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Six Tudor Queens: Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen

Six Tudor Queens, Book 3
Narrated by: Rose Akroyd
Series: Six Tudor Queens, Book 3
Length: 18 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (174 ratings)

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Summary

Alison Weir, historian and author of the Sunday Times best sellers Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen and Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession, draws a finely detailed and enthralling portrait of Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's third queen. Essential listening for fans of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick. 

The woman haunted by the fate of her predecessor. Eleven days after the death of Anne Boleyn, Jane is dressing for her wedding to the King. She has witnessed at firsthand how courtly play can quickly turn to danger and knows she must bear a son...or face ruin. This new Queen must therefore step out from the shadows cast by Katherine and Anne - in doing so, can she expose a gentler side to the brutal King? 

Acclaimed, best-selling historian Alison Weir draws on new research for her captivating novel, which paints a compelling portrait of Jane and casts fresh light on both traditional and modern perceptions of her. Jane was driven by the strength of her faith and a belief that she might do some good in a wicked world. History tells us how she died. This spellbinding novel explores the life she lived. 

©2018 Alison Weir (P)2018 Headline Publishing Group Limited

Critic reviews

Praise for the Six Tudor Queens series: "Alison Weir's wonderfully detailed novel offers a spellbinding solution to the mystery of Anne's true nature.... Enthralling." (Sarah Gristwood)
"A triumph of fine detail and research and offers a complex depiction of an endlessly fascinating woman." (Elizabeth Fremantle)

"Weir is excellent on the little details that bring a world to life." (The Guardian)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The silent queen speaks!!

It’s easy to think we know all these is to know about the 3rd queen Jane Seymour, that she was the pale quiet antidote to the firey passionate intoxicating Anne Boleyn, but in this lovely story we see the character emerge from that characterisation.

We see a principled, kind and loyal person, one who didn’t just exist as a foil for more dramatic people.

I came to adore the character and the end... oh my dear by the end I felt genuine sorrow.

5 people found this helpful

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Brilliant and moving.

You feel close to Jane, will her to succeed. The end is very emotional. Beautiful.

4 people found this helpful

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Interesting perspective - strange narration

This novel was a different and interesting perspective on Jane Seymour who often is portrayed as a rather spineless character. Given what is known about her brothers, it’s very plausible that she had ambition and opinions of her own!
The narrative was spoiled for me by inconsistent sound levels for different characters in the story. Every time Anne Boleyn spoke, her voice was louder than the main narrative. On the whole, I prefer narrators not to attempt too many different voice tones. They are seldom wonderful. These are books, not radio dramas!

4 people found this helpful

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Rich and emotional

I absolutely loved this book. The story tells the story of a rather unknown Queen. Although Jane did give Henry his much desired Prince, her early death usually means we do not hear much about her. Alison Weir gives a rich and detailed account of what life in Tudor court could have been and really makes you feel connected to Jane. You also see a softer side of Henry between his foul and contradictory moods.
I disagree with the previous reviews about the narration, I quite liked Rose Akroyd and felt she really shone as Jane. She has a sweet and simple voice, which I think reflected very well with the tone of this book.
I really look forward to the next book as I have always been fascinated with Anne of Cleves and I know Alison Weir will do her justice.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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To sweet

I didn’t see any merit in the story Jane Seymour can’t have been the perfect little lady and the book makes her out so perfect

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Loved the book, hated the narration

I think I've read most of Alison Weir's books and have enjoyed all of them. This was my first audio book so I didn't really know what to expect. I really didn't like the narration at all, it was more like a one-actor radio play. I mean I understand the need to differentiate the different characters but putting on a whiny child's voice, followed by a gruff man's voice was just too jarring and annoying

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    4 out of 5 stars

Ok

Better then the first 2 in the series. The narrator is pleasant but stumbles over some pronunciation, Clearly she must be using the American version. This version of Jayne Seymour is a little different from the traditional one but not unbelievably so.

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The Story of An Ordinary Girl

Stop people in the street and ask them about Henry's six wives and they will most likely mention Anne Boleyn first. She is perhaps the most well known and infamous for her calculated courting of the King of England and her ignominious fate. Ask many people to name Henry's other wives and I'd wager a fair few would be hard pressed to come up with their names. So, it was with a slight measure of surprise and satisfaction that I found this third book in the epic Six Queens series from Alison Weir to be excellent. For me, it was a much better read than Anne Boleyn's story.

Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen was a more compelling narrative for me and I was far more interested in her back story that lead her to become queen of England. Jane's unsought rise to the throne, unlike Anne's ambitious machinations to get there, immediately made Jane an endearing character. Her humble innocence, love of her family and devoted service just made reading Jane's story a more rewarding experience than for the Boleyn book. The Boleyn story really only comes into its own in the latter stages during her downfall. This book kept me interested and caring about Jane's life.

I enjoyed the real sense of going along on a journey with Jane over her short life and although we are led upon a similar journey in the Anne Boleyn book, I just had a liking for Jane and felt her back story had more substance to it.

Weir is a master of writing moving and intense prose when it comes to dealing with the death of a queen and so I got a real sense of the confusion, terror and sadness with poor Jane's end. From what I do recall from the history books, Henry's grief for the loss of Jane was genuine and long felt and it could be said that Jane Seymour was the queen who made him the happiest having given him a male heir. Of course, Henry's volatile and often capricious character might well have seen him discard Jane had she not bourne him a boy. On the subject of Henry, we really get a sense of how desperate the increasingly paranoid and fearful Henry has become due to his lack of legitimate male issue. He wars with worries about his age and the fate of the kingdom in the event he doesn't beget a male heir.

In this book more than most so far, we see how Weir clearly weaves her interest or belief in ghosts into her stories. Perhaps this has been included to further the sense of the medieval period and all its powerfully held religious and superstitious beliefs. It did add an air of foreboding at times at key points in Jane's story.

Oh, one minor inconsistency I felt was in a scene where Jane is talking to her younger sister and explains that she has never been kissed and does not know anything about matters of love. However, earlier in the book she seems to understand the nature and implications of damming evidence found relating to infidelity and also had been kissed by Sir Bryan upon her entry into court life.

Initially, I found Rose Akroyd's narration rather hurried and felt she was speaking too fast. Perhaps this was nerves in the opening stages of narrating this book or I just got used to her delivery but once I'd settled into the book, I liked the sound of her voice.

All in all, this is an excellent book and perhaps my equal favourite along with the first in the series. I look forward with interest to see how Weir treats the Ann of Cleaves story.


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Bewitching!

I cannot wait for the next 3, so that we have all the six queens. Brings history to life. I know its based on fact and of course, there will be fiction attached to make it work, but my god it works! I absolutely love these and feel transported to the Tudor Court and the struggles of each Queen to survive the tormented and power driven King. This is my current favourite (as we still have 3 to go) Jane Seymour; no longer a door mat! Highly recommend.

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What a read!!!

How different England would have been if Queen Jane would have lived longer. The end made me feel extremely sad. Great writing and a great Queen. God save the Queen.

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  • Carissa
  • 03-01-19

Great

Alison Weir does the fiction based on fact extremely well. Rose Akroyd did a great job. Looking forward to listening to the other books in the series