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A Matter of Time – in which Henry VIII faces approaching death

I am no fan of the Tudors. I am deffo no fan of Henry VIII or Anne Boleyn, and have a tendency to avoid all novels set in this period. But there are exceptions: Judith Arnopp is a writer whom I greatly admire for giving us such relatable (yes, even Henry is relatable, although not entirely likeable) versions of  these two Tudor-era megastars. I am therefore delighted to showcase her here on my blog as part of her tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club.
In A Matter of Time: the Dying of the Light, Henry is old, a far cry from that gilded prince he once was. Has he learned something along the way? Does he now and then reflect on his choices and decisions? I suggest you grab the book and find out for yourself!

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.

Told from the king’s perspective, A Matter of Time: Henry VIII: the Dying of the Light shines a torch into the heart and mind of England’s most tyrannical king.

Universal Buy Links to the three titles in the series:

A Matter of Conscience:

A Matter of Faith:

A Matter of Time:

A little snippet . . .

Christina of Denmark, proposed as a potential wife to Henry. She supposedly said that had she had more than one head, she might consider it…

Summer 1539 Greenwich – Henry looking at a painting

Ah, the discomfiture of love. I’ve been in love with one woman or another since before I reached manhood. I first met Caterina when I was a boy of ten, and when I tired of her, Anne was waiting who, in turn, was usurped in my heart by Jane.

I had not yet wearied of Jane when she was taken from me after giving me my heart’s desire – my son. I was not ready to lose her, and there was no woman waiting to take her place as my queen. Now, there is just a void where she once was and, according to my Council, it is a queen I need.

I have my son, my heir, but one boy is never enough, not for any king and especially not for me. They tell me a political match will not only secure the realm against the threat posed by the Holy Roman Emperor but will also provide a brother for Prince Edward; a young Duke of York who will stand at his sibling’s side in times of crisis – a younger stalwart brother such as I never had.

Although I did well enough.

A door opens, the curtain drifts in the movement of air, but I do not take my eyes from hers. I will make this woman my queen; she will warm my bed, she will soothe my aching need and she will further strengthen the Tudor line. She will bear my children. If anyone can give me strong sons, it is she.

A footstep, a light touch upon my arm.

I turn, still dazed by the painted vision of Christina.

“Anne,” I say, my voice husky from prolonged silence. “Is it that time already?”

Author Bio:

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

Author Links:









Book Bub:

Amazon Author Page:


4 thoughts on “A Matter of Time – in which Henry VIII faces approaching death”

  1. Thank you so much for hosting Judith Arnopp and King Henry today! Christina of Denmark was clearly a clever woman, who had a lucky escape…

    Take care,
    Cathie xx
    The Coffee Pot Book Club

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