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The Rose Without a Thorn by Jean Plaidy Review

Title: The Rose Without a Thorn

Author: Jean Plaidy

First published January 1, 1993

325 pages, Mass Market Paperback

ISBN: 9780449223260 (ISBN10: 0449223264)

Rating: 3.87


In “The Rose Without a Thorn” by Jean Plaidy, readers are transported to the tragic story of Katherine Howard, a poor and beautiful girl who was adopted by her grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk. Katherine was raised in her grandmother’s licentious household and introduced to secret pleasures that would ultimately seal her tragic destiny.

Despite her childhood playmate, Thomas Culpepper, being her true love, Katherine was forced to serve the political ambitions of her powerful uncle, the Duke of Norfolk. When the aging King Henry VIII chose Katherine as his fifth wife, her brief years of glory and passion were ultimately shattered by betrayal and innocence lost.

This heart-wrenching finale to the Queens of England series is a must-read for those who want to learn more about the tragic story of Henry VIII’s lovely “rose without a thorn.”

About the Author

Eleanor Alice Burford, who was also known as Mrs. George Percival Hibbert, was a popular British author who wrote nearly 200 historical novels.

She used different pen names for her books because they covered a variety of subjects. Her most well-known pen name was Jean Plaidy, under which she sold 14 million copies of her books before her death.

She also wrote under the names Victoria Holt (56 million copies sold) and Philippa Carr (3 million copies sold). Despite her success, many of her readers were unaware of her other pen names.

In addition to her pseudonyms, she also published books under her maiden name, Eleanor Burford.

Editoral Review

The Rose Without a Thorn by Jean Plaidy is a historical fiction novel that takes readers back to the Tudor era in England. This book was first published on January 1, 1993, and has since become a beloved classic among fans of this genre.

Jean Plaidy, the pseudonym of Eleanor Hibbert, was a prolific author who specialized in historical fiction. Hibbert wrote over 200 novels in her lifetime, many of which were set in medieval and Renaissance Europe.

Her works are known for their accuracy and attention to historical detail, and The Rose Without a Thorn is no exception. Set in the court of King Henry VIII, this novel follows the life of Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of the infamous king.

Katherine is a young and beautiful lady-in-waiting who captures the king’s attention and becomes his queen. However, as she tries to navigate the treacherous world of court politics and keep the king’s favor, she finds herself facing deadly enemies and dark secrets from her past.

Plaidy’s writing style is eloquent and immersive, transporting readers to the Tudor court and capturing the tumultuous social and political environment of the time. The author expertly interweaves historical facts with fictional elements to create a compelling narrative that keeps readers engaged from beginning to end.

The characters in The Rose Without a Thorn are well-developed and multidimensional, with both strengths and flaws. As readers follow Katherine’s journey, they witness her struggle to reconcile her past mistakes with her desire for love and status.

Meanwhile, other characters, such as the manipulative Thomas Culpepper and the cruel Duke of Norfolk, add to the novel’s tension and drama. The themes of power, betrayal, and redemption are central to the novel and resonate with current issues and events.

Plaidy’s depiction of the Tudor court’s hierarchy and power dynamics exposes the corrupt nature of absolute power, while Katherine’s story speaks to the enduring human desire for forgiveness and second chances. However, while The Rose Without a Thorn is a beautifully written and captivating novel, it does have some flaws.

The pacing of the novel can be slow at times, and some of the subplots feel underdeveloped. Additionally, Plaidy’s portrayal of Katherine, while sympathetic, can be overly romanticized and idealized.

Overall, The Rose Without a Thorn is an excellent example of historical fiction that brings the Tudor era to life. Fans of the genre will appreciate Plaidy’s meticulous attention to detail and skillful storytelling.

With its themes of love, ambition, and betrayal, this novel will also appeal to readers who enjoy drama and intrigue. I highly recommend The Rose Without a Thorn to anyone who loves historical fiction, especially those with an interest in the Tudor period.

Though it is not without its flaws, this novel is a captivating and engrossing tale that is sure to leave a lasting impression. I give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.