Queen and the Heretic
How two women changed the religion of England
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The Queen and the Heretic is a dual biography of two remarkable women - Catherine Parr and Anne Askew. The first was the last queen of Henry VIII, the second a countrywoman from Lincolnshire. They were joined together in their love of the Protestant faith and in the threat this posed to both their lives. Both Catherine and Anne wrote about their beliefs, and their writings are still with us. Powerful men at court sought to bring Catherine down, and used Anne Askew's notoriety as a weapon in that battle. Queen Catherine Parr survived, while Anne Askew, the only woman to be racked, was burned to death. This book is the fascinating story of their lives, and the way of life for women from various social strata in Tudor England.
"Derek Wilson has written a fine history of two little-known and controversial women as thinkers. Though one is a queen of Henry VIII and the other is a martyr, they appear on the pages as lively, complex, realistic women - far from the stereotypes of traditional history. Wilson has traced their connections and carefully judged their intimacy. His understanding of the cliques which attached themselves to Henry VIII and his last wife is detailed and careful - authentic history - while never losing sight of the nightmarish atmosphere of a court governed by a bad-tempered tyrant." -- Phillipa Gregory