The Fifth Queen

(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed

The Fifth Queen, 1906

Katharine (Kat) Howard

Katharine (Kat) Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII. Devoutly Catholic, the nineteen-year-old is the most learned woman in England. Her knowledge of Greek and Latin and the moral precepts she has embraced from the ancients (along her great beauty) attract the attention of the king when she is brought to her uncle, the duke of Norfolk, at a time of riot and unrest in her home county. Named for Katharine of Aragon, Henry’s first queen, the fearless Katharine becomes lady-in-waiting to their daughter, Lady Mary. In that position, she is thrown into close association with the king while simultaneously abetting Lady Mary’s scheme to reinstate Catholicism in England.

Henry VIII

Henry VIII, the king of England. He is massive and powerful, and his ability to be gentle and his great wit inspire Katharine’s respect and love.

Thomas Cromwell

Thomas Cromwell, the Lord of the Privy Seal who arranged the marriage of Henry and Anne of Cleves to cement the Protestant alliance.

Lady Mary

Lady Mary, the daughter of Henry VIII. Aloof and bitter, Mary despises her father for having poisoned her mother and declared her to be illegitimate.

Nicholas Udal

Nicholas Udal, a tutor to Lady Mary and former tutor to Katharine Howard, a master of Greek and Latin in his time. Udal’s character is suspect.

Margot Poins

Margot Poins, a maidservant to Katharine. The large blonde woman is also Udal’s betrothed.

Thomas Culpepper

Thomas Culpepper, a cousin of Katharine. Culpepper takes Katharine to London to save her from the poverty and violence of her home. The red-haired Culpepper’s mad love for his cousin alternately saves and damns her.

The Privy Seal, 1907

Katharine (Kat) Howard

Katharine (Kat) Howard, now the beloved of the king. She is...

(The entire section is 847 words.)