Catherine conformed to general contemporary ideals of beauty, which praised women who had “moistness of complexion; and [are] tender, small, pliant and fair of disposition of body.” Contrary to the still-repeated tradition that she was “small, plump and vivacious,” the few surviving specifics about Catherine’s appearance describe her as short and slender. A former courtier subsequently described her as “flourishing in youth, with beauty fresh and pure.”

Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII - Gareth Russell