The Fifth Queen trilogy consists of three historical novels, The Fifth Queen, Privy Seal and The Fifth Queen Crowned. The trilogy presents a fictionalized account of Katharine Howard's arrival at the Court of Henry VIII, her eventual marriage to the king, and her death. Katharine Howard is introduced as a devout Roman Catholic, impoverished, young noblewoman escorted by her fiery cousin Thomas Culpeper. By accident, she comes to the attention of the king, in a minor way at first, is helped to a position as a lady in waiting for the then bastard Lady Mary, Henry's eldest daughter, by her old Latin tutor Nicholas Udal. Udal is a spy for Thomas Cromwell, the Lord Privy Seal. As Katharine becomes involved with the many calculating, competing, and spying members of Henry VIII's Court, she gradually rises, almost against her will, in Court. She is brought more to the attention of the King, becomes involved with him, gets used by Cromwell, Bishop Gardiner and Thomas Cranmer as well as the less powerful though more personally attached Nicholas Throckmorton. Her connection to the latter puts her in some peril, as in January 1554 he is suspected of complicity in Wyatt's Rebellion and arrested, during which time Katherine is also briefly implicated. Katharine's forthrightness, devotion to the Old Faith and learning are what make her attractive to the King, along with her youth and physical beauty.