The Lamentations of a Sinner

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The Lamentations of a Sinner was the second book published by Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII of England and the first woman and queen to publish in English under her own name. It was written in 1547 and published after the death of King Henry in 1548.[1] Its publication was sponsored by the queen's close friend, the Dowager Duchess of Suffolk,[2] and Catherine's brother, the Marquess of Northampton.[1]

The small volume was strongly anti-Roman Catholic, referring to "papal riffraff", and the insistence that all people be able to read the Bible in English for themselves.[1]

Her first book, Prayers or Meditations, was written in 1545.[3]

The book is the main part of the most recent adventure of Matthew Shardlake, the lawyer-turned-detective from C.J. Samson's Book Lamentation; in the plot, he is summoned by the Queen to find the book and solve the murder of its guardian.


  1. ^ a b c Arthur L. Schwarz. Vivat Rex!: An Exhibition Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Accession of Henry VIII, 2009. Grolier Club. pg 191.
  2. ^ Franklin-Harkrider, Melissa (2008). Women, Reform and Community in Early Modern England: Katherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, and Lincolnshire's Godly Aristocracy, 1519-1580. Boydell. p. 50. 
  3. ^ Queen Catherine Parr. Katherine Parr: Complete Works and Correspondence, Janel Mueller (editor), 2011. University of Chicago Press. pg 199.

Further reading[edit]

  • Parr, Catherine. Katherine Parr: Complete Works and Correspondence, Janel Mueller (editor), 2011. University of Chicago Press.
  • Mueller, Janel, "A Tudor Queen Finds Voice: Katherine Parr's Lamentation of a Sinner" in The Historical Renaissance: New Essays on Tudor and Stuart Literature and Culture, ed. Heather Dubrow and Richard Strier (Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 1988), 15-47.
  • The Early Modern Englishwoman: A Facsimile Library of Essential Works Part 1: Printed Writings, 1500-1640 Volume 3 Katherine Parr selected and introduced by Janel Mueller, general editors Betty S. Travitsky and Patrick Cullen, Scolar Press, Aldershot, 1996