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EXCERPT: A Matter of Time

I love sharing my greatest pleasures of authoring. One is the joy of becoming friends with others both near and far. And along with that comes new reads! There are so many phenomenal writers I've met along the way, and one of my favorites has to be Judith Arnopp. Though we've never gotten to meet in person, we communicate often through Twitter and Facebook. Thank goodness for social media as a tool in relationships. Judith is not only a scholar on the late Middle Ages and Tudor Period, but she's an incredible story-teller, too. I've read several of her books, each of which is a clear and vivid window into the past.

What a delight to have her back on my blog. This time, it's in honor of her newest book, A Matter of Time, which is the culmination of a trilogy based upon the life of Henry VIII. I've not yet gotten to it, but am adding it to my to-be-read list! Below, you've find a small excerpt to whet your appetites. Enjoy and as always...


All About the Book

With youth now far behind him, King Henry VIII has only produced one infant son and two bastard daughters. More sons are essential to secure the Tudor line and with his third wife, Jane Seymour dead, Henry hunts for a suitable replacement.

After the break from Rome, trouble is brewing with France and Scotland. Thomas Cromwell arranges a diplomatic marriage with the sister of the Duke of Cleves but when it comes to women, Henry is fastidious, and the new bride does not please him. The increasingly unpredictable king sets his sights instead upon Katherine Howard and instructs Cromwell to free him from the match with Cleves.

Failure to rid the king of his unloved wife could cost Cromwell his head.

Henry, now ailing and ageing, is invigorated by his flighty new bride but despite the favours he heaps upon her, he cannot win Katherine’s heart. A little over a year later, broken by her infidelity, she becomes the second of his wives to die on the scaffold, leaving Henry friendless and alone.

But his stout heart will not surrender and leaving his sixth wife, Katheryn Parr, installed as regent over England, Henry embarks on a final war to win back territories lost to the French more than a century before. Hungry for glory, the king is determined that the name Henry VIII will shine brighter and longer than that of his hero, Henry V.

Excerpt from A Matter of Time by Judith Arnopp

June 1541 Henry and Katherine Howard on royal progress


Brandon is not with us this night, having ridden ahead to make preparation for our stay with him at Grimsthorpe, but I am content with Katherine beside me, a few musicians, and her favourite ladies and my closest gentlemen. We grow merry, the youngest members of the party dancing into the early hours. The music rises and falls, the fire crackles, while I sit and eat and watch, with my foot resting on a stool.

When they form up for the next dance, Katherine is partnered by Culpepper, and they make an elegant pairing. I look on enviously as the steps of the dance take them close together. Their elbows hook, and then they part again, Katherine’s hand reluctantly extended toward him as the dance dictates. Surrounded by the gaiety of the company, yet not part of it, I grow bored, longing for my bed. I’ve admitted to nobody how the journey is taking its toll, on both my health and my spirits. I close my eyes, rest my head on the back of my chair and thank God for the good company. The words of a song I wrote long ago jangle in my mind.


Pastime with good company

I love and shall until I die;

Meet Judith

A lifelong history enthusiast and avid reader, Judith holds a BA in English/Creative writing and an MA in Medieval Studies. She lives on the coast of West Wales where she writes both fiction and non-fiction. She is best known for her novels set in the Medieval and Tudor period, focusing on the perspective of historical women but recently she has been writing from the perspective of Henry VIII himself.


Judith is also a founder member of a re-enactment group called The Fyne Companye of Cambria which is when she began to experiment with sewing historical garments. She now makes clothes and accessories both for the group and others. She is not a professionally trained sewer but through trial, error and determination has learned how to make authentic looking, if not strictly historically accurate clothing. Her non-fiction book, How to Dress like a Tudor was published by Pen and Sword in 2023.


Her novels include:

A Song of Sixpence: the story of Elizabeth of York

The Beaufort Chronicle: the life of Lady Margaret Beaufort (three book series)

A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, the Aragon Years (Book One of The Henrician Chronicle)

A Matter of Faith: Henry VIII, the Days of the Phoenix (Book Two of The Henrician chronicle)

A Matter of Time: Henry VIII, the Dying of the Light (Book Three, Coming soon)

The Kiss of the Concubine: a story of Anne Boleyn

The Winchester Goose: at the court of Henry VIII

Intractable Heart: the story of Katheryn Parr

Sisters of Arden: on the Pilgrimage of Grace

The Heretic Wind: the life of Mary Tudor, Queen of England


The Forest Dwellers

The Song of Heledd


Previously published under the pen name – J M Ruddock.

The Book of Thornhold

A Daughter of Warwick: the story of Anne Neville, Queen of Richard III

 Connect with Judith


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1 Comment

Cathie Dunn
Cathie Dunn
Mar 14

Thank you for hosting Judith Arnopp and Henry today.

Take care,

Cathie xo

The Coffee Pot Book Club

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