"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)
Mom, historical fiction junkie, scientist, commuter who missed the escape of reading & was saved by Audible
Engaging, informative, feminist
The strength & determination of Catherine
The narrator makes you feel as if you are listening to Catherine herself & you understand more about her intentions & why she was so determined.
There were 2 moments that most moved me- when her baby dies & the very end (last paragraphs) of the book when we see her defiance in its full glory.
I loved this book! I went against the voice put in the back of my mind by some of the other reviewers & bought this book anyway. I ended up loving it & I couldn't get enough & i must say that I'm a very discriminating reader (listener). If something doesn't capture me from the beginning, there's very little hope of me finishing. This book never lost my interest despite some of the other reviewers saying there were parts that they felt dragged on. I also read a lot of reviews that seemed to suggest they disliked the parts of the book where Catherine spoke in the 1st person, but I rather enjoyed those parts. Maybe this book isn't perfectly historically accurate (was she a virgin or not?), but does anyone read historical fiction & expect it to be as *perfectly* accurate as a history book? That's where the
Love never dies, just changes form~Nikita
Undecided. If she/he was a history buff and EXTREMELY patient, then yes.
The last chapter.
Add a male narrator.
Gregory demonstrates an articulate historical grasp of the characters in the story. The romance is vibrant with literary finesse and storytelling, constantly drawing the reader to the next page.
What I liked best about this book was having a more indepth and personal connection to Queen Katherine of Aragon.
The death of Prince Arthur and the deathbed promise he wrenched from his Princess.
There is a lot, and I do mean a LOT of repetition in this book. "I am Queen Caterina and I am destined to be Queen by God. I am to drive out the Moors." yadayadayada. She must have said something like this 25 times throughout the book. That is just one example.
That's really my only complaint. Oh, and the book really didn't deal with her death or anything, but I do realize it was written from a first person perspective, so that might have been a little impossible !
The audio book is very well done, and the narrator does a very good job. There are a lot of characters, and sometimes there wasn't a lot of differentiation between voices, but there was a lot of emotional inflection and that's really what I mainly listen for.
If you are a fan of historical fiction, with a lot of detail, you'll enjoy this story of the Tudor Queen.
I have enjoyed the fiction of Philippa Gregory but I understand that it truly is fiction. This is especially true in The Constant Princess. The portrayal of religion and faith in those times was very irritating to me in it's inaccuracy. The things that Catherine of Aragon supposedly thought about faith are ridiculous. There is not much that is more irritating to me than presentism. The dates and names are accurate and that is about it. The beliefs portrayed are outrageous.
A different author. So very awful. The reader had nothing to work with. Could not get through it. So bad at first I thought it was satirical - unfortunately it wasn't.
Gregory managed to take the story of an amazing woman and reduce it to a mediocre tale that rested on a fantasy. She leaves out the most intriguing part of Queen Catherine's story--her battle to remain the legitimate wife and Queen of England. Instead, she's presented as a two dimensional character obsessed with fulfilling her first husbands supposed dying wish. Additionally,The narrator's overly plummy tones meant to mimic upper class accents detracted and interfered with the story. I eventually increased the narration speed to simply get it done.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.