him across his lifetime as king. Particularly in his end years when he was obese, ill, paranoid, cruel, and impotent (yet still, as always, magically expecting a son), he is more like a cautionary character from Chaucer rather than a king. I grew a bit weary of Kat's melodrama; some of the scenes could be straight out of All my Children or something, but--as with The Other Boleyn Girl--I couldn't wait to find out what happened next, even though I sort of knew where it was headed (no pun intended). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lily | 1/29/2014

    " Each historical fiction writer has her/his own historical truth to tell. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tammy Jurkovski | 1/27/2014

    " Oh to be a Queen.... I think not! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Allison | 1/24/2014

    " Very little depth or emotion shown by Catherine, or Henry. Interesting enough to try another of the authors books, but not a must read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 1/17/2014

    " Standard Tudor fare but a quick, light (to the extent that regular beheadings can be light) and interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 1/7/2014

    " Love this time period, and always interested in reading about the wives of Henry VIII. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leah | 1/1/2014

    " I did not review this last night, because I read and read until I could get to the end of this book. I have to say that, while I did not love it, the story in The Last Wife of Henry VIII is still an entertaining read. The store follows Catherine Parr and her life as she watches the wives of Henry rise and fall around her. Catherine Parr is a confusing character, and perhaps, she was in life and the fiction follows. However, I found her wishy-washy. At times, she seems to be a complete puppet, and other times, she seems to be on the verge of breaking out of the mold, but never quite gets there. There was portions of religion, which Catherine seemed to have an interest take on, but much of it was glossed over for the historical part of the story. Most of the male characters are not likable in this book, and, I think that it would have been nice to have at least one. Those that are seem to be on the side or have terrible things happening to them. The ending, while I won't give it away, left me wondering what this story wanted me to get out of it. That all said, it is still an entertaining book. There are still character interactions which are lively and interesting. There is some plotting that really catches the reader and makes it worthwhile to read. If you are looking for a historical novel with a strong female character, though, this simply is not it. Catherine is far too meek to be a strong heroine and the book suffers because of this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marsha | 12/30/2013

    " I enjoyed this book. I am not sure how accurate all the history is, but enjoyable nonetheless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty | 12/29/2013

    " Love, love histroical fiction. The twists and turns of historical royalty really get my attention. A great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angie | 12/18/2013

    " Much better and more believable than Josephine. Again, it is historical fiction, but I liked this one better. Maybe because I liked the characters more. Good read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 12/7/2013

    " Quick read. Such a sad period of time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Olivia | 12/6/2013

    " This book would of been a lot better without the cheesy love scenes....and worth another star. Erickson's expertise on the time period makes the story fascinating, but I think I'll stick with her non-fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristina | 12/2/2013

    " Carolly Erickson is really good at making history, readable. I wasn't really interested in reading another King Henry VIII book, but when I opened this one, I couldn't put it down. It's a fast, interesting, easy read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bookho | 10/24/2013

    " I'm a sucker for the Tudor era, so I'll read most anything concerning them. This wasn't great, more soap-opery than I really wanted, but let's face it - Henry VIII was a walking soap opera. Overall, an enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy Welch | 6/9/2013

    " I'm a sucker for historic fiction, but it needs to have more history to it than this. Inventing stuff is a writer's prerogative, sure, but things that really happened shouldn't get changed too much. And she writes cute. So okay, I like historic fiction but with a little bit of bite, mayhaps? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 6/5/2013

    " It was alright. From other reviews I have read, it was not as historically accurate as I would have liked, but it was interestingly. I find Philipa Gregory's writing to be more captivating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandie | 4/24/2013

    " I am sucker for historical novels but this was not historically correct. That being said, it was a good book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gemma | 11/5/2012

    " Very entertaining and well written. The author does a dynamite job of combining historical fact with dramatics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Evelyn | 10/28/2012

    " Absolutely spectacular! So much drama and suspense! Hard to believe it's historical fiction! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 8/28/2012

    " Erickson doesn't write as well as Alison Weir or especially Margaret George, but this was OK. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 B.J. | 6/11/2012

    " Loved this historical fiction! Made me want to read more books by this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca Heisler | 5/15/2012

    " Definitely adding more Carolly Erickson novels to my reading list. Loved this! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Helayna | 12/7/2011

    " I am not a big fan of historical novels, but this was pretty good, very interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Valerie | 10/18/2011

    " I LOVED it!! It was so interseting to read from this girls perspective, especially since she "knew" most of the wives of Henry and saw what they went through! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenelle Melchior | 7/30/2011

    " Having been a fan of The Tudors and Carolly Erickson, this was a natural combination for me. I really liked the book, I just wish the ending were different and less abrupt. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 7/11/2011

    " Catherine Parr was a wonderful character to read about, and it was fun to see King Henry VIII through her eyes. This book is definitely worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacey | 5/17/2011

    " I was very pleased with this book. Erickson did a great job tying the fiction to the history of this strong woman's life. A fantastic read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chelsea | 4/19/2011

    " Although this book shows Catherine parr as being a weak whiny stupid broad, it's a decent read. It does not compare to philippa Gregory at all, so if you're looking for that type of book (the other boelyn girl etc) skip this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon | 3/28/2011

    " enjoyable historical fiction read. interesting and I liked that it covered all 6 of his wives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lorik | 2/19/2011

    " Very easy read, it was perfect for my plane ride to Boston. You get fully immersed in the book. Plus I love reading how one ups another. Oh and Henry VIII is always an interesting figure to read about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Olivia | 1/11/2011

    " This book would of been a lot better without the cheesy love scenes....and worth another star. Erickson's expertise on the time period makes the story fascinating, but I think I'll stick with her non-fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 1/1/2011

    " It was alright. From other reviews I have read, it was not as historically accurate as I would have liked, but it was interestingly. I find Philipa Gregory's writing to be more captivating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 11/24/2010

    " Another great read by Carolly Erickson! I can't decide between the first Catherine or the last as my favorite wife. They are all so tragic, it's no wonder they are the subject of so many books. I can't wait for the next lady that Ms. Erickson writes about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 10/12/2010

    " Good telling of the time of Henry VIII from the view of Catherine Parr - a daughter of one of Catherine of Aragon's ladies-in-waiting. "

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About the Author
Author Carolly Erickson

Carolly Erickson is the bestselling author of many distinguished works of nonfiction and a series of historical entertainments, blending fact and invention. Her historical biographies include The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, The First Elizabeth, Her Little Majesty, and Alexandra. She lives in Hawaii.

About the Narrator

Terry Donnelly is a narrator and an actress who has appeared on television in Law & Order. She is the narrator of more than a dozen audiobooks, and her reading of Quentins by Maeve Binchy was a finalist in 2003 for the prestigious Audie Award in the category of Solo Narration – Female. She earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for her reading of The Gathering by Anne Enright in which she was praised for “capturing [the author’s] every subtlety.”