In this novel (or trio of novellas, to be more accurate) written in the early 1900s, Ford Madox Ford set himself a challenge, to write a novel of Tudor England in a style that sought to re-create the language of the actual time period. Where I take issue with the novel though, and thereby give it only 3 stars, is the fact that Mr Ford has taken the historical truth and massaged it to fit some personal agenda (which I won't go into here: there's only so much literary theory I can bore you with in one sitting.) I've scoffed in other reviews on this site as to Guy Gavriel Kay's extreme aversion to tainting history with authorial prejudice: now I wonder whether he had this book in mind when he came to his conclusions, and am a smidge more sympathetic (even if I think he's still being ridiculous.) Mr Ford takes the titular historical figure -- who is known, both commonly and to academics, as an indifferently educated, morally loose young woman -- and shoehorns her into the role Anne Boleyn actually had before her: of a scholarly and devout, yet charismatic, queen. And though I said I would spare you too much literary theory, I have to add that forewords to books like this have uniformly irritated me of late.
Cromwell places Katherine, a papist, the court of Mary Tudor, as an unwilling spy, and parades her before Henry to take his mind off the problem of his new wife. The only criticism I have read is one of fact - that the conventional image of Katherine is of a young, flighty, naive girl, whereas Ford Madox Ford portrays her as a rather clever young woman, aware of the danger surrounding her.
If you come to this novel in order to make comparisons with Hilary Mantel, or to worry whether Catherine Howard actually expressed this or that view, then youre going to miss the essence of the book. piece of fiction wrapped around, based on, the historical accounts of Thomas Cromwell and Catherine Howard herself. If I wavered in those first few chapters it was partly because FMF kicks off with some comic relief and I found myself wondering what was going on. Theres something curiously visual about the novel; it feels like an extremely elegant movie script in a way. Im conscious that comparison with the movies might be taken as a veiled insult and I stress that I dont mean it that way: merely that it feels so vivid and immediate. For example, in the first chapter: He was muttering to his son: A stiff neck knows no mending, God shall break one day. Doubtless God shall break his engine when its work is done he muttered. I was grateful to be reading a Kindle version of the novel (which meant I could simply click on the frequent impenetrable archaic words he employs: there were dozens I had never seen before, and nevertheless, dozens for which no translation was available).
She shall most likely fall!" You won't find many history books accusing Katherine Howard of being virtue-mad, much as her mistress, The Lady ('Bloody') Mary, does in the final part of Ford's trilogy about Henry's fifth queen. History suggests that Howard was a flighty, frivolous young woman, a good-time girl who was unfaithful to the king, taking a lover in the dashing Thomas Culpepper as soon as Henry's back was turned, swiftly losing her head for it. Katherine Howard comes to court from Lincolnshire, engages the King's eye and is placed in the service of his Catholic daughter, The Lady Mary. Instantly Katherine finds herself at the centre of plots and counter-plots, inflated into Henry's latest mistress, cultivated as a spy by the Lord Privy Seal, Thomas Cromwell, likewise by the beleaguered Catholics, for she is committedly "for the Old Faith in the old way'. ' I also enjoy his convincing yet unobstrusive use of the period's idioms of speech, particularly the gently endearing terms of affection or abuse, such as 'roaring boys', 'Madam Spitfire', 'my dandery thing' and 'the sturdiest rogue with a yard of tongue to wag.' And how about this for a description of Henry VII, delivered by John Throckmorton, one of two competing spies who play pivotal roles in the plot across all three books: 'His Highness,' Throckmorton said, 'God preserve him and send him good fortuneis a great and formidable club.
En fin, "La quinta Reina" narra la historia de Catalina Howard la quinta esposa del rey de Inglaterra, el famoso Enrique VIII, Ford Madox Fox te envuelve en una narrativa fácil de leer llena de drama, intriga y amor?, el libro me ha parecido bueno obviamente cuando se leen estos libros de entrada ya sabes en que acabara todo pero es lindo conocer la perspectiva del autor, en mi opinión me ha parecido mas un fanfiction dado a que aquí Catalina Howard se me presenta mas como una victima valiente y con carácter osea que distorsiona toda mi perspectiva de lo que yo ya conocía de esta mujer, sobre todo el hecho de que aqui ella realmente ama a Enrique y pues NO SEÑORES!
Ford Madox Ford was the author of over 60 works: novels, poems, criticism, travel essays, and reminiscences.