The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor (52 page)

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E​ngland, late 1547.

Henry VIII is dead. His fourteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, is living with the old king’s widow Catherine Parr and her new husband Thomas Seymour. Ambitious, charming and dangerous, Seymour begins to flirt with Elizabeth in an openly sexual manner. Her step-mother, concerned at Seymour’s behaviour, sends Elizabeth away.

When Catherine dies in autumn 1548 and Seymour is arrested for treason soon after, the scandal explodes into the open. Alone and in dreadful danger, Elizabeth is closely questioned by the king’s regency council: Was she still a virgin? Was there a child? Had she promised to marry Seymour? In her replies, she shows the shrewdness and spirit she will later be famous for. She survives the scandal. Thomas Seymour is not so lucky.

On hearing of Seymour’s beheading, Elizabeth observed: ‘This day died a man of much wit, and very little judgement.’ His fate remained with her. The Virgin Queen was born out of the ashes of Seymour’s fall.

REVIEWS

C
ATHERINE
P
ARR

‘Norton cuts an admirably clear path through tangled Tudor intrigues.’

Jenny Uglow

‘An eminently readable biography.’

BBC History

ABOUT ELIZABETH NORTON

E
LIZABETH
N
ORTON
is a historian of the queens of England and the Tudor period. She is the author of biographies of Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Parr, and of
England’s Queens: The Biography
.

www.elizabethnorton.co.uk

www.elizabethnortonhistorian.blogspot.co.uk

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The story starts here.

First published in 2015 by Head of Zeus Ltd

Copyright © Elizabeth Norton 2015

The moral right of Elizabeth Norton to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

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A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN (HB) 9781784081720

ISBN (E) 9781784081713

Author photo: Micaela Cianci

Jacket design: Madeline Meckiffe

See p. 355 for picture credit

Head of Zeus Ltd

Clerkenwell House

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BOOK: The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor
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