The Altarpiece

The Altarpiece It is and in the tumultuous years of King Henry VIII s break from Rome the religious houses of England are being seized by force Twenty year old Catherine Havens is a foundling and the adopted d

  • Title: The Altarpiece
  • Author: Sarah Kennedy
  • ISBN: 9781908483478
  • Page: 363
  • Format: Hardcover
  • It is 1535 and in the tumultuous years of King Henry VIII s break from Rome, the religious houses of England are being seized by force Twenty year old Catherine Havens is a foundling and the adopted daughter of the prioress of the Priory of Mount Grace in a small Yorkshire village Catherine, like her adoptive mother, has a gift for healing, and she is widely sought and aIt is 1535 and in the tumultuous years of King Henry VIII s break from Rome, the religious houses of England are being seized by force Twenty year old Catherine Havens is a foundling and the adopted daughter of the prioress of the Priory of Mount Grace in a small Yorkshire village Catherine, like her adoptive mother, has a gift for healing, and she is widely sought and admired for her knowledge.Catherine s hopes for a place at court have been dashed by the king s divorce, and she has reluctantly taken the veil In the remote North, the nuns enjoy the freedoms unavailable to other women England is their home, but the times have changed, and now the few remaining nuns dread the arrival of the priory s new owner, Robert Overton When the priory s costly altarpiece goes missing, Catherine and her friend Ann Smith find themselves under increased suspicion.Only the illness of Robert s brother, William, preserves the nuns from immediate expulsion and arrest Catherine heals him, and when she undertakes a quest across England, he offers to accompany her and Ann They visit the deposed queen, and during their journey to uncover the truth, Catherine begins to doubt her church and her God She finds herself drawn to William, even though he has spoken his oath to the crown and serves her greatest enemy.King Henry VIII s soldiers have not had their fill of destruction, and when they return to Mount Grace to destroy the priory, Catherine must choose between the sacred calling of her past and the man who may represent her country s future.

    One thought on “The Altarpiece”

    1. Mysteries lie at the heart of this novel and blend and weave throughout the tale of a missing altarpiece. Mysteries of faith are set against the longings of a woman’s heart. Mysteries of religion and politics take sides in a war against witchcraft with wisdom trapped in the middle. In classic style, this “wisdom” is a woman, Catherine, of unknown parentage, trained in healing, betrayed by the world’s rapid changing, and finding herself as she journeys to find the stolen treasure.Henry VI [...]

    2. The Alterpiece Henry VIII has broken with Rome to establish the Church of England. He wants(demands) that all priests and nuns forsake the Catholic religion and embrace the new church. Over a period of time, there were a lot of complaints about monastic impropriety and supposedly this new act by Henry VIII will stop that, but it is only to line the pockets of the royalty and new church. Catherine Havens was abandoned on the church doorsteps as a baby and taken in by the nuns at Priory of Mount [...]

    3. This novel is set in 1535 when England is still involved in the struggle over the break with the Church of Rome and the acceptance of the Church of England and King Henry as the Supreme Head of the Church. The country is in turmoil as the monasteries and priories are forcibly shut down and the monks and nuns are brutally assaulted and turned out with nowhere to go. This is the story of twenty year old Catherine Havens, a nun at the Priory of Mount Grace, who is the adopted daughter of the Priore [...]

    4. 1535 and King Henry VIII breaks relationships with Rome. Now the religious convents and houses England are being seized. The call is for the religious sect to take an oath for the King and leave all religious life behind.At Mount Grace priory the nuns are fighting against this. Catherine has a gift for healing as does her adoptive "mother" Christina. She is always being asked to help with illnesses and other ailments for healing.Suddenly, one day the Altarpiece in the chapel goes missing. The ca [...]

    5. This book explores the relationship when Henry VIII breaks from Rome to create the Church of England. He demands that all Catholic priests and nuns renounce their ties to the Pope and embrace his new religion. Catherine Havens, a young nun and healer, who lives in a small convent in Mount Grace faces the unimaginable when the King's soldiers come to Mount Grace to turn the nuns out of their abbey and to seize anything of value. The nuns try to hide as many valuables as they can and refuse to ope [...]

    6. I am a Tudor nut. I've read gobs of books set in that period. But, honestly, they all tend to cover the same historical figures. Not, this one. I was intrigued by the idea of a book that explored what happened to the nuns after Henry VIII confiscated the church's property, shutting down the convents, monasteries, etc.That is the subject of this work of historical fiction and I found it fascinating. Sarah Kennedy is an excellent writer and I loved reading this book. I am looking forward to the se [...]

    7. The Altarpiece by Sarah Kennedy(The Cross and Crown Series)Source: Knox PublishingRating: 3/5 starsI dove into Sarah Kennedys’ The Altarpiece with all kinds of enthusiasm; this is a book that should have been tailor-made for an art historian with a passion for the period. Sadly, for this art historian with a passion for the period, this book fell short of my expectations.The Altarpiece opens in 1535 at Mount Grace Priory in England where the good sisters in residence have been told that Henry [...]

    8. Originally posted on The Book Musings The Altarpiece is the first book in The Cross and the Crown series and plays off in 1535, during the time when King Henry VIII declared war against all religious houses. Mount Grace is a priory in Yorkshire village where Catherine Havens, a young nun, grew up after being abandoned. The priory is under new ownership of a man called Robert Overton, and the nuns are required to abandon their faith and take a vow on the new ways. Catherine, along with her mother [...]

    9. The Altarpiece by Sarah Kennedy is the first in The Cross and The Crown Series and what a fantastic start! I love reading any novels that take place during the reign of King Henry VIII so of course I was excited to read this one. In this novel we journey to the time when King Henry VIII was a force upon himself declaring war on all religious houses due to his break from Rome. It was a horrific time when religious houses were being subjected to utter destruction and valuable pieces were being tak [...]

    10. This first instalment in a series offers a rare perspective on Tudor history, through the eyes of those who suffered the results of Henry VIII's religious reform. The nuns of the Yorkshire convent of Mount Grace find themselves besieged by the men of their local lord Robert Overton, keen to carry off their wealth and spoils for Overton's own house. While many of the sisters flee, the prioress Christina and her inner circle remain firm in their defiance, believing that if they hold out long enoug [...]

    11. Well-researched historical novel that lacks motionThis review is from: The Altarpiece (The Cross and the Crown Series) (Hardcover)There seems to be a growing trend toward serialization of stories: witness the Harry Potter series, the Twilight series, the Fifty Shades of Grey series - to name but a few. It now seems that Sarah Kennedy has set out to make her own serial extravaganza about the 16th century changes in England and while her initial presentation, THE ALTARPIECE, is a solidly construct [...]

    12. The year is 1535, and King Henry's martial issues and his defiance of the Pope and Catholic Church is having far-reaching consequences for his people. As he sets himself up to be the religious power, he decides to break the settings of the Catholic Church and orders the nunneries and monasteries to be closed; their inhabitants required to renounce the vows they made before God to now shift their allegiance to the King.The Altarpiece tells the story of one such convent. The nuns are faced with so [...]

    13. The Altarpiece is a powerful depiction of a horrible time in England’s history. So many men and women were killed or displaced so Henry VIII could produce an heir. His selfishness touched so many people. This story tells the tale of Catherine has to make some very difficult choices in order to live in this new land. Ms. Kennedy captured in a wonderful way on how brutal the soldiers were to the religious houses in England. The soldiers had no respect for any member of the cloth. It was such a s [...]

    14. Book one of The Cross & the Crown Series, this novel follows Sister Catherine Havens, a nun at Mount Grace Priory, during Reformation England. Her convent is in the process of destruction and overtaking by Robert Overton. Involving a mystery surrounding the missing altarpiece (a painting of the Madonna and Child), Catherine and some of her sisters are forced on a journey to discover the truth about the religious upheaval in the country, and her unlikely companion is Robert's brother, the kin [...]

    15. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.I love historical fictions, and this book delivers!! It is 1535 in Tudor England and King Henry VIII is creating the Church of England and his soldiers are overtaking the Catholic Churches, and Catherine Havens is hiding all of the important papers and other items that she does not want to be taken from Mount Grace (the Convent that she is raised in). This scavenging is how we are introduced to this story…and, it is exciting from [...]

    16. I received a review copy of this book for free from Knox Publishing, and I was unbelievably excited to read it - a new Tudor historical fiction? Count me in!Unfortunately, to say I couldn't get into it is an understatement. I struggled from the very beginning, with nuns who swore, were petty & cruel to their fellow sisters, and were among the nastiest people I've ever read - yet they were supposed to be nuns, and good people? I'm not saying nuns aren't humans, don't make mistakes, and I'm su [...]

    17. I received this novel through First Reads.Henry VIII is dissolving the monasteries. The novel is set in a Yorkshire priory where four nuns remain, resolute against the reformation. Soldiers come to strip the premises of anything of value. A valuable Altarpiece goes missing. Catherine is a foundling, left at the priory as a child and now is a young woman. She sets to locate the Altarpiece and prove the innocence of others suspected of the theft.Add people dropping dead from mysterious illnesses, [...]

    18. I won this book from !A unique book set in the period of Henry VIII of England's dissolution of the Roman Catholic monasteries and convents. The story follows the theft of a valuable painting, the altarpiece. Sister Catherine the main character, while trying to solve the mystery of the theft and subsequent deaths of suspected villagers is caught in a web of conspiracy, murder and treasonous activity. She also lives daily with the dread of soldiers coming to ransack the convent for valuables and [...]

    19. Great fictional historical mysteryCatherine gets caught in the crossfire of King Henry purging the priories. A novice nun who has to renounce Catholicism, keep herself from being killed for a witch, and save the other nuns from their arrogance. Plus figure out who is murdering people.

    20. This book is historical fiction based in the time when England is splitting from Rome. Catherine Havens is at the center of the book. She has been raised in a nunnery and has gifts in healing and herbs. The priory's altarpiece goes missing as all of the nuns will be forces to leave. Murder and mystery abound. I enjoyed the book.

    21. Gosh, I really wanted to like this but I just found it impossible to get through. Another novel about the Tudors? Ho-hum. Guess it just wasn't for me. I would not recommend this book to anyone, though I will certainly look for the author's next.

    22. This is available from or directly from the publisher at knoxrobinsonpublishing. Read more about it and vote on Catherine's fate on my website: sarahkennedybooks.wordpress

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