MY LADY SUFFOLK by Evelyn Read
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This book, the result of a non-professional historian's enthusiasm, has the benefit of a really fine subject- a 16th century woman of both character and importance. Catherine Willoughby, who was born about 1520, was an orphaned heiress and the ward of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, friend and favorite of Henry VIII and husband of the King's sister. When this lady died, Suffolk married his ward who was then in her early teens. By her marriage to the second ranking peer of the realm was 48) Catherine became an authentic grande dame before this designation was evaluated; there were only two non-Royal Dukes in those times. She remained one her life, even when, after her husband's death, she married her gentleman usher, an official of her household. Her second husband, Richard Bertie, was an excellent man and saw her through some bad times in the reign of Queen Mary when they had to to penniless exile on the continent.... The book contains many glimpses of domestic life, including detailed household accounts which exhibit some fascinating relative values. This, along with its strong feeling of the period, might well attract the readers of Elizabeth Jenkins' Elizabeth The Great, although it is somewhat more fictional in tone since she has, by her own admission, ""now and again"" attributed to historical personages thoughts and feelings which could not possibly be documented.

Publisher: Knopf