This chapter presents a general introduction on the complete works and correspondence of Catherine Parr, the first English woman to publish under her name, and King Henry VIII's last queen, who survived him into widowhood as a royal dowager. To facilitate the reader's engagement with her correspondence and literary pursuits, the introduction outlines significant aspects of her biography. It throws light on her lineage, her family's close interface with the British royalty, her role as queen, regent and step mother of the King's children, her three other marriages and her tense relationship with the Catholic Church. It affirms that devotion, religious fervor and piety remains the primary genre and referent for Parr's authorial output from first to last and comes repeatedly to the fore.
Keywords: Catherine Parr, King Henry VIII, religious fervor, women writers, British royalty, queen of England