By Carolly Erickson
St. Martin’s Press, $25.99, 295 pages
The Favored Queen opens with Queen Catherine just giving birth to an apparent heir after many miscarriages. But the baby dies only hours later and thus incites the anger of King Henry. He quickly finds a replacement queen in Anne Boleyn. Anne is a haughty, demanding lady of the court. Once it has been determined, that she cannot give the king an heir either, the kings rids himself of her, too. Jane Seymour, the narrator becomes Henry’s third wife.
The book details the behind the scenes maneuvering of those jockeying for power and for the attention of the king. It also gives the specifics of the conflict between England and France, as well as, the struggle the king had with the church. Jane has her own trials and tribulations while trying to be loyal to King Henry.
Erickson writes with amazing detail about a time that happened hundreds of years ago. The characters feel real; the conversations true. Erickson clearly describes how treacherous the king’s court could be, as well as, how disposable women were for the king. If Erickson taught high school history every student would have been a history buff!