The Fifth Queen is Ford Maddox Ford's masterful trilogy of historical fiction centered on Katharine Howard, a young girl of a proud, noble, and impoverished family who catches the jaded eye of Henry VIII and becomes his controversial fifth Queen. In this first volume, Katherine arrives at the King's court to find its dimly lit corridors vibrating with corruption and fear, as unscrupulous courtiers hungry for power maneuver for advantage. Clever, beautiful, and outspoken, Katherine soon becomes caught in a web of intrigue and romance as she fights for political and religious change. Ford saw the past as an integral part of the present experience and understanding. His sharply etched vision of the court of Henry VIII, first published in 1908, echoes aspects of Edwardian England as it explores the pervading influence of power, lies, fear, and anxiety on people's lives.