By Retha M. Warnicke
Palgrave MacMillan, 2012
Publisher’s Synopsis: This fascinating and occasionally salacious historical study delves into the lives of six Tudor women celebrated for their reputed wickedness. Collected here are illuminating accounts of Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard, the two consorts of Henry VIII who were executed for adultery; Anne Seymour, duchess of Somerset, and Lettice Dudley, countess of Essex and Leicester, two defamed noblewomen; and Jane and Alice More, the two wives of Sir Thomas More who were charged with contrariness and shrewishness. In the process, author Retha M. Warnicke rescues these women from historical misrepresentations and helps us to rediscover the complex world of Tudor society.
Review by Carolyn Harris: “Each miniature biography in Wicked Women of Tudor England is preceded by a detailed analysis of existing historiography, which discusses the reliability of the sources analyzed by modern scholars. These sections reveal that such seemingly simple biographical details as Anne Boleyn’s birth date, and whether she was the elder or younger sister are still in dispute. Warnicke’s analysis also reveals that modern conceptions of women and the family encourage anachronistic conclusions about sixteenth century court ladies.” Click here to read the full review
See also: Inventing the Wicked Women of Tudor England: Alice More, Anne Boleyn, and Anne Stanhope, by Retha M. Warnicke