Catherine Carey in a Nutshell

Catherine Carey in a Nutshell (Kindle Edition)
by Adrienne Dillard

For basic information about this historical figure, you couldn’t get any better than this title.  Dillard presents as much factual information as possible based on the records available and does ensure that those things that are speculative are presented as such.  It is very frustrating for historians when authors present inferred information as factual—this was avoided.  Not a lot of material is available on Catherine’s whereabouts, but using the unusual premise of Catherine’s pregnancies to determine the travel and living arrangements of her and her family, was not academically off-putting.

Although there is a profusion of Henry’s to keep track of, Dillard does as well as possible keeping them straight.  There was only one place near the end where she mentions two ‘Henry’s’ in a paragraph in a confusing manner.  A small price to pay for the chance to have some background filled in on Henry Carey, Catherine’s brother.

Dillard’s strong representation of the loving relationship between Catherine and her husband, Francis Knollys, is hard to resist.  In a time period of arranged marriages, to have a couple truly committed to one another and desirous of being in one another’s company, it is heartbreaking to realize they were kept away from one another at the end of her life.

This is an excellent, survey of the lives of Catherine Carey and her family.

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