Queen's Gambit

A Novel of Katherine Parr

Queen's Gambit

“Smart, sensual and suspenseful as a thriller, Queen’s Gambit is a must-read for Philippa Gregory fans—and heralds a brilliant new player in the court of royal fiction” (People).

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived: This is the story of the one who survived.

Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one Katherine Parr falls deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love. Instead, she attracts the amorous attentions of the ailing, egotistical, and dangerously powerful Henry VIII. No one is in a position to refuse a royal proposal so, haunted by the fates of his previous wives—two executions, two annulments, one death in childbirth—Katherine must wed Henry and rely on her wits and the help of her loyal servant Dot to survive the treacherous pitfalls of life as Henry’s queen. Yet as she treads the razor’s edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 464 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476703077 | 
  • May 2014
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Queen’s Gambit includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Elizabeth Fremantle. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


This brilliant work of historical fiction brings to life the remarkable story of Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife. Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one, Katherine Parr reluctantly returns to the court of Henry VIII, where she finds herself falling deeply in love with the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour. She believes she might finally be able to marry for love, but, captivated by Katherine’s honesty and intelligence, Henry Tudor has other plans. When Henry Tudor proposes marriage, Katherine has no choice but to become his wife. Katherine must draw upon her instincts to navigate the treachery of the Tudor court. Yet, even as she treads the razor’s edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love.  

Topics & Questions for Discussion 

1. Elizabeth Wilhide has praised Queen’s Gambit, saying, “Fremantle…sheds an intriguing new light on Katherine Parr, one of history’s great survivors. see more

More Books from this Author

Sisters of Treason
Watch the Lady

About the Author

Elizabeth Fremantle
Photograph by Paola Pieroni

Elizabeth Fremantle

Elizabeth Fremantle is the author of Sisters of Treason, Queen’s Gambit, and Watch the Lady, and has contributed to Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, The Sunday Times (London), and other publications. She has also reviewed fiction for The Sunday Express. She lives in London, England.