Review: Young and Damned and Fair

Published in April 2017, Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII by Gareth Russell is a worthwhile addition to your Tudor history bookshelf.

Russell digs further into Catherine’s short and tragic life while weaving in everyday details of Tudor England inside and outside the royal court.

The author gives some very persuasive arguments about his findings regarding some details of Catherine’s life that I’d never read previously. Russell’s writing style keeps things entertaining while packing in as many interesting facts as possible.

Most biographies of the wives of Henry VIII run into a common problem: the details known about the woman are few but the events related to the men close to her are plenty. So, usually these biographies become books about the people in the queen’s life and not the queen herself.

With that said, I didn’t find that at all with Young and Damned and Fair. Russell does a fantastic job of keeping the book about Catherine.

Her story is really unfortunate. Russell helps shed a new light on Queen Catherine’s life that may well make the reader see her in a different light. I know it did for me.

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jillianne hamilton headshotJillianne Hamilton is an author, history enthusiast, book lover, and graphic designer. Her debut novel, Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, was shortlisted for the 2016 Prince Edward Island Book Award. Her debut non-fiction book, The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII is now available. She lives in Charlottetown on Canada's beautiful east coast and is working on her debut historical fiction novel.
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