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  • Headline Review

The Blackened Heart: The reign of Henry s first queen is over. Long Live the Queen.

Alison Weir

5 Reviews

Rated 0

England, Historical fiction

Margery Otwell rose from modest beginnings to become a maid-of-honour to Katherine, the first of Henry's queens. But the past returns to haunt her, and the lady she serves, in this Six Tudor Queens e-short by bestselling historian Alison Weir.

The Blackened Heart by foremost and beloved historian Alison Weir is an e-short and companion piece that bridges the first two novels in the Six Tudor Queens series, Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Fans of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick will delight in this mysterious tale, drawn together from fragments of history - and a good dose of speculation. Or is it...?

Margery Otwell, a self-made gentleman's young daughter, gets her first taste of courtly life when she takes up a position as chamberer to Lady Peche of Lullingstone Castle. Dances, music, feasting - and a seduction - follow, and Margery learns the rules of courtly love the hard way.

Saved from disgrace by the kindly Sir John Peche, Margery finds herself at court waiting on Queen Katherine. Little does Margery know that she is already a pawn in a game of power, irrevocably bound to the fall of the lady she will come to love as her mistress, Queen and friend.


Praise for Alison Weir and Katherine of Aragon:

'A tender understanding of and genuine sympathy for this proud, much-loved and honourable Queen. . . I was gripped [from] start to finish' Mavis Cheek

'Well-researched and engrossing' Good Housekeeping


'Shatters the many myths about Henry VIII's long-suffering first wife' Tracy Borman


'Weir is excellent on the little details that bring a world to life' Guardian

'Yet again, Alison Weir has managed to intertwine profound historical knowledge with huge emotional intelligence, to compose a work that throws light on an endlessly fascinating historical figure. Yet her real gift in all of this is making it feel so fresh and alive' Earl Spencer

'Alison Weir clearly admires her heroine . . . meticulously researched' The Times

'This exquisite book charts the rise and fall of Henry VIII's first wife, Katherine. . . A fascinating insightinto this period of our history. Weir's undeniable strength is her immaculate description, enabling the reader to be transported back to Tudor England' Sun

'Weir manages to untangle the complex web of 16th-century politics, shown through Katherine's duties as ambassador, and her astute reading of the games being played. This adds greatly to the heft of the character, demonstrating what a competent woman she was becoming' Herald Scotland

'Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen is a true tour de force. Finely crafted, this novel is wonderfulhistorical fiction and an outstanding introduction to the Six Tudor Qu

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Praise for The Blackened Heart: The reign of Henry s first queen is over. Long Live the Queen.

  • In this, the first novel of the Six Tudor Queens series, Alison Weir brings Katherine of Aragon dazzlingly to life. Based upon extensive new research, it is a portrayal that shatters the many myths about Henry VIII's long-suffering first wife. Far from being the one-dimensional victim of history, she emerges as a charismatic, indomitable and courageous heroine whose story never fails to enthral

  • [Weir] gets right inside the head of the Virgin Queen. The reader has a blissful sense of seeing history as it happens - The Times

  • A breathtaking story of secrets and lies

  • A brilliant novel that focuses on the volatile relationships with Elizabeth I and the charismatic Lord Dudley - Woman and Home on The Marriage Game

  • The sheer weight of Weir's scholarship underpins the narrative, making it endlessly fascinating - Sunday Express on The Marriage Game

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Alison Weir Introduces Anne Boleyn | Six Tudor Queens

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Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon

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Alison Weir Introduces Anne Boleyn | Six Tudor Queens

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Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon

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Alison Weir

Alison Weir is the top-selling female historian (and the fifth-bestselling historian overall) in the United Kingdom, and has sold over 2.7 million books worldwide. She has published eighteen history books, including her most recent non-fiction book, Queens of the Conquest, the first in her England's Medieval Queens quartet. Alison has also published several historical novels, including Innocent Traitor and The Lady Elizabeth.

Anna of Kleve: Queen of Secrets is Alison Weir's ninth published novel and the fourth in the Six Tudor Queens series about the wives of Henry VIII, which was launched in 2016 to great critical acclaim. The first three books in the series - Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen, Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession and Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen were all Sunday Times bestsellers.

Alison is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an honorary life patron of Historic Royal Palaces.

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