"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...
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
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.
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.
I found this book to be a bit of a let down from the Cousins War series. There are some phrases used much too often, making it repetitive enough to be a distraction. I did not find the use of Ms. Tanner as a narrator to satisfactorily replace Bianca Amato.
This one is boring... I hope the rest of the Tudors picks up a bit.
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.
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!
Rambling, over romanticized, repetitive. I like some of the historical fiction aspects. Took way too long on the back story. I understand it was trying to give the character motivation but it was way too much.
I've listed to many of Ms. Gregory's novels. For me, this novel was too much of a romance w/ a little history. I found this book rather slow, not getting to the real story.
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