Katherine Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Anya Seton
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does the duke react to news of Hugh's death?

2. The meeting of the House of Commons yields several major accusations. The King's chamberlain, Lord Latimer, is accused of:

3. What illness does Nichola, Hugh's stepmother, have?

4. To whom is Hugh indebted?

5. Initially, John tells Katherine he has called for her because:

Short Essay Questions

1. When Katherine leaves the convent where she has lived for the past five years, she is excited because she has yearned to experience life outside the Sheppey Priory walls. During the journey to the queen's court, and upon her arrival, what kinds of people does she meet who make her quickly realize how protected a life she has led?

2. At first, the atmosphere surrounding Blanches' funeral and burial is very solemn, very sad. But it turns jovial and circus-like during the supper at court. What happens?

3. Why does the duke become the "target of an angry, puzzled England"?

4. Despite seeing the cross at the entrance to Bolingbroke that indicates the estate has been contaminated by the Plague, Katherine goes in. Why does she take such a risk?

5. Katherine's sister Philippa is engaged to the writer Geoffrey Chaucer and her future seems set. While Philippa is concerned about her younger sister's welfare, she's also jealous of her. Why?

6. When Katherine arrives at the dilapidated Kettlethorpe, she meets Gibbon. What is Gibbon's role at the manor, and who is he in relation to Hugh?

7. Who takes Katherine from the pier to Hugh's lodgings when she arrives in Bordeaux? And how does Hugh receive this escort?

8. Name some of the devastating events of 1369 and how they affect Kettlethorpe.

9. Despite Hugh's death and pledging their undying love for each other, Katherine and the duke cannot marry. Why?

10. In this new phase of Katherine's life, she lives in the Inner Court at Kenilworth Castle. Once again, she is quite different from the Katherine at the beginning of the story, and the Katherine who was outwardly loyal and devoted to her abusive husband Hugh. Describe how she is once again different.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Nirac the Gascon and loyal servant to the Duke of Lancaster is one of the more interesting characters in the entire story. Loyalty is a theme that recurs throughout the story on many levels. Explain why Nirac is originally very loyal to the duke and why that loyalty is eventually tested. Could things have turned out differently for Nirac?

Essay Topic 2

Anya Seton's "Katherine" is what is commonly referred to as historical fiction. In the "Author's Note", she says that she never distorted time, place or characters to suit her fiction. She did copious research in writing the story. She could have written about the famous Duke of Lancaster. "And yet Katherine was extremely important to English history". Why do you think she wrote this story? What do you think she wanted people to understand most about Katherine? About woman in medieval England? About English history?

Essay Topic 3

Do you think Nirac had any concept that putting the poison in Hugh's medicine would have such far-reaching consequences? By the time he dies, do you think he had any regrets about his past actions? Or does he feel he has done everything with honor?

(see the answer keys)

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