Cromwell

The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Red divider
The six wives of Henry VIII - Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr – have become defined in a popular sense not so much by their lives as by the way these lives ended. But, as Antonia Fraser conclusively proves, they were rich and feisty characters.

They may have been victims of Henry's obsession with a male heir, but they were not willing victims. On the contrary, they displayed considerable strength and intelligence at a time when their sex supposedly possessed little of either. Inevitably there was great rivalry between them, and there was jealousy too – the desperate jealousy of Queens who found themselves abandoned, but also the sexual jealousy of the King who discovered himself betrayed.

The story Antonia Fraser tells is romantic and cruel, funny and sad, dramatic and enthralling.

Critical Acclaim

Red divider
‘Fraser’s book is lively, enjoyable and . . . judicious’
Susan Brigden, Observer

‘Henry VIII’s matrimonial history is full of high farce, and Antonia Fraser is adept at exploiting her subject’s comic possibilities. Yet for all the black humour, we are never allowed to forget that the story takes place against a backdrop of judicial murder, torture and religious persecution’
Anne Somerset, Literary Review

‘In the light of recent events, it is hard to read this enthralling book of royal history without drawing some parallels between the uninhibited Tudors and present-day Windsors’
Maureen Owen, Daily Mail