Books

Young and Damned and Fair

January 16th 2017 | William Collins | Hardbacks

Photo: Kelvin Boyes

Young and Damned and Fair is a riveting account of Catherine Howard’s tragic marriage to one of history’s most powerful rulers. Gareth Russell’s history unfurls as if in real time to explain how the queen’s career ended with one of the great scandals of Henry VIII’s reign. 

During one of the hottest summers on record the court of Henry VIII is embroiled, once again, in political scandal. The king’s marriage to Ann of Cleves has failed, his closest adviser Thomas Cromwell is to be executed for treason and, in the countryside, an aristocratic teenager named Catherine Howard prepares to become the fifth wife to the increasingly, irascible, unpredictable monarch. 

Based on research into Catherine’s household, this is a very human tale of some terrible decisions made by a young woman, and of complex individuals attempting to survive in a dangerous hothouse where the odds were stacked against them. By illuminating Catherine’s entwined upstairs-downstairs worlds and bringing the reader into her daily milieu, the author gives a gripping account of a young woman’s future destroyed by forces beyond her control. 

Gareth Russell read Modern History at St Peter’s College, Oxford and completed his postgraduate in Medieval History at Queen’s University, Belfast with a study of Catherine Howard’s household. He is the author of two novels set in his native Belfast and several books on royal history.  

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