1. Elizabeth Wilhide has praised Queen’s Gambit, saying, “Fremantle…sheds an intriguing new light on Katherine Parr, one of history’s great survivors.” Aside from surviving her marriage to Henry VIII, in what ways is Katherine Parr a survivor? What do you think her greatest act of survival is? Why?
Katherine Parr survives not only a marriage to Henry VIII, but two earlier marriages and a later one. Parr’s second husband, Lord Latymer, was involved in the Pilgrimage of Grace. She manages to survive without a stain on her reputation, although Fremantle’s novel suggests that she was raped, along with her step-daughter, Meg. Katherine survives this experience and learns from it. She solidifies her belief in god through the actions of that time in Snape. Katherine also survived a marriage to Thomas Seymour, who betrayed her with her step-daughter, Elizabeth, if rumours were true and the story is how Fremantle told it. Seymour was later arrested and executed, so it seems like Katherine had a close shave. Katherine Parr’s greatest act of survival is probably surviving a marriage to Henry VIII, particularly taking into account how close she came to arrest and almost certain death. Other wives were not so lucky – Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard. Continue reading “Discussion Questions – Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle”