"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)
Although not a true historical account, the Constant Princess places you in the atmosphere of King Henry VIII's reign with both personal and geographical truisms.
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.
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.
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
I enjoy history...even a fictionalized version, so I found this book to be diverting.
It was interesting to read of court life and all the treachery.
Would that history classes had been as realistic and captivating as this book! Can't WAIT to dive into another decades-full adventure with this author!
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