I have had a few e-mails and messages from people asking me to review or comment on Professor David Loades' new book, Catherine Howard: The adulterous wife of Henry VIII. Professor Loades is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Wales and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Oxford's History Faculty. His work on the Tudor navy and on the reign of Queen Mary I was ground-breaking. More recently, Professor Loades has turned his attention to more popular biographies for Amberly Press and his contract with them has produced short studies on Henry VIII, the Boleyn family, Mary Tudor (Queen of France) and, now, Catherine Howard. Loades is a respected scholar and a world-renowned expert on Tudor politics. Some regular readers of the blog know that I studied Catherine Howard for my masters dissertation, hence why they asked me to review Professor Loades's new book.
However, since I have researched Catherine myself and I am currently in the process of writing about her, I didn't think it would be fair to critique Professor Loades's work myself. Tudor history is far too full of people who are keen to take pot-shots at others; indeed, history in general has that trait. Any criticism I have of Professor Loades might lead people to assume that I am only doing it to big-up my own work or to massage my ego. Any praise might lead people to think I'm being sycophantic. Neither would be the case. Books from good writers are always to be encouraged.
Thank you for asking me to review this book and good luck to Professor Loades with his new biography! To anyone who purchases it, I hope you enjoy it. Catherine's story is certainly a fascinating one and Professor Loades is a gifted scholar.