new arrival Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen: A Novel sale sale (Six Tudor Queens) outlet sale

new arrival Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen: A Novel sale sale (Six Tudor Queens) outlet sale

new arrival Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen: A Novel sale sale (Six Tudor Queens) outlet sale

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“A sumptuous historical novel anchored by its excellent depiction of Jane Seymour, Henry the VIII’s third queen . . . This is a must for all fans of Tudor fiction and history.”—Publishers Weekly
                 
Ever since she was a child, Jane has longed for a cloistered life as a nun. But her large noble family has other plans, and as an adult, Jane is invited to the King’s court to serve as lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine of Aragon. The devout Katherine shows kindness to all her ladies, almost like a second mother, which makes rumors of Henry’s lustful pursuit of Anne Boleyn—also lady-in-waiting to the queen—all the more shocking.  For Jane, the betrayal triggers memories of a haunting incident that shaped her beliefs about marriage.
                 
But once Henry disavows Katherine and secures Anne as his new queen—forever altering the religious landscape of England—he turns his eye to another: Jane herself. Urged to return the King’s affection and earn favor for her family, Jane is drawn into a dangerous political game that pits her conscience against her desires. Can Jane be the one to give the King his long-sought-after son, or will she be cast aside like the women who came before her?
                 
Bringing new insight to this compelling story, Alison Weir marries meticulous research with gripping historical fiction to re-create the dramas and intrigues of the most renowned court in English history. At its center is a loving and compassionate woman who captures the heart of a king, and whose life will hang in the balance for it.
 
Praise for Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen
 
“Bestselling [Alison] Weir’s impressive novel shows why Jane deserves renewed attention [and] illustrates Jane’s unlikely journey from country knight’s daughter to queen of England. . . . From the richly appointed decor to the religious tenor of the time, the historical ambience is first-rate.” Booklist (starred review)

“Deft, authoritative biographical fiction . . . a dramatic and empathic portrait of Jane Seymour.” Kirkus Reviews

Review

“This series is a serious achievement.” The Times (London)

“A sumptuous historical novel anchored by its excellent depiction of Jane Seymour, Henry the VIII’s third queen . . . This is a must for all fans of Tudor fiction and history.” Publishers Weekly

“Highly recommended for fans of the period . . . As with the earlier novels in the Six Tudor Queens series . . . [Alison] Weir focuses tightly on the sole perspective of her protagonist, thereby finding enough relatively fresh territory to keep even die-hard Tudor buffs interested. A fascinating afterword sheds light on Weir’s departures from the confirmed historical record and on the additional research she did for this novel, including an investigation of how exactly Jane died.” Library Journal (starred review)

“Deft, authoritative biographical fiction . . . Weir offers a dramatic and empathic portrait of Jane Seymour.” Kirkus Reviews

“Best-selling Weir’s impressive novel shows why Jane deserves renewed attention. Without any dull moments, Weir illustrates Jane’s unlikely journey from country knight’s daughter to queen of England. . . . This third volume in Weir’s exceptional Six Tudor Queens series offers new angles on its earlier subjects. . . . From the richly appointed decor to the religious tenor of the time, the historical ambience is first-rate. With her standout novel in the crowded Tudor-fiction field, Weir keeps the tension high, breathing new life into a familiar tale and making us wish for a different ending.” Booklist (starred review)

“Jane Seymour the shy mouse type? Think again! This superb book, the result of deep and meticulous new research, brings her to astonishing life—she is vibrant and determined, and she sets the king’s court on fire. The fascinating secrets of the Seymour family are deftly explored, the world of the Court painted anew—and Jane’s romance with the king is an absolute revelation. Wonderfully written with sympathy and grace, this gripping book gives us the real third wife and shows her struggle to stay true to herself and survive in the toughest of worlds. A magnificent novel.” —Kate Williams, author of Becoming Queen Victoria

“In this gripping and utterly compelling novel, Henry VIII’s third and—allegedly—best-loved wife is brought vividly to life. Forget ‘plain’ Jane Seymour: here is a woman to be reckoned with—strong-willed, brave, and tenacious. Her story is set against the rich and complex backdrop of Henry VIII’s court at its most turbulent. Not to be missed.” —Tracy Borman, author of The Private Lives of the Tudors

About the Author

Alison Weir is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession; Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen; The Marriage Game; A Dangerous Inheritance; Captive Queen; The Lady Elizabeth; and Innocent Traitor, as well as numerous historical biographies, including Queens of the Conquest, The Lost Tudor Princess, Elizabeth of York, Mary Boleyn, The Lady in the Tower, Mistress of the Monarchy, Henry VIII, Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Life of Elizabeth I, and The Six Wives of Henry VIII. She lives in Surrey, England, with her husband.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

1518

“A health to the bride!” Sir John Seymour smiled and raised his goblet as the company echoed his toast.

Jane sipped her wine, watching as her new sister-­in-­law blushed prettily. Edward seemed besotted with his new wife. At seventeen, Catherine was a very comely girl, a year younger than he. Jane had been surprised at how practiced she was at the art of coquetry, and how warmly the men were looking at her. Even Father seemed to be under her spell. Catherine’s father, Sir William Fillol, was leaning back in his chair replete, looking well pleased with the match—­as he should be, for Edward, being Father’s heir, had good prospects and the determination to do well. Even at the age of ten, Jane knew that for an ambitious young man, marriage to the well-­bred co-­heiress of a wealthy landowner would be a great advantage.

Sir William had been boasting of how the Fillols could trace their ancestry back to one of the companions of the Conqueror.

“And we Seymours too!” Father had countered smugly, sure of his own exalted place in the world.

All in all, it was a most satisfactory union, and worthy of this great feast. The long tables in the Broad Chamber of Wulfhall were laden with extravagant dishes, all prepared under the watchful eye of Lady Seymour herself. Meat and fowl of every kind graced the board, the centerpiece being a magnificent roasted peacock re-­dressed in all its glorious plumage. Sir John had provided the best wine from Bordeaux, and everyone was attired in the new finery they had worn for the wedding.

Sir William normally resided less than fifty miles away from Wulf­hall, at Woodlands, near Wimborne, but he had opened up Fillol’s Hall for the wedding, and Jane’s whole family—­her mother and father, and all their seven children—­had traveled to Essex to be present. Father was so delighted with his new daughter-­in-­law that he had insisted that Sir William and Lady Dorothy accompany Catherine when Edward brought her back to Wulfhall to continue their celebrations. That had sent Mother into a flurry of preparation, and everyone agreed that she had risen to the occasion splendidly.

It was dusk now, and candles were being lit on the mantelpiece and windowsills, their flickering, dancing flames reflected in the diamond-­paned glass in the stone windows. As Jane observed Edward and Catherine conversing together and stealing the odd kiss, it came to her that in a little over eighteen months she herself would be of an age to be wed. Fortunately, there was no sign that Father had any plans as yet.

For Jane had no desire to be married. She wanted to be a nun. Everyone teased her for it, not taking her seriously. Let them. Soon they would find out that she was as determined as her brother Edward when it came to getting what she wanted in life. She could not imagine her hearty, jovial father objecting, nor her adored mother. They knew of the dream she had had of herself wearing a nun’s veil, kneeling before Our Lady. It had visited her a year before, on the night after her parents had taken them all to visit the shrine of St. Melor at Amesbury Priory. She had been overawed by the great church with its soaring octagonal steeple, and had prayed devoutly at the altar of the murdered boy-­prince, kneeling beside her siblings with her hands pressed together, as she had been taught from infancy.

Since then, she had been certain that her future lay within those twelve holy acres. She could see herself singing the offices in the choir with the sisters, gathering apples in the orchard or fishing in the ponds, dedicated to God and manual labor for all her life. Next year she would be old enough to enter Amesbury as a novice.

For now, she was content to be with her family, laughing at the jests at table, enjoying the good fare spread out before her and sparring with her brother Thomas, less than a year her junior, who was at this moment throwing sugar plums at the newlyweds. Mother frowned.

“Catherine, you must forgive my youngest son,” she said. “He never knows when to desist. Tom, stop that.”

“Such high spirits will take the lad far,” Sir William observed indulgently. His wife sniffed.

“He’s a menace,” Edward said, not smiling. Jane heard her mother sigh. Edward had no time for his youngest brother, and always treated him as a nuisance. And Thomas was adept at riling him, utterly resolved never to be outshone by Edward. It was an unequal struggle, for Edward was the heir and Thomas’s senior by eight years. He would always have first bite of the apple. When Jane was six, he had been sent to France as a page of honor in the train of the King’s sister, the Princess Mary, when she married King Louis, and the following year he had gone up to university at both Oxford and Cambridge, and thence to court, making himself useful to King Henry and his chief minister, Cardinal Wolsey, whom many asserted was the true ruler of the realm.

It was hot in the Broad Chamber. Despite it being high summer, Mother had insisted on having the fire in the hearth kindled, in case anyone felt a chill. Jane pulled off the floral chaplet she was wearing, for the blooms were wilting, and smoothed down her long tresses. They were the color of pale straw, rippling like fine silk over her shoulders. Edward, Thomas, Anthony and the baby Elizabeth were dark-­haired, having inherited Father’s coloring, but Jane, Harry and Margery took after Mother.

For a moment Jane felt sad that her beautiful hair would be cut off when she took the veil. It was her only claim to loveliness. Her cheekbones were too rounded, her nose too big, her chin too pointed, her mouth too small, her skin too whitish. Looking around the room at her brothers and her pretty little sister Margery, it came to her, without envy or rancor, that they were all more attractive, more jolly—­more vital.

In bearing children, Mother had done her duty as efficiently as she accomplished all her other domestic responsibilities. Before Jane had come along, she had borne five sons, although the eldest, John, whom Jane could barely remember, had died when he was eleven, and another John had died just after birth. Harry and Anthony were cut from different cloth to their brothers: Harry was easy­going and had no ambitions beyond the Wulfhall estate, while Anthony was studious; he would be following Edward to university soon, and there was talk of his pursuing a career in the Church. Jane felt encouraged by that. If her parents could lay up treasure in Heaven by giving a son to God, how much more store they would have in giving a daughter too.

Six-­year-­old Margery had been allowed to sit up for the feast, but tiny Elizabeth, having been brought in by her nurse to be admired by the guests, was now sound asleep upstairs in what was called the Babies’ Chamber.

It was a teeming household, and a happy one. As Jane looked about her at the large room filled with her merry, feasting family, a sense of well-­being and contentment stole over her. Whatever the future brought, she was proud to be a Seymour of Wulfhall.

When Jane was little, she had thought that there must be wolves some­where at Wulfhall. She had peered around corners and opened closets and cupboards in trepidation, lest one leap out at her. She had lain awake at night fretting about what she would do if she ever encountered one of the beasts. But hearing her screams one day when Thomas had sprung out from the dry larder shouting, “I’m a wolf!” Father, having clouted him for it, had reassured her that the name Wulfhall had nothing to do with wolves.

“It was once called Ulf’s Hall, after the Saxon thane who built it hundreds of years ago,” he explained, taking her on his knee. “Over the years the name has changed a little. Better now, sweeting?” And he had kissed her and set her down to go back to her toys, reassured.

Jane was aware that Wulfhall had been rebuilt and altered several times over the centuries. The present house was about three hundred years old, and it embraced two courtyards—­the Little Court, which housed the domestic offices, and the Great Court, where she and her family lived. The lower walls were of ancient mellow stone supporting an upper story of solid timbers framing white plasterwork. You entered through the porch and came into a large hall. At the far end a door led to the smaller Broad Chamber, which the family preferred to the hall, since it was easier to heat. On sunny days, the window panes in the Broad Chamber and the chapel glinted with a thousand lights, and the vivid colors of the armorial glass blazed like jewels. At one corner of the Great Court stood a high tower, a relic of an older house.

Sir John was wealthy, owning extensive lands in the county of Wiltshire, enabling him to build a fashionable long gallery where his family could take exercise on a wet day. Their portraits, limned by itinerant painters who had visited the house looking for work, stared down from its lime-­washed walls. Among them was an imaginary likeness of the founder of the Seymours’ fortunes, a Norman knight called William de St. Maur.

Oh, no, thought Jane. Father is going to bore everyone with the family history.

“He arrived with the Conqueror at the time of the Norman invasion of 1066,” Sir John was boasting proudly. “Seymours have served the Crown loyally ever since. We have been farmers and landowners; we have held public offices, and held them well. Some have sat for the shire in Parliament.” He refilled his goblet, warming to his theme; his children had all heard it before, many times. “I was knighted at eighteen, after fighting the Cornish rebels alongside my father. As you know, it was upon the coronation that I was appointed a Knight of the Body to King Henry.”

Sir William nodded. “It’s hard to believe that was ten years ago. All that talk of conquering France, all come to naught.”

Father had fought for the King in a French campaign (and probably exaggerated his exploits, Mother had said more than once behind his back, smiling affectionately).

“In time, in time,” he said now, clearly more interested in impressing his guest with the family’s achievements. “You see that horn on the wall?” He pointed to the great silver-­bound ivory hunting horn resting on iron brackets above the fireplace. “I have the honor to bear that as hereditary ranger of Savernake Forest. Look at that line of trees yonder, through the window.” He pointed to the dense woodland on the crest of a gentle hill. “That’s the ancient forest, which stretches all the way west as far as Marlborough, and to Bedwyn Magna, which is our nearest parish.”

Jane anticipated that Father would soon be enlarging on how capable an administrator he had proved since his fighting days were ended, and the diplomatic missions abroad he had undertaken on King Henry’s behalf. Not for nothing was he sheriff of Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset; not for nothing was he Justice of the Peace for Wiltshire.

But no. “I am content to farm these days,” he said. “You have to be at the forefront of change. I have twelve hundred and seventy acres here at Wulfhall alone, and I’ve converted them all into pasture for sheep.”

Sir William raised his bushy brows. “And you’ve had no trouble? Other gentlemen of my acquaintance who have enclosed their land for sheep have met with violent opposition. Even Sir Thomas More, whom I met at court, says that sheep are eating men. And it’s true. For in growing rich on raising the finest and costliest wool, you noble gentlemen, yes, even men of God, leave no ground for tillage. It has put many a poor man out of work.”

“There has been some grumbling among my tenants,” Father admitted. “But I have made sure that none were left in want, and found them other work to do when they might have faced destitution. Thus, I pride myself, I have retained their love.” Young as she was, Jane knew from her dealings with the people on the estate that Father was well thought of, and Edward said his success at managing his estates was even spoken of at court.

It was growing late, and the balmy late-­summer night had covered the land. The men were growing noisier in their cups, and Mother was shooing her younger children off to bed. Catherine was yawning and her father suggested it was time for her to retire. Edward leapt up to accompany her.

Jane rose too and excused herself. It was still hot in the hall, and she was relieved to escape outside for some fresh air.

What she loved best about Wulfhall were the three gardens that immediately surrounded it. She wandered into My Old Lady’s Garden, which faced the house and was named for her Grandmother Seymour, who had been born Elizabeth Darrell and died soon after Jane was born. She had had a passion for growing things, and the garden she had created was gloriously colorful with roses, gillyflowers and pansies in season, as well as pretty shrubs and bushes tamed into the shapes of chess pieces. To the east lay My Young Lady’s Garden, which had always been Mother’s domain. The herb beds she had planted after her marriage were still flourishing, useful for cooking, making medicines and unguents, and sweetening the rushes that carpeted the floors. To the west, there was the Great Paled Garden with its painted picket fence and the wilderness of wildflowers where Jane and her siblings still indulged in their childish romps.

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4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
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Reviewer from Queens
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good, but some historical inaccuracies in Jane''s story
Reviewed in the United States on May 19, 2018
Spoilers ahead. Alison Weir''s book Jane Seymour started out great and was historically accurate until, some liberties were taken with facts. The novel begins with the child Jane who is very religious and wants to be a nun and join an order. The scandal of her... See more
Spoilers ahead.

Alison Weir''s book Jane Seymour started out great and was historically accurate until, some liberties were taken with facts. The novel begins with the child Jane who is very religious and wants to be a nun and join an order. The scandal of her brother Edward''s wife who becomes involved with her father in law is covered is the first crisis for Jane and her family. Jane Seymour ultimately wishes to be a lady in waiting at the court of Henry VIII and his first wife Katherine of Aragon and the court intrigues are witnessed first hand by Jane. Jane Seymour is loyal to Queen Katherine but witnesses her being displaced by Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII ultimately takes an interest and Weir describes how Anne is displaced by Jane who becomes the third Queen. The story moves to the ultimate tragic death of Jane Seymour after she gives birth to the future Edward VI. It is a page turner and Weir is excellent at character development. What put me off the book was the depiction of Jane actually becoming Henry''s mistress before he starts proceedings to divorce and ultimately execute Anne Boleyn. This development is totally out of character for the real not the fictional Jane Seymour who rejected becoming Henry''s mistress and she even returned his gifts. Biographers of Jane did not say she became the mistress and wanted to be wife and rejected Henry''s advances. And Weir''s Jane is always thinking what if she gets pregnant by Henry--if she did before Henry divorced Anne, she most likely have become another Bessie Blount, who gave birth Henry''s son out of wedlock. Her family and advisers had ambitions for her to be wife not mistress.The book also becomes a romance novel once she and Henry go to bed together. . There is also a miscarriage written in for Jane by the author after she marries Henry. THere is no documentation that Jane conceived a child before Prince Edward. The best part of the book is about the family dynamics at Wulfhall, the home of the Seymour family and the court intrigue involving Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. I would have given this book more stars if the story did not take a detour into fiction which totally changes the character of Jane and makes her actually seem unsympathetic. THis is a good Summer Read but I would advise reading biographies about Jane Seymour first.
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Kitty Kat
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
More Like A Fairy Story Than An Accurate Description of Queen Jane
Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2018
Well...I''m not somebody who usually gets upset when somebody takes a historical figure, and twists a few facts in order to make a good story. But this novel goes too fa in that (and yes I do mean "novel"). I doubt Queen Jane would ever recognize herself in this... See more
Well...I''m not somebody who usually gets upset when somebody takes a historical figure, and twists a few facts in order to make a good story. But this novel goes too fa in that (and yes I do mean "novel"). I doubt Queen Jane would ever recognize herself in this book! Most people know the basic facts of this story, but it''s Weir''s interpretation of attitudes and motivations that really doesn''t add up. Here are a few of her major inconsistencies that I think most historians would disagree with:

1. Jane is extremely religious, and therefore in favor of the old Catholic church, she supports Queen Catherine and Princess Mary against Queen Anne, and deplores the dissolution of the monasteries. (yes, all that''s most likely true, and believable. ), But yet she falls MADLY in love with King Henry just for himself, and not his wealth and power--even when he is the very monster at the center of everything she disbelieves, and supposedly abhors. Huh???

2. Inexplicably she has a lot of sex with Henry while he was with Anne (even if Jane doesn''t technically recognize his marriage to Anne, and considered him single, this is still fornication, which with her Catholic beliefs would lead directly to hell, along with (since she''s unmarried with no husband to be a cover) TOTAL disgrace for herself and her family if she fell pregnant and he didn''t recognize the child. The other thing is she''s a very plain woman, no wit or real charm, late twenties, with negligible family connections and wealth, and yet she gets a King eventhough she''s already providing him sex? I don''t think so. Without the withheld sex (the luscious forbidden), or any advantages for the kingdom, what''s the attraction?

Most historians agree she and the Seymores simply used Anne''s playbook against the Howards when Anne couldn''t produce a boy. (That is--Dangling a younger woman who can give him a son and heir, but she doesn''t sleep with him as a mistress, and instead holds out for marriage and a crown). In a world where Kings only married for foreign dynastic advantages, the idea he just happens to marry two nobody''s in a row without a lot of manipulation from his trusted agents with vested interests for their own families and bloodlines behind the scenes is a little hard to believe.
It''s like we are supposed to believe Jane said, "Ooops, dear me. I just happened to trip and somehow a crown fell on my little old head."

3. Jane was supposedly NOT scheming with her brothers for the crown, but was sweet and innocent and true to her sincere love for Henry. In this book, she felt scared by becoming Queen, and felt sorry for Anne. Huh??? In a ruthless place like the 16th century English court--this is extremely hard to believe, and very laughable. Yes--this attitude makes her a more sympathetic protagonist--but it is pretty ludicrous when you look at the facts, and the history of the times where upper class women ALWAYS married for the advantage of their families. Period.

Jane herself may not have concocted the scheme to take a crown, but the ambitious men in her family certainly did. And of course she didn''t have a lot of choice but to follow them--but THAT kind of realistic tug of war--your family''s advancement where you are bound to obey them, or your principals and dislike and fear of your future husband the King who is not only excommunicated, but is starting to act totally coo coo (murdering all of his best friends along with Queen Anne and Katherine) , and who will most likely behead you or worse if you don''t have a son. That conflict of interest would be much more realistic and true to history.

Anyway, read this book if you are just interested in a novel about the court, but please keep in mind that it''s most likely rubbish about how it really happened, and the true motivations that would realistically be involved.
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Dustin Hood
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An Engrossing Novel about Jane Seymour
Reviewed in the United States on May 17, 2018
Alison Weir is back with her latest installment of her Six Tudor Queens series, with the intricate portrayal of Jane Seymour. I’ve been a devote follower of the series and Weir’s other fiction and non-fiction works. Weir has the captivating ability to portray elaborate... See more
Alison Weir is back with her latest installment of her Six Tudor Queens series, with the intricate portrayal of Jane Seymour. I’ve been a devote follower of the series and Weir’s other fiction and non-fiction works. Weir has the captivating ability to portray elaborate stories of history that completely engrosses me from the very beginning. Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen was no exception.
Jane Seymour was quite the opposite of her predecessor Anne Boleyn, being docile, pure, and kind-hearted. Like Alison Weir’s insightful Author’s Note indicates, very little personal details were documented known about Jane, in her very short three-year reign.
I enjoyed the pace of the book, beginning with Jane’s home life in Wulfhall, to her life in Queen Katherine’s court, following to her reluctant service to Anne Boleyn, to her winning of King Henry VIII’s heart. The story isn’t rushed and I was astonished numerous times at the scandalous happenings on the era.
I found it commendable the details contained in the Author’s Notes where Weir describes what creative liberties she took in writing Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen and why. I would call her fictional writing “faction”, as it very closely illustrates actual historical accounts.
This book is for anyone interested in historical fiction and Tudor history. I devoured most of the novel in one sitting. The plot is full of scandal, secrets, and innocent deception.
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epiphany
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Oh dear, another Anne Boleyn was a witch and Jane Seymour was a saint story!
Reviewed in the United States on April 19, 2019
I am - usually - a huge fan of Alison Weir''s work, which makes it all the harder to give the author a less than stellar review. As a student of history, one of my biggest pet peeves is the way in which Anne Boleyn is relentlessly described as a conniving, manipulative... See more
I am - usually - a huge fan of Alison Weir''s work, which makes it all the harder to give the author a less than stellar review. As a student of history, one of my biggest pet peeves is the way in which Anne Boleyn is relentlessly described as a conniving, manipulative witch, while Jane Seymour is the plain, submissive, saintly maiden who rescued Henry VIII from a she-devil. The pre-nuptial bed romps between Henry and Jane notwithstanding, this novel follows that same pattern. Of course Anne and Boleyn family manipulated Henry; so did Jane and the Seymour family. IMO, but I don''t think either woman loved Henry; they and their respective families wanted power, and used Henry''s troubled marriage and obsession with acquiring a male hair to gain that power. My opinion again, but I suspect Anne''s motivation in becoming involved with Henry was to destroy Cardinal Wolsey, who ruined her chance to marry the man she really loved, Henry Percy. Anne Boleyn was a dynamic, brilliant, opinionated, hot tempered woman who enthralled the men of Henry''s court. When Henry became disenchanted with her, Jane and her family saw an opportunity to dangle Jane in Henry''s face, as a plain, meek, submissive virgin, who the men at court barely noticed - in other words, the complete antithesis of Anne Boleyn. It was pure manipulation from beginning to end, and it worked. Historical fiction always plays a bit fast and lose with the truth, so the departures the author takes from known historical records didn''t bother me greatly. I had, however, hoped that a historical writer of Weir''s stature would have writtten more well rounded, nuanced characters than those presented here. "The Haunted Queen" once again gives us the stereotypical evil Anne Boleyn, and the saintly Jane Seymour. Just once, I''d like to read a novel that portrays these women the way they (probably) really were - Anne a bit more intellectual, and less the party girl, who only wanted to ruin the man who took her love away, and wound up as the reluctant paramour of a king who was used to getting his way - and Jane, envious of her prettier sisters and the prettier girls at court, no proposals forthcoming, who saw her chance to snag the grand prize, using the very attributes which had always held her back - her homeliness and reserved nature which disguised a burning ambition - to win over a king.
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Bibliophile without Borders
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Well-researched and very interesting look at Jane Seymour!
Reviewed in the United States on November 8, 2018
I think that people always gloss over two of Henry''s wives -- Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves -- and therefore I was glad to find this really interesting book on the former, and look forward to reading the book on the latter which is coming out soon! Jane always... See more
I think that people always gloss over two of Henry''s wives -- Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves -- and therefore I was glad to find this really interesting book on the former, and look forward to reading the book on the latter which is coming out soon!

Jane always seemed to unprepossessing, someone who stood in the shadows of Henry but the author has used her research to great advantage in weaving a story about Jane that shows not only the probable reasons for her conservative nature, but also the rather prudishness of Henry who, as has been said before, began to wonder where Ann Boleyn''s sexual adeptness came from which could have led to her downfall. Yes, he had mistresses but by the same token, from all historical accounts, perfunctory sex outside marriage seemed to be enough for him. And Jane, who seemed a reluctant mistress and then a dutiful wife to most historians, was probably equally matched to him in prudishness.

Ms Weir shows us a conservative successor to Ann Boleyn who was most likely a pawn to the machinations of her family. Jane was not particularly pretty, but probably a motherly type (and welcome change for Henry) in stark contrast to the charming, witty & clever Ann, who was very well-aware of her exalted position and knew how to manipulate her husband. She was always the wife he cared most about because she gave him a son and despite the horrors of her death (the fear that most women faced from botched birthings was very real), she gained his eternal respect. It''s important to remember that Ann also had miscarriages, and a healthy daughter, but he seemed wary of her as each thing succeeded, while Jane also had miscarriages but seemed to retain his love without censure. And by giving him a son, she guaranteed her place in British history and in his fickle heart
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cat lover
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An interensing portrayal of Jane, and a good character study of Henry himself
Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2018
I''m a fan of Alison Weir. I''ve read two of her other fiction books: The innocent traitor (about Jane Grey) and A King''s Obsession (about Anne Boleyn). Both were very extensively reaserched and very informative about the Tudor era (court intrigues, the life at court as... See more
I''m a fan of Alison Weir. I''ve read two of her other fiction books: The innocent traitor (about Jane Grey) and A King''s Obsession (about Anne Boleyn).
Both were very extensively reaserched and very informative about the Tudor era (court intrigues, the life at court as a lady in waiting etc).
I usually prefer fiction to non-fiction, and that''s why i chose to follow the "six tudor queens" series.
However, one must be aware that in reading about Jane no big dramas and fireworks are to be found. What i mean is that no scandals were attached to her name, and very little is known of her life previous to her marrying Henry becoming queen of England.
Almost no letters of her have survived, and the short time she was Henry''s consort makes it difficult to understand the kind of woman she was.
The book does a good job of trying to make her come alive.
What i loved most about the book was the portrayal of Henry himself. I think his character was brilliantly captured.
He is a very difficult and contradictory person to write about, capable of great savagery and great tenderness almost at the same time.
For those who enjoy reading about Henry and his six (!) wives, i also recommend "The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers: A Novel" by Margaret George and of course all philippa Gregory''s books.
4 people found this helpful
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Isabella B
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Enjoyed This Book, Though not Historically Accurate
Reviewed in the United States on May 17, 2019
Weir does a pretty good job in delivering her interpretation of Jane. I think before anyone judges this book too harshly, they should read the end notes from the author where she explains what is fact, what is fiction, and how she came to her conclusions about Jane''s life... See more
Weir does a pretty good job in delivering her interpretation of Jane. I think before anyone judges this book too harshly, they should read the end notes from the author where she explains what is fact, what is fiction, and how she came to her conclusions about Jane''s life and death. The part that didn''t sit well with me, despite Weir''s allowance for fictional freedom, was turning Jane into Henry''s mistress and having a miscarriage. Those two things are pretty serious assumptions to make considering that if it really happened there would be at least one witness or some account of it. There were always people watching and spying at court and I don''t think Jane could''ve flown under the radar unoticed. Despite that embellishment to the story, I enjoyed the book and finished it in one day.
One thing I took away from this book is the debate over who was the best at stealing the king away from the former wife. Anne or Jane? Anne was vibrant, fiesty, and knew how to play the court well, but she was cruel to anyone who stood in her way or posed a threat to her. In this book, Jane came across as kindhearted, demure, and always quietly observing, yet very well aware of how the court operated. I like to think she went about winning the king''s heart in a much more dignified and discreet way than Anne did. And she succeeded where no other wife did....she gave the king a son.

The paperback has an extra short story in it that is the Lady Mary telling her account of what happened right after Jane died. This was a nice little extra I wasn''t expecting.
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Kindle Customer
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beyond boring.
Reviewed in the United States on November 9, 2018
Beyond borning, glosses over important events taking place during this troubled time period, or doesn''t mention them. Main characters are very one dementional. Jane is portrayed as gullable, dull, easily lead and not to bright. I think this does Jane Seymour a disservice.
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Top reviews from other countries

Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Tudor Court brought to life.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 8, 2018
A brilliant look into the function of the Tudor court seen through the tale of Henry''s third Queen Jane Seymour. Alison Weir is a brilliant historian who has taken her knowledge of Tudor times and brought to life the Tudor court and the intrigues that were very much a part...See more
A brilliant look into the function of the Tudor court seen through the tale of Henry''s third Queen Jane Seymour. Alison Weir is a brilliant historian who has taken her knowledge of Tudor times and brought to life the Tudor court and the intrigues that were very much a part of it. Lots of detailed research and facts have gone into this book but as with all fiction so has Alison''s imagination. Who better to do the imagining than a well renowned historian. This book tells Jane''s story from her point of view and also shows the way women of the time were treated more as property than partners. The rules were very different for women especially when it came to affairs of the heart. A good read and the first time I have felt that Jane''s character has really shown clearly in a novel. If you like Tudor history based on truth and historical instincts then this is a book for you. I have loved the series so far and can''t wait for the next book about Anne of Cleves. The best thing about this series? Even though I have learnt a lot over the years, I have still discovered new things about Henry and his Queens and courtiers in each book. Alison Weir is a joy to read and I for one will be following her books with interest.
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EleanorB
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I like it, but....
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 18, 2018
I like it, but I don''t love it! I really loved the two previous novels on Katherine of Aragon and the notoriously controversial Anne Boleyn but feel that this one is a little contrived, largely because in terms of personalities and their actual life stories, Jane Seymour is...See more
I like it, but I don''t love it! I really loved the two previous novels on Katherine of Aragon and the notoriously controversial Anne Boleyn but feel that this one is a little contrived, largely because in terms of personalities and their actual life stories, Jane Seymour is possibly the least interesting and vivid of Henry''s procession of wives. This one also messes a little with the character of Henry the Eighth and plays his courtship of Jane as a lovely story of charming innocence as compared with the explosive relationship he had with Queen Anne B: it was probably all a little more cynical than that given the ambition of her Seymour brothers. That said, this author never tells anything other than an interesting tale, and this is the stepping stone book to the story of Anne of Cleves, which will be worth waiting for. The background characters are well drawn and La Boleyn dominates this narrative every bit as much on the page as she clearly did in life! Read it to keep in step with the series.
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Andy161
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The Haunted Queen
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 28, 2019
Alison Weir’s Six Queen Saga reaches its third consort, Jane Seymour. Born into a large family, Jane enjoys a comfortable upbringing under the watchful eye of her mother. During this period Jane develops a strong sense of piety and purpose, which is almost shattered during...See more
Alison Weir’s Six Queen Saga reaches its third consort, Jane Seymour. Born into a large family, Jane enjoys a comfortable upbringing under the watchful eye of her mother. During this period Jane develops a strong sense of piety and purpose, which is almost shattered during a family scandal. This and Jane’s heartache becomes important to her characterisation and motivation later in the novel. Upon entering the court, Jane develops a strong admiration for Catherine of Aragon. However, the shadow of Anne Boleyn and the Great Matter soon fall over Jane... setting the scene for her ascent later. Antonia Fraser described Jane as a matriarch in the making. Weir builds a convincing and grounded portrayal of Jane, drawing from extensive research and her growing abilities as novelist. We don’t see just a meek and mild figure. Jane is fully rounded and an active protagonist. There is a somewhat gothic flavour explored, here, that could be tedious with some authors but works in this narrative quite well. In fact, this is my favourite of the novels thus far. Highly recommended.
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white rose
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A shadow queen, and an ok read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 22, 2019
It was very interesting to revisit this well trodden historical path with Jane Seymour as protagonist - this is a very unusual thing. The book is well written and Alison Weir’s reputation as an historian ensures that there is some rigour, which isn’t a given with historical...See more
It was very interesting to revisit this well trodden historical path with Jane Seymour as protagonist - this is a very unusual thing. The book is well written and Alison Weir’s reputation as an historian ensures that there is some rigour, which isn’t a given with historical fiction. I think she did the best with some fairly thin material. Even at the time Jane Seymour was a shadowy figure, especially coming after such vivid characters in Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Add to that the fact that her time at the forefront of history was so brief, and (as it seems to me) her very attraction for the King was that she was meek and mild, and you can see how it makes the novelist’s job difficult. I love Hilary Mantel’s equally shadowy and enigmatic Jane and am eagerly awaiting how she will develop Jane’s character in The Mirror and The Light. But this was good to read in the meantime.
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hertsj
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Recommended reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 6, 2018
I have been eagerly awaiting each new book on the six Tudor queens and this one is definitely up to standard. I thought I knew quite a lot about each of Henry VIII''s queens but Alison Weir does her research so thoroughly, there is always something new to learn. Written in...See more
I have been eagerly awaiting each new book on the six Tudor queens and this one is definitely up to standard. I thought I knew quite a lot about each of Henry VIII''s queens but Alison Weir does her research so thoroughly, there is always something new to learn. Written in the form of novels, these books are impossible to put down and this one is no exception.
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