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History of Gender Commons

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2014

Dissertations, Theses, & Student Research, Department of History

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Jewel Of Womanhood: A Feminist Reinterpretation Of Queen Katherine Howard, Holly K. Kizewski Jul 2014

Jewel Of Womanhood: A Feminist Reinterpretation Of Queen Katherine Howard, Holly K. Kizewski

Dissertations, Theses, & Student Research, Department of History

In 1540, King Henry VIII married his fifth wife, Katherine Howard. Less than two years later, the young queen was executed on charges of adultery. Katherine Howard has been much maligned by history, often depicted as foolish, vain, and outrageously promiscuous. Her few defenders often attempt to exonerate Katherine by claiming that she was chaste, innocent of the adultery charges brought against her, or a victim of rape. Both detractors and defenders usually reduce Katherine to her sexuality.

However, the surviving primary sources about Katherine reveal a more complex individual. In fact, examination of conduct books for young women of ...