The Queen's Governess, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


I could not fathom they were going to kill the queen.

Nor could I bear to witness Anne Boleyn's beheading...' As a favour to a doomed queen, Kat Ashley agrees to become governess and confidante to the young Elizabeth Tudor.

Together they suffer bitter exile, assassination attempts, and imprisonment, barely escaping with their reputations and their lives intact.

But when Elizabeth is eventually crowned, Kat continues to serve her, faithfully guarding all of the queen's secrets, even the one that could bring down the monarchy...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical fiction
  • ISBN: 9780091940416



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Interesting.I enjoyed this retelling of the story of Elizabeth Tudor from the point of view of her much beloved governess, Kat Ashley. It wasn't quite as page-turning as a Philippa Gregory book (with whom she is compared on the back cover), but it was certainly an informative and satisfying read.After a short prologue set at the beheading of Anne Boleyn, the author takes us right back to Kat Ashley's childhood. As she explains in the notes at the end of the book, Ms Harper had to make several valued judgments about Kat's childhood due to incomplete or conflicting accounts from the time. However, it seems likely that the governess came from fairly lowly parentage and rose to a much respected position in court. She was a close confidante of Queen Anne and was entrusted with the care of her daughter, the princess Elizabeth, after Anne's sad demise.Kat Ashley's rise from poverty was orchestrated by Thomas Cromwell of Wolf Hall fame - not a book I enjoyed but I did have some extra background as a result of having read it.As the narrative covers the various reigns of the queens that followed on from Anne Boleyn, plus the childhood and subsequent coronation of Elizabeth's half sister, Mary, I felt that I was left with a more complete picture of the times than by reading individual books on each of these women.Well worth reading for lovers of historical fiction.Also read:Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (1 star)The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (5 stars)The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory (4 stars)Dear Heart, How Like You This? by Wendy J Dunn (3 stars)Tread Softly by Kate Pennington (4 stars)Beware Princess Elizabeth by Carolyn Meyer (4 stars)The Sixth Wife by Jean Plaidy (4 stars)