Henry VIII’s True Daughter: Catherine Carey, A Tudor Life

The lives of Tudor women often offer faint but fascinating footnotes on the pages of history. The life of Catherine – or Katryn as her husband would one day pen her name – Carey, the daughter of Mary Boleyn and, as the weight of evidence suggests, Henry VIII, is one of those footnotes.

As the possible daughter of Henry VIII, the niece of Anne Boleyn and the favorite of Elizabeth I, Catherine’s life offers us a unique perspective on the reigns of Henry and his children. In this book, Wendy J. Dunn takes these brief details of Catherine’s life and turns them into a rich account of a woman who deserves her story told. Following the faint trail provided of her life from her earliest years to her death in service to Queen Elizabeth, Dunn examines the evidence of Catherine’s parentage and views her world through the lens of her relationship with the royal family she served.

This book presents an important story of a woman who saw and experienced much tragedy and political turmoil during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I – all of which prepared her to take on the vital role of one of Elizabeth I closest and most trusted women. It also prepared her to become the wife of one of Elizabeth’s privy councilors – a man also trusted and relied on by the queen. Catherine served Elizabeth during the uncertain and challenging first years of her reign, a time when there was a question mark over whether she would succeed as queen regnant after the failures of England’s first crowned regnant, her sister Mary.

Through immense research and placing her in the context of her period, Henry VIII’s True Daughter: Catherine Carey, A Tudor Life draws Catherine out of the shadows of history to take her true place as the daughter of Henry VIII and shows how vital women like Catherine were to Elizabeth and the ultimate victory of her reign.