The Kiss of the Concubine
On her return from France, Anne Boleyn takes the English court by storm. Her vibrant intelligence and ready wit instantly attracts the jaded eye of the king.
Henry is already tired of his ageing wife, Catherine of Aragon, and furious at her failure to provide him with a son. When he pleads with Anne to become his mistress, she refuses for her heart is already set on Harry Percy, heir to the mighty earldom of Northumberland. But the king is determined and the courtship that follows scandalises Christendom. During Henry’s long drawn-out struggle to be free of Catherine it becomes clear that the king intends to have Anne not just as his mistress but his wife. Once Queen of England, Anne is expected to provide the illusive Tudor heir. But instead of the longed-for prince, she gives birth to a girl – Elizabeth - and a few years later, a dead son. Anne’s days of triumph are over and Henry’s eye begins to roam - leaving Anne vulnerable as her enemies stir in the shadows and begin to work against her. She becomes a victim of both love and politics.
The Kiss of the Concubine traces the relationship between Henry and Anne from their first meeting to beyond the scaffold.
Recommended reading for fans of Alison Weir, Philippa Gregory and Sarah Gristwood.
Judith Arnopp is the author of numerous bestselling historical novels, including Intractable Heart, written from the perspective of Tudor women, from all walks of life.