"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)
Katherine is such a great character. I enjoyed hearing about her life as a child. Some repetition in this book but well worth it.
It was a good story, though the ending was very abrupt. I enjoyed learning about the characters, but would have more interested in also learning about the trial of Catherine.
This FICTION book has as its premise: "What if Katherine of Aragon had been the true wife of her first husband, Prince Arthur?" It's historically inaccurate, but oh well. I've read multiple history books about the Tudors, and I still enjoyed this story because I wasn't expecting historical accuracy from Phillipa Gregory. It was a fun and engaging listen. The beginning part where it emphasizes her relationship with Arthur does go pretty slowly towards the end (we get it, they're in love), but other than that I enjoyed the storyline. So don't go into this expecting historical accuracy - if you're looking for that, try Alison Weir's historical fiction. But if you don't mind an author who takes liberties with history in order to make a good fiction story, you'll enjoy it.
good book although at times repetitive. a new perspective on Catherine of Arragon. I only wish the book would've seen her life through. there was really very little mention of princess Mary, the Kings great matter, or Catherine's banishment. it was briefly mentioned in the last chapter. but the early years were interesting.
Her later novels of the Tutor dynasty were so much faster paced and engaging. This first one was very slow.
This amazing depiction made me feel and come closer to understanding the struggle that all women in history faced. I read the 2nd book in the series first by mistake and had to go back for continuity, I'm so glad that I did. I fell for the story and the strong woman it's centered around, I felt like I was giving up a dear friend when it was over.
Bookworm. I prefer historical fiction and some fantasy.
I love Phillipa Gregory. She tells wonderful stories. The only thing that would make it better is if she could tell it from a more historically accurate position. But I still love reading and listening to her works.
The narrator in this did a lovely job too.
British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart.
I have never been a fan of historical fiction based loosely on historical facts. Always felt that there are certain events that are sacrosanct however this book came highly recommended. I am so glad that I succumbed. I became quickly engrossed. I feel that you can truly enjoy this genre if you just 'let go'.
Philippa Gregory vividly paints a picture of Tudor England. You can almost 'see and hear' the sounds of London. I have never doubted Katharine of Aragon's phenomenal strength and faith but I did doubt her claims of virginity. Perhaps there is an 'ounce' of truth in this so called 'fiction?
Jill Tanner does a stellar job using her vocal talents. Those of you who love history and are a little dubious about trying out 'historical fiction' fear not. Be brave! You will not regret it as Ms. Gregory has done her homework. Her dates, her historical setting and background are all correct. It is just the drama that she has added to the 'story telling' that may not be quite true.
My only criticism is at the very end. One moment Katharine is at a pinnacle of triumph. She is joyful, filled with hope. The next sentence we see Katharine falling into that period of despair. All in the last ten minutes of the book. Wow...bit of a downer! No build up just completely out of the blue! Good job there are five more books in the series!
Good book worth your time. Happy reading!
Report Inappropriate Content