BOOK REVIEW: SIX TUDOR QUEENS: JANE SEYMOUR by Alison Weir

Regular readers will recall that Alison Weir has set herself the task of writing one book a year about each of the wives of Henry VIII.  This year it is the turn of the third wife Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen.  Jane has always been my least favourite of the six queens. She always struck me as being a bit wet, so I was interested to see if there anything of substance revealed in Six Tudor Queens: Jane Seymour, the Haunted Queen.

Jane Seymour Haunted Queen Alison Weir cover

If I had been asked to give a short description of Jane before reading the book it would be; mousy woman, with ambitious relatives is manoeuvred into marrying a King.  She produces a much longed for son but dies in the process.  Alison Weir has the benefit of lots more research than me and has produced a book that makes Jane into a three dimensional woman.  Yes, she was quite plain. Yes, she did have an ambitious family.  Yes, she did marry the King.  And yes, she did die in childbirth.  But she was much more than that.

To start with she wanted to be a nun but after a short nun taster course decided that this wasn’t for her and so she was packed off to the court of Queen Katherine.  Her arrival coincided with the ascension of Anne Boleyn in the Kings affections.  Jane showed sufficient strength of character that she was one of the few Ladies in Waiting that stayed with Katherine when she was exiled from court and clung onto the Catholic religion.  In time her family won and she embraced both the Protestant Church and the court of Anne Boleyn.

As Anne Boleyn became ever more shrewish and continues to fail to produce a son, the mild mannered Jane caught the Kings eye.  Her brothers are beside themselves with excitement.  Anne’s fall when it comes is swift and just 11 days after her predecessor was beheaded Jane wed the King.  Less then two years later she produced the much want son Edward VI but died 9 days later.

Jane’s story is a familiar one, the Tudor’s feature heavily in the British school curriculum, but Alison Weir still manages to keep you turning the pages wondering what is going to happen next.  She draws wonderful pictures of the locations in which the action takes place and makes you really feel for Queen you are reading about.  I loved Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen and Anne Boleyn: A Kings Obsession and am really looking forward to next Spring and finding out more about Anne of Cleves.

SIX TUDOR QUEENS: JANE SEYMOUR, THE HAUNTED QUEEN by Alison Weir
Published by Headline Review
Hardback £18.99, Kindle £9.49

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I was sent a proof edition and the prize copy of the book by Headline Review for the purposes of this review, all opinions are my own.

33 Comments

  1. May 3, 2018 / 7:40 am

    I’m with you on Jane. I’d love to win this book and discover the truth about her. Great competition!

    • Catherine
      Author
      May 3, 2018 / 2:30 pm

      Thank you Tara! Fingers crossed!

  2. May 3, 2018 / 7:46 am

    Alison Weir spoke at the ‘Getting Published’ conference in York about 18 months ago and she was excellent. I confess I’d forgotten about this series, so I’m off to the library to get the first two!

  3. May 3, 2018 / 2:07 pm

    This looks like an awesome series – I’ll be hunting out them out too. Thanks for the giveaway Catherine!

  4. May 3, 2018 / 3:13 pm

    What a fabulous giveaway, Catherine. Sounds like a fascinating read 🙂

  5. May 3, 2018 / 4:50 pm

    I would be very interested in reading this, I always think Jane Seymour seems the least well known of his queens. I loved the previous two on Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn

  6. Kirsten Hesketh
    May 3, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    I love Alison Weir’s book but I haven’t got stuck into this series yet. Off to buy the one on Katherine of Aragon xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      May 3, 2018 / 7:21 pm

      Enjoy! They are all eye opening

  7. sharon martin
    May 3, 2018 / 8:12 pm

    love these series of books, Alison Weir write a good readable book

    • Catherine
      Author
      May 3, 2018 / 8:55 pm

      She is the master of the historical page turner

  8. Margaret Gallagher
    May 3, 2018 / 9:31 pm

    A poignant historical read – really hope I’m lucky

  9. Ellen Stafford
    May 4, 2018 / 9:21 pm

    Sounds great. I love books by Alison Weir. When I was a kid I didn’t concentrate enough on history at school. Now I can’t get enough of it!

  10. lapsapchung
    May 7, 2018 / 4:48 pm

    I’m absolutely fascinated by the Tudor period and love reading about it, so I’d be thrilled to have a chance to read this book.

  11. May 7, 2018 / 10:25 pm

    I’ve just started reading more history books about the Tudor period, after a long delve into the preceding War of the Roses period – should be interesting as Jane Seymour is on of the least written about queens of Henry VIII :o)

    • Catherine
      Author
      May 7, 2018 / 11:03 pm

      She has become more three dimensional to me since reading Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen

  12. Jane Brown
    May 11, 2018 / 7:04 pm

    I haven’t read any of this series by Alison Weir but have read others by her and they are very well researched. I also had the privilege to meet her some years ago when she came to give a lecture at the school I worked at.

    • Catherine
      Author
      May 11, 2018 / 7:11 pm

      Lucky you! This series is every bit as good as her other books!

  13. lynn neal
    May 11, 2018 / 8:17 pm

    I would love to read this book and find out more about her!

  14. Christopher Read
    May 14, 2018 / 10:54 pm

    Looks like an interesting read – thank you for running this comp 🙂

  15. lorraine kirk
    May 16, 2018 / 7:41 pm

    I enjoyed reading Anne Boleyn: A Kings Obsession so I would love to read this 🙂

    • Catherine
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 7:45 pm

      Jane is every bit as compelling

  16. Michelle Stewart
    May 17, 2018 / 9:49 am

    This series looks great love to read

    • Catherine
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 7:44 pm

      It is so good, counting down to Anne of Cleves

  17. Natalie Crossan
    May 17, 2018 / 11:46 pm

    Tudor period is fascinating to me, I remember studying the tudors at school and my Mum made me the most amazing Tudor dress for our Tudor dance x

    • Catherine
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 7:44 pm

      Lucky you, |I would love a Tudor dress

  18. Beth
    May 18, 2018 / 7:35 pm

    I ran over here from Twitter to read your review. 😉 As an American, I was truly introduced to the Tudors some years ago when I watched The Other Boleyn Girl late one night, then feverishly read through the series of historical fiction books on the queens by Philippa Gregory. As a history major in university, I was not afraid to turn to the historians and found Alison Weir and read her book The Lady in the Tower about Anne Boleyn, which I found convincing. I would like to incorporate her new books into my reading list (I just need more hours in the day and improved eyesight, ha!). I’m already curious if she will rethink any of her conclusions or impressions once she gets to the end of this project. Thanks for the write-up. Women’s history can be a difficult nut to crack open.

    • Catherine
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 7:43 pm

      Thank you for running! Alison Weir is a fabulous writer, what Ilove most about this series is the way that she puts forward the woman perspective

  19. June 27, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    That sounds far more interesting than I thought. Like you I think of Jane Seymour as the plain, mousey one with not much character and a couple of very pushy brothers. Maybe I was wrong. I’ll have to read this and see. Alison Weir is always excellent, I’ve certainly enjoyed the previous 2 books in this series.

    • Catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 12:12 pm

      Looking forward to Anne of Cleves next

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