"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)
This has been my least favorite of her novels. It seemed to be very repetitious. The narrator did a good job but there was nothing in the novel that made me eager to get to it.
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.
While I realize it is fiction, it was interesting to learn about this part of history. I love time period pieces. I started digging into this time from a historical perspective just to learn more.
The Constant Princess. This is her story.
Consistency and grace
I loved everything about this. The plot, characters, narration...everything. It's a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain and into the mind of a queen. Is destiny made or is it embraced? Do you live by choice or happenstance? What a fun listen!
I'm working my way through the Gregory novels, and I love the depiction of Katalina and her story. I do wish that is had not ended before the birth of Mary and then skipped to the King's Great Matter, but I enjoyed the story that was told immensely, especially the time with Arthur. The two previous novels had characters I didn't love. Elizabeth of York was a frustratingly weak milquetoast and Margaret Beaufort was an appalling human being and most probably a child murderer. I loved the character of Elizabeth Woodville and have not enjoyed a character as much as her since then. Gregory's descriptions of life in medieval times provide great escapism! Wonderful!
I picked this work because of the high reviews. I thought the quality of the writing and the performance were both very good. I find stories focusing almost exclusively on princesses and queens to be not very approachable, especially when the character is so obsessed with "becoming queen" and seemingly unable to examine her own motivations critically, except perhaps to realize her parents were "wrong". So I think I wouldn't recommend this book overall, unless you are especially obsessed with the details of 600-year-old stories of royal successes and betrayals. Find something a little more relevant, with a message beyond "hold constant to your craving for power".
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