“Anne Boleyn gave me life, but Kat Ashley gave me love,” said Elizabeth I.
Everyone knows who Anne Boleyn was, but who was Kat Ashley? In The Queen’s Governess by Karen Harper, we read Kat’s “memoir” of the four decades she spent in the royal courts of the Tudor monarchs. How does this strong and intelligent young woman, born the daughter of a poor country squire, manage to secure an education and a place in a noble household as a teenager, despite even a murderous stepmother?
In this portrait of the courts of Henry VIII, Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth I, Kat is eye-witness and victim to the fate of women in this historical era. There, women had no rights then without the protection of rich fathers or husbands. And this was even true of the King’s wives who did not produce male heirs or only had female children, or were barren – with legendary consequences.
We at Wonders & Marvels have five copies of The Queen’s Governess as our giveaway. To enter, simply comment in response to this question by 11:59 p.m. EST March 14, 2010:
Which wife of Henry VIII are you most sympathetic to?
Good luck! (Sorry, at this time, we can only mail books to U.S. winners.)