Historical Novels by Kate Emerson

fiction about real women at the court of Henry VIII

(Kate Emerson is a pseudonym for Kathy Lynn Emerson)

Kate wrote six historical novels set at the court of Henry VIII

all include maps, family trees, and a readers' group guide

trade paperback format
ebook and audiobook editions also available


The Pleasure Palace
ISBN 978-1-4165-8320-2

Jane Popyngcourt was brought to the English court of Henry VII as a child to be a companion to his daughters - the princesses Margaret and Mary. With no money of her own, Jane could not hope for marriage, but as she grows into a seductively beautiful young woman, she receives flattering attention from virile young courtiers and even from the handsome new king, Henry VIII, who has recently married Catherine of Aragon. Then a dashing French prisoner of war, cousin to the king of France, is brought to London, and Jane finds she cannot help giving some of her heart - and more - to a man she can never marry. The Tudor court is filled with dangers as well as seductions, and there are mysteries surrounding Jane's birth that have left her with deadly enemies. She must follow a perilous path in her search for answers and risk even more to have a chance at happiness.

"Jane Popyncourt is not the idealistically virginal heroine but a skillful player in the intrigues of the Tudor court, who manages to get what she wants without selling too much of herself in the bargain. It is this heroine that separates this book from the pack." (Publisher's Weekly)

"Rich and lushly detailed, teeming with passion and intrigue, this is a novel in which you can happily immerse yourself in another time and place." (Romantic Times)




Between Two Queens
ISBN 978-1-4165-8327-1




Between Two Queens is the story of Anne (Nan) Bassett, who came to court in 1537 as a maid of honor to Queen Jane Seymour. Jane, however, promptly died in childbirth, leaving all her maids of honor in limbo until Henry VIII married again. Between the two queens, Jane Seymour and Anna of Cleves, Nan herself receives considerable attention from King Henry. Was she his mistress? Historians can't say for certain. History records that Nan was a pretty girl, so there were other men besides the king who were interested in her. Why did she wait until the reign of Mary Tudor to marry? That's another question I tried to answer in the novel, and it provided a way to link Nan to a treason plot in which her mother and stepfather were implicated in 1540.


"As in her first Tudor novel, Emerson skillfully crafts a strong heroine who maintains careful command of her sexuality and her independence. Nan's behavior is as brave as it is scandalous for the time, and Emerson makes readers appreciate the consequences of Nan's choices." (Publisher's Weekly)

"Emerson's sharp eye for court nuances, intrigues and passion thrusts readers straight into Nan's life, and the swift pace will sweep you along." (Romantic Times)



By Royal Decree

ISBN 978-1-4391-7781-5


This is the fictionalized story of Bess Brooke, daughter of a baron, potential mistress of a king, and on-again, off-again wife of a nobleman who just happened to be the brother of a queen. Set in the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Queen Mary, it chronicles the tribulations and triumphs of a truly remarkable woman.


"A solid historical with a refreshingly willful, sexually liberated heroine." (Publisher's Weekly)

"Emerson captures the pageantry and the politics of the Tudor court, portraying real-life characters who negotiated turbulent times, and giving historical-fiction fans a first-rate read." (Booklist)


At the King's Pleasure

ISBN 978-1-4391-7782-2



At the King's Pleasure is the story of Lady Anne Stafford, younger sister of the 3rd Duke of Buckingham, wife of one man and mistress of another and loving them both. Accused by her brother of allowing herself to be seduced by King Henry VIII, with whom she is most definitely not having an affair, Anne is packed off to a nunnery "for her own good," and from that beginning a tangled web of intrigue and danger ensue.

"Emerson has written a wonderfully absorbing novel that is full of enough historical detail to satisfy even the most hard-core Tudor fan." (Library Journal)

"Emerson knows her stuff." (Historical Novels Review)

"The novel does a wonderful job of combining snippets of information into a coherent and compelling story. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anybody who likes Tudor history. (Renaissance Magazine)


The King's Damsel

ISBN 978-1-4516-6149-1

The King's Damsel is the story of Thomasine Lodge, maid of honor to Princess Mary Tudor, sent to the court of Mary's father, Henry VIII, to spy on Henry's new wife, the beautiful and deadly Anne Boleyn.


"Sparked by an actual letter written by a Spanish ambassador in 1534, Emerson creates a believable scenario rich in accurate detail where her fictional Thomasine strolls comfortably next to real-life figures." (Publisher's Weekly)

"Emerson paints an impressively accurate portrait not only of King Henry VIII, but of Princess Mary and Anne Boleyn, as well. . . . Kate Emerson deserves a round of applause. . . . THE KING'S DAMSEL is simply perfect." (Fresh Fiction)



Royal Inheritance

ISBN 978-1-4516-6151-4



The story of Audrey Malte, illegitimate daughter of Henry VIII's royal tailor . . . or is she? Audrey has distinctive Tudor-red hair. And the king shows an extraordinary interest in her well-being. In sixteenth-century England, royal blood is a dangerous thing to inherit, even on the wrong side of the blanket.


"Another satisfying, page-turning addition to Emerson's series" (Publisher's Weekly)

"Readers with a voracious appetite for Tudor-set novels will take Emerson's Secrets of the Tudor Court series to heart. It is more than the careful research, dramatic events, and lush details they savor; it is how Emerson merges little known historical personages and history into a powerful novel where ordinary people take center stage. This new outlook on history makes for realism, while tugging at readers' hearts and stimulating minds to learn more about the era. Well-crafted historical fiction, romance and passion fill every page." (Romantic Times)


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