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Stages and Pages: The Last Wife



The OPL is pleased to partner again with the Great Canadian Theatre Company to offer Stages and Pages – suggestions of library resources to accompany this season’s GCTC plays.

The Last Wife is the second play in the GCTC’s 2016-17 season.  Set in contemporary North America, this is a modern portrayal of the relationship between Katherine Parr and Henry VIII.  Kate is in love with Thom, but she is obliged to marry the King instead – and she does so with some trepidation!  She fights to keep some authority in their marriage but must tread carefully to protect her heart – and her head!  This play explores themes of patriarchy, women’s rights, domestic abuse, and sexual politics. 

See it at the GCTC from November 1, 2016 to November 20, 2016.

Check out these lush novels, enlightening biographies, wry comics, and engaging films to whet your appetite for the play – or to further explore its themes, time period, and historic characters.

GCTC 2016-2017: The Last Wifepar Emily_Biblio

As part of the Ottawa Public Library's “Stages and Pages” partnership with the Great Canadian Theatre Company, we have compiled this list to accompany the production of The Last Wife, which opens at the GCTC on November 1, 2016.

  • Image: The Taming of the Queen
    Philippa Gregory’s novel tells the story of the 30-year-old widow, Katherine Parr who is slightly terrified, but duty-bound, to become Henry VIII’s sixth wife. It is also available in large print, eBook, downloadable audiobook, and audiobook CD formats.
  • Image: Step Aside, Pops

    Step Aside, Pops

    A Hark! A Vagrant Collection
    By Beaton, Kate
    A new collection of comics poking fun at history, pop-culture, and literature – with a feminist bent. They have the same signature style, wit, and sarcasm readers enjoyed in Kate Beaton’s first collection.
  • Image: Katherine the Queen

    Katherine the Queen

    The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr, the Last Wife of Henry VIII
    By Porter, Linda
    Katherine Parr, perhaps the least-known of Henry’s wives, is often described as a merely nurse for the ailing king. This biography offers a fresh perspective on the life of this intelligent, passionate, and dynamic woman.
  • Image: Tudors


    The History of England From Henry VIII to Elizabeth I
    By Ackroyd, Peter
    This is the second volume of Peter Ackroyd’s sweeping history of England. This history focuses on the religious and political upheaval of the period.
  • Image: How to Be A Tudor

    How to Be A Tudor

    A Dawn-to-dusk Guide to Everyday Life
    By Goodman, Ruth
    Unlike broader histories of the Tudor era, this guide, by BBC historical advisor Ruth Goodman, sheds light on the day-to-day realities of living. Learn about the everyday routines, hygiene, objects, food, and rituals of commoners and courtiers.
  • Image: She-wolves


    The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth
    By Castor, Helen
    Helen Castor explores the lives of four powerful, medieval women who paved the way for the Tudor queens. There is also a documentary (DVD), based on the book, entitled: She-wolves: England’s Early Queens.
  • Image: A History of Marriage
    With a combination of general and personal history, Elizabeth Abbott explores how marriage developed and how it is continually shaped by culture, economics, politics, and religion.
  • A retelling of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy set in a modern television news studio. Benedick (Damian Lewis) and Beatrice (Sarah Parish) are bickering co-anchors. It is also available in streaming video format from Access Video on Demand (ShakespeaRe-Told: Much Ado About Nothing).
  • Image: Inside the Court of Henry VIII
    This new PBS documentary explores the life of one of the most famous rulers of England. Learn about the people surrounding Henry at court – the glamour, intrigue, and treachery.
  • Image: Secrets of Henry VIII's Palace
    Discover Hampton Court Palace from the comfort of your living room. Originally built for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, it became one of Henry’s favourite palaces.