While Henry VIII tries to convince the Pope to annul his marriage to Katherine of Aragon so he can marry Anne Boleyn, Thomas More hunts, imprisons, and tortures those he deems heretics; Kate Gough continues the work of her family by secretly selling books banned by the Church at Gough’s Book and Print Shop in London.
Despite the danger, Kate is determined to help bring to the common man bibles and books written in his language. She disguises herself and sets out on a journey that leads to marriage and exile.
In Antwerp, Kate and her husband, John, begin their life together. John, a translator working with William Tyndall, spends countless hours at The English House. Though Kate supports their work she feels alone and adrift. When John is asked to go back to England to meet with those involved in the smuggling of the banned books Kate reluctantly sees him off.
There are several stories within this story; Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Thomas More and dungeons and torture, Winifred and Madeline, the ship’s Captain, Kate and John, and John’s mission. We are given a glimpse into Tudor England that is not all royalty and pomp and ceremony. We also see the poor and dirty and ugly. And through Kate’s story we see that prisons and torture come in many forms.
I enjoyed reading this book and will read others by this author. If you have read this book, or another by Vantrease, what did you think of it?