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The Queen's Mistake: In the Court of Henry VIII    by Diane Haeger order for
Queen's Mistake
by Diane Haeger
Order:  USA  Can
New American Library, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

According to Diane Haeger, Lady Catherine is not the brightest light in the Howard family chandelier. She is a beautiful young woman with a very warm heart who wishes to please her family, but she has the misfortune to be na´ve, promiscuous and unrealistic.

Raised practically as a servant in her grandmother's house, used as a pawn by her uncle to further his career and desired by all men, it is not surprising that she is unprepared for court politics and the wrath that Henry, her king and husband can unleash. Over the course of her life she could find only two people to trust, Lady Jane Rochford and Lord Thomas Culpepper, and both must bear the same tragic fate as she.

Haeger has illuminated this period for us before; a previous novel, The Secret Bride, is about Mary, sister to Henry VIII, and her travails in court. In The Queen's Mistake we have a richly detailed story of how one woman's desire for love is thwarted in favor of a truly ill-starred match between a teenager and an ailing fifty-year-old monarch. The court of Henry VIII comes richly alive with all its fawning courtiers, scheming noblemen and prelates of the church. I particularly appreciated the Author's Note at the end.

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