A review by bookedbymadeline
The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr: What Really Happened to Henry VIII's Last Queen? by June Woolerton

informative mysterious medium-paced


Thank you to netgalley and Pen & Sword for the eARC!

Really interesting look at the life, death, funeral, and discovery of Parr’s tomb. Author gives a brief overview of Parr’s life and just how influential she was as Queen!

Author also gives evidence of what we do know about Parr and the typical practices of this time period. I loved the theories and how the author would talk about the possibilities surrounding Parr’s death and funeral arrangements, but then point to other sources/past events to show how unlikely it would be! For example she discussed the funeral being such a rushed and less than royal affair for a queen, and Parr followed the new religion (Protestantism) which would explain why the funeral was so different as it was a first for a royal funeral to not follow the old, Catholic ways. However, it didn’t explain why she was buried in a small private chapel and not buried in London or a royal chapel, given how much embalming she had done and how uncommon it was for royals to be buried in the same place where they died!

I was just fascinated by the whole thing! The theories, getting to know more about the practices of the time period, learning more about Katherine Parr. It made my little Tudor obsessed heart happy 🫶

The one “negative” I’d have is that some of the information can get repetitive. The author goes over some previously discussed info in multiple chapters so it could become tedious at times, but other times it was nice to have the reminder in a new context.

Highly recommend for anyone interested in the Tudor’s or 16th century historical period! Given the amount of information, some reviewers had said it was dense which I disagree, but it maybe isn’t for casual readers and only interesting for history nerds 😂