"I am Catalina, Princess of Spain, daughter of the two greatest monarchs the world has ever known...and I will be Queen of England."
Thus, best-selling author Philippa Gregory introduces one of her most unforgettable heroines: Katherine of Aragon. Daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, Katherine has been fated her whole life to marry Prince Arthur of England. When they meet and are married, the match becomes as passionate as it is politically expedient. But tragically, Arthur falls ill and extracts from his young bride a deathbed promise to marry his brother Henry, become Queen, and fulfill their dreams and her destiny.
Widowed and alone in the avaricious world of the Tudor court, Katherine has to sidestep her father-in-law's desire for her and convince him, and an incredulous Europe, that her marriage to Arthur was never consummated, that there is no obstacle to marriage with Henry. For seven years, she endures the treachery of spies, the humiliation of poverty, and intense loneliness and despair while she waits for the inevitable moment when she will step into the role she has prepared for all her life.
In The Constant Princess, Philippa Gregory brings to life one of history's most inspiring women and creates one of the most compelling characters in historical fiction.
©2006 Philippa Gregory (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
"Philippa Gregory is a mesmerizing storyteller." (The Sunday Telegraph, UK)
"When it comes to writers of historical fiction, Philippa Gregory is in the very top league." (Daily Mail, UK)
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
This audiobook gets it right in so many places... This is my 4th experience with Phillipa Gregory audiobooks and it is, this is one of the best. The narrator needs to get an award for her depiction of Catherine of Aragon. The combination of the narration and the story itself makes this book a joy to listen to. I sit here in awe re-listening the last 15 minutes of the audiobook and am simply chilled to my bones as to the epic writing, the poignant mood and the epic narration.
This is one of the BEST narrated books I have heard and you can even hear the growth in the voice of Catherine of Aragon as the story progresses. The inflection of tone, the strength in her voice and the effortless weaving between the first person narrative of Catherine herself and the third person view of a casual on looker is beautiful to witness.
As great as the narration though is... the story was gripping. You do have those moments in the book that seem to drag on a bit but after listening to the entire book, you think back and find that there is nothing in the book that was not necessary. You find yourself researching this great queen while listening to book itself and sharing in her heartbreak, her moments of betrayal, the numerous loss, her victories, her strength, her beauty, her sheer grace and poise. You see Henry VIII through her eyes and also her true love Arthur as well as Henry VII and you see how they change and grow throughout the book.
This was a joy to listen to, I see why this is a best seller. Phillipa Gregory did it again...
First of all, this is a fabulous story. It is hard to top Anne Boleyn in terms of fascination among Henry VIII's wives, but Catherine of Aragon manages to do it. This story begins with the young Infanta of Spain, and takes you through the story of her rise to Queen of England and the heartaches that she endures and then to her ultimate fall from grace. Despite the artistic license taken, this story paints a picture of Catherine that will leave you wanting to know everything about her, and wondering how if things had been different for her how vastly history might have been changed.
Before downloading this audiobook from Audible, I had purchased the abridged version on CD from another store. I do not recommend that one. The narrator was somewhat annoying in that one and they trimmed it down to under 6 hours, which leaves out some of the most important and fascinating parts of this incredible story.
This narration, however, is wonderful. The reader was pleasant and hearing the entire story read was wonderful. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
As with other Phillipa Gregory's books, I couldn't stop listening, and when bored, her books will be the first I choose for a second or perhaps a third listen. Between the accurate research and strong character development by Gregory and fantastic narration of Jill Tanner, I felt like I was a fly on the wall throughout the book.
To me, Catherine lead a lonely, but not boring life, as she was sent to England to wed the short-lived Prince Arthur, and later married King Henry VIII. For years she was used as a political pawn and learned to be a real manipulator herself. Even though I felt, through Gregory's writing, that Henry really loved her, but wanting a male heir, something she couldn't give him, so like a lot of guys, his eyes wondered to Anne Boleyn, after having a couple other affairs. Here the plot gets deeper when Henry VIII splits from the Catholic church in order to divorce Catherine to marry the bewitching Anne. Here Catherine shows her real strength, and she was lucky to keep her head intact in the end.
I learned so much historical information from this book, and it had me researching for days to learn more. I find this with all of Gregory's books, and love the persoanl slant she adds to the characters which differs between authors of this genre. I just wish she would write about ten more books for I can never get enough.
People who like the romance novels at airports and checkout stands. If you know nothing of history, it is a good beach listen..
No. Had I realized that Phillipa Gregory was also responsible for
The performance by the narrator was fine.
Only that I will buy future books after reading ALL the reviews and not just buy the the books with cummulative high ratings.
The author COMPLETELY MISUNDERSTANDS the historical Catherine of Aragon. The real woman was interesting and as a devout Spanish orthodox Catholic princess, she never would think to do the most of the things she does in this book. A very good novel could have been written while staying historically accurate. The whole point of her fight to the death with Henry VIII was that she NEVER lied about her virginity and that she was his true and just wife. This book says she lied. She would be putting her immortal soul in danger. She was bred to be a perfect queen. She was unfailing obedient except to deny that she did not come to Henry as a maid. She would never
Gregory switches between omniscient & first person throughout the book, so that was distracting. Loved it nonetheless.
Love the story line and the historical fiction.
The story is different but like Philippa Gregory's other books they get a bit long and repetitive after awhile.
Jill Tanner did a great job with the accents, and voice changes.
Love reading but little time or variety of books to choose from. Clutter from old books. Can listen on long trips, vaccuuming, etc.
More accurate history
I listened to three and was sorry I wasted my credits. I thought they would finally improve after readin. Didn't happen. reviews.
Audible is getting better at vampires, zombies, werewolves, and fantasy. when are they going to improve real writing.
This book is chronologically the first, but was written fourth. Since I'm reading these in chronological order, it was my first in the Tudor Series. But, the books can be read in any order.
I always thought of Katherine of Aragon as a dour old woman as depicted in some dusty book I read long ago, but Gregory gives her a rich, full life of honor and service, including her childhood as the daughter of some of the greatest monarchs of the time, Ferdinand & Isabella. Descriptions of Aragon and the Moorish influence on court were enchanting, as were the differences between that European court and the Brits.
Gregory has a magical way of bringing long-ago history to life -- whether historically accurate or not -- it's a great read.
I enjoyed the story of a woman involved in events that changed the entire world 's history.
The author captures the suffering of the Princess and the cruelty of both Henry VII and Henry VIII.
Tanner read the story in a clear and easy voice and cadence.
The woman behind the Henrys.
While entertaining, don't expect a lot of historical accuracy with this one. Most of her other books are much better.
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