Thursday, March 14, 2024

Have a sneak peek between the covers of Judith Arnopp's evocative novel — A Matter of Time – Henry VIII: The Dying of the Light #HistoricalFiction #TudorFiction #BlogTour @JudithArnopp @cathiedunn

A Matter of Time
Henry VIII: The Dying of the Light

The Henrician Chronicle, Book 3

by Judith Arnopp

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.

July 1544 - Henry sails to war in France

My campaign tent may be large and luxurious compared with the canvas billets of the ordinary soldier, but I still wonder how I will cope. It was all very well in my youth when my body was strong. In those days, I could sleep wherever I laid my head, for I slept the sleep of the blessed. 
These days, I am likely to wake at dawn and regret the whole thing, crave the comforts of Hampton Court. I have not left England for many years now but, as we set sail across the sea, it seems like just yesterday I was here before. 
I stand at the rail, watch the surging grey waves, turn my face up to the wind-tossed gulls, and sneer at the landlubbers who are stumbling green-faced about the deck. I laugh when they throw up their supper, scoffing at their weakness, for I feel I was born to be a sailor. I revel in the swell of the sea, the roar of the wind, the flap and creak of the rigging, the wheeling gulls. 
The brief homesickness I felt last night dissipates rapidly as the invigorating sea crossing awakens the latent hero within. Almost as soon as land is sighted, I am straining my eyes to be the first to see Brandon, who I know will be looking seaward in search of his king.
We might be old men and our beards might be grey, but our hearts are as ferocious as boys’. We are hungry for the fight, thirsty for French blood, but first we need ale, and a willing maid.
“Brandon,” I cry as my old friend limps toward me. “Here we are again! By Christ, I have missed this. I can feel the blood-lust roaring in my veins again.”

Judith Arnopp

Judith Arnopp at Pembroke Castle

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 of The Henrician Chronicle)
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

Connect with Judith:
Website • Blog • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • Bluesky • Threads


  1. Thank you so much! I love the Coffee Pot Book Club and so does H!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Judith. We're delighted His Majesty approves too. x