Some upcoming books

The first up is the next fictional work from Alison Weir, this time about Elizabeth I in the years before she became Queen. Personally, I find that to be the most intriguing part of Elizabeth’s life, so I’m looking forward to this. I really enjoyed “Innocent Traitor”, so my hopes are high! Below are the pre-order links to my affiliate stores at and It will be out on April 29 in the US and April 3 in the UK.

The next is one that Foose brought to my attention. I haven’t been able to really find out much about it, but below are the Amazon links. The book is another on Catherine Parr by Susan James, but I don’t know if it is an update to her previous work (from the late 1990s) or something new. It has been published, but neither store has it in stock yet. The link mentions that it is being published to coincide with this year’s celebrations of the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s succession to the throne.


  1. Hi, I’m a new reader of your blog, and I just wanted to say thanks for posting this. I had no idea this book was coming out, but I absolutely adore all of Weir’s work, so this is totally going on my to-read list 🙂

  2. You’re welcome!

  3. I have received the new book on Catherine Parr by Susan James, and can report it appears to be an updated edition of her ground-breaking “Kateryn Parr: The Making of a Queen,” published in 1999.

    The chapter headings and much of the writing are identical, although the earlier book offers a closing section on the career of Catherine’s brother, William Parr, after her death and well into Queen Elizabeth’s reign. “Catherine Parr: Henry VIII’s Last Love” ends pretty much with Catherine’s death, although there is a coda on Thomas Seymour’s execution and the probable fate of her daughter Mary Seymour.

    This new book was evidently published to coincide with a major exhibition in the United Kingdom on Henry VIII, and appears to have been somewhat rushed by the publisher. Some of the pictures have their captions cut off. Mrs. Ashley’s sister is described as both “Elizabeth Champernowne” and “Joan Champernowne.” Lady Baynton is called “Anne Boleyn’s half-sister.” The book would have benefited from more careful attention.

    However, I recommend it. I felt it worthwhile to buy the second edition of Eric Ives’ “Anne Boleyn” for the same reason: the new editions incorporate Tudor scholarship that has appeared over the past 9 years.

    One thing that caught my eye: this book features the first portrait of Thomas Seymour that I’ve seen that conceivably depicts a sexy lady-killer, without the straggly, ZZ Topp-style beard that disfigures the usual image of him reproduced in books on the Tudors. This is a portrait miniature of him from 1543 with a neatly trimmed, flattering style of facial hair. The wideset eyes look a bit like sister Jane’s.

  4. Thanks for the comments Foose! I have an gift certificate burning a hole in my email, so maybe I’ll have to snag this one before it disappears like her first book.

    BTW, I think I know the miniature about Thomas you mean, and I totally agree. I’d have to see the book to be sure, but I’m guessing it is one that was in an article she (Susan James) wrote for Apollo magazine a few years back. It was the same article that she discussed the miniature called “Kathryn Howard” as possibly being Margaret Douglas.

  5. I am so glad that I did some back-tracking through your blog and found that this book was being re-issued! I had searched for one to purchase back when I wrote my PhD dissertation (my apporach to Jane Grey was deeply influenced by James’ own apporach to Parr), but Alibris was charging about $200 for a hardback copy. Hoorah, now I can afford a copy! Though it is a shame that Tempus Publishing was apparently less than diligent in proofing the copy before publication. And yes, the UK is geing up for a big 500th anniversary celebration next year of the accession of Henry VIII, and the occasion is producing (thankfully) a rush on reprintings of books that have been out of print for a while.

  6. There’s a very favorable review of Susan James’ book in the May 3 2008 Spectator Magazine, at:

    It doesn’t mention tha tthe book is basically a reissue, though.

  7. I got my copy about a week or so ago (I did end up using that gift cert. I had), but I haven’t had a chance to really dig into it yet. It is next on the pile though after I finish the science book I’m currently reading!

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