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Summary

Why would a woman marry a serial killer?

Because she cannot refuse....

Kateryn Parr, a 30-year-old widow in a secret affair with a new lover, has no choice when a man old enough to be her father, who has buried four wives - King Henry VIII - commands her to marry him.

Kateryn has no doubt about the danger she faces: the previous queen lasted 16 months, the one before barely half a year. But Henry adores his new bride, and Kateryn's trust in him grows as she unites the royal family, creates a radical study circle at the heart of the court, and rules the kingdom as regent.

But is this enough to keep her safe? A leader of religious reform and the first woman to publish in English, Kateryn stands out as an independent woman with a mind of her own. But she cannot save the Protestants, under threat for their faith, and Henry's dangerous gaze turns on her. The traditional churchmen and rivals for power accuse her of heresy - the punishment is death by fire, and the king's name is on the warrant....

From an author who has described all of Henry's queens comes a deeply intimate portrayal of the last: a woman who longed for passion, power, and education at the court of a medieval killer.

©2015 Philippa Gregory (P)2015 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about The Taming of the Queen

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

Really njoyable read but finishes too early

I found this a fascinating take on the last Queen Kate & the religious backdrop of the final few years of Henry VIII reign. I particularly noted with interest the relationships Katherine had with Anne Askew & her inner circle. This part of her life was defined clearly along with the absolute terror she must have felt negotiating her safety with a tyrant such as Henry. What was less clear was the relationships with her stepchildren (particularly Elizabeth) & that with Thomas Seymour. For me, the book ended too early & I would loved to have seen Philippa Gregory's take on the final 18 months of Katherine's life (post marriage to Thomas Seymour) but I suppose that was a sign I was enjoying this story as it left me wanting more.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing

Have read nearly everything by Phillipa Gregory but first one as an audio book. The whole book was spoiled by the voice of the reader. There were very odd pronunciations of certain words. The story itself was quite good in that it gave an insight into Katherine Parr, of which little is known. She has often been depicted as a nurse wife, married to tend an ailing King in his last years, so it was interesting to learn more of her thirst for knowledge.

4 people found this helpful

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survival

a really good story from the perspective of an often forgotten Queen, I do wish the book had continued to Katherine 's Death after finally giving birth to her daughter.

2 people found this helpful

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Good plot, some niggles

Usual good plot and characterisation by the author. Let down by some annoying repetition, and strange pronunciation by the reader, for example, Latin, courtier and Hereward, the former two occurring so frequently as to become irritating.

4 people found this helpful

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Well narrated and a good story

I enjoyed the narration of this book. It was a compelling story, highlighting Katherine Parr's intelligence and canny approach to managing a difficult Henry. I wish there had been a bit more to the story at the end. it almost felt rushed.

1 person found this helpful

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poor narration

Sorry but the narration was dull, boring and pedantic. The pronunciation of some words was laughable. Overall a decent story made difficult to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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Flawless

As ever Phillipa Gregory succeeds in bringing history and its characters to life.
Her understanding and illustration of the personalities shows great depth. This is particularly apparent in the portrayal of Henry 8th and Queen Kateryn Parr.
The interweaving of the battles within Christianity are fascinating. And sadly topped by extremes as in the life of Anne Askew.
As a child I hated history, seeing it as boring! I wish Phillipa Gregory had been my teacher!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Philippa Gregory Strikes Again

Catherine Parr in this novel really comes off as someone who would be a hardcore Brexit supporter.

The whole book she’s fixated about Protestantism vs Catholicism (no surprise there, she was firmly a Protestant and wrote and argued for it in her lifetime) but I could do with less of what feels like “we must protect our land from icky people on the Continent”. Does Gregory not realise that Catherine was born and raised Catholic? Going on and one about how apparently English is the superior language to any other just smacks very much of the kind of exclusionary and sometimes racist ideas that hardcore Brexit supporters use when talking about immigrants and anything to do with them.

And it has Gregory’s seeming trademark of painting all the Tudors (bar Mary for some reason and Edward who is like 6 at the most here) as just the worst. Woman insinuates that an 8 year old Elizabeth is going to become a whore because someone suggested she be betrothed. What the absolute hell.

And it’s a dull read

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good but repetitive

As ever, an engaging telling and Gregory really is masterful at drawing out the suspense in this story, and developing Henry VIII as a psychopath and tyrant. Some repetition is always necessary in telling a historical story but five or six times, we revisit a dream scene at very great length: it felt like padding and added nothing (except length) to tge story.

1 person found this helpful

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The voice

What did you like best about The Taming of the Queen? What did you like least?

The view of the 6th queen was an interesting portrayal, but the only way i could listen to the aufull voice of the narrator was to put the reading speed at 1.25 speed

How could the performance have been better?

A better reader

Was The Taming of the Queen worth the listening time?

No

1 person found this helpful