Best-selling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir takes on what no fiction writer has done before: creating a dramatic six-book series in which each novel covers one of English King Henry VIII's wives. In this captivating opening volume, Weir brings to life the tumultuous tale of Katherine of Aragon, Henry's first, devoted, and "true" queen.
A princess of Spain, Catalina is only 16 years old when she sets foot on the shores of England. The youngest daughter of the powerful monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, Catalina is a coveted prize for a royal marriage - and Arthur, Prince of Wales and heir to the English throne, has won her hand. But tragedy strikes, and Catalina, now Princess Katherine, is betrothed to the future Henry VIII. She must wait for his coming of age, an ordeal that tests her resolve, casts doubt on her trusted confidantes, and turns her into a virtual prisoner.
Katherine's patience is rewarded when she becomes queen of England. The affection between Katherine and Henry is genuine, but forces beyond her control threaten to rend her marriage, and indeed the nation, apart. Henry has fallen under the spell of Katherine's maid of honor, Anne Boleyn. Now Katherine must be prepared to fight, to the end if God wills it, for her faith, her legitimacy, and her heart.
©2016 Alison Weir (P)2016 Recorded Books
British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart.
A terrific depiction by the venerable author Ms. Weir of Henry VIII's boundless capacity for cruelty. Although this is a novel categorized under 'Historical Fiction' it is without a doubt based on solid historical fact. Henry used his immense theological knowledge to his own advantage manipulating what he called 'the word of God ' for his 'Carnal lust' and not for the benefit of his people. Sadly as we see in this really interesting novel many good people suffered because of his selfish understanding of 'the word'!
Nobody wins, that is for sure, but the political story within the Tudor reign makes today's political arena look like small fry. I was gripped from the first chapter. I have to admit that my 'modern' mindset found Katherine rather irritating. As to why she would want a man who would not want her baffled me. Frankly I would kick his butt to the curb and take everything that I could in the process rather than lie down and say 'Kick me! I am a martyr!" But hey, that it 21st century me!
Rosalyn Landor gave a superb performance jumping from one character to another seamlessly. I highly recommend this volume.
Just looking for an enjoyable story! Books are my passion.
I have been fascinated with the Tudor dynasty for years. I've watched The Tudors on Showtime,and have enjoyed many authors interpretations of their reign. This is the first book I have read concerning Katherine of Aragon. Many authors concentrate solely on Anne, and barely mention the other 5 wives. But, not Alison Weir.
This is her first in what is supposed to be a series of 6 books about Henry the VIII and his wives. This book begins with Katherine's arrival in England and continues until her death. I have to admit, Anne is the one which has always fascinated me. But with the anticipation of 6 books and Anne being the second book, I decided with a sigh, to read Katherine of Aragon. I am so glad I did.
Most books I have read have portrayed Katherine as a boring, frumpy woman who spent most of her time praying. I found myself reading this book and feeling much affection for her. She was far from frumpy or boring, She was an extremely intelligent woman who could speak many languages and managed to keep Henry a happily married man for 20 years.
Alison Weir did a wonderful job writing about Katherine. I just wish I didn't have to wait for the book about Anne!
This covers a very similar timeframe and format to the Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory. This is a far more elegant explanation and description of events. I agreed entirely with the speculations of what could have happened. This was less gaudy than Gregory's attempt to describe a similar period.
I really enjoyed Alison Weir's story of Catherine of Aragon's life. the time list and vivid story was everything I hoped it would be.
Eduardo R Frizell MD PhD
This is a great story, well researched and beautifully narrated.
If you ever wanted to understand Henry you must look at Catherine of Aragon.
I am sure one day she will be Canonized
I knew the story going into it. it was nice to hear it from Katherine's perspective. I have to say I got annoyed with her constant pining for her husband (though I'm sure it is accurate for the time). another solid book from Weir, I can't wait until she writes about the rest of the wives.
Characters are not well developed. Katherine is probably the best fleshed out because by other readings I have done she was just a saintly woman so how multi- dimensional do you have to go with that. I just decided to stop listening because I was a little bored.
Alison Weir does an excellent job once again in presenting a thorough and captivating story about this sad and tragic queen. She brought to life this very brave and great queen of Henry the 8th. I enjoyed the narration by Rosalyn Landor too!
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