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Katherine Swynford | [Alison Weir]

Katherine Swynford

New York Times best-selling author Alison Weir is renowned around the world for her chronicles of Britain's royal families. Here she turns her focus to the enigmatic former mistress of John of Gaunt, Katherine Swynford, who would go on to marry her lover and become Queen of England. Through Weir's captivating prose, listeners are treated to a rousing profile of a dynamic historical figure.
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Alison Weir is renowned around the world for her chronicles of Britain's royal families. Here she turns her focus to the enigmatic former mistress of John of Gaunt, Katherine Swynford, who would go on to marry her lover and become Queen of England. Through Weir's captivating prose, listeners are treated to a rousing profile of a dynamic historical figure.

©2007 Alison Weir; (P)2007 Recorded Books LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (85 )
5 star
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3.7 (47 )
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3.9 (49 )
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  •  
    Alexis OAKLAND, CA, United States 02-02-09
    Alexis OAKLAND, CA, United States 02-02-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too much detail, not enough person"

    I thoroughly agree with this author's love for the book "Katherine" and I was hoping to find out a lot more about Katherine Swynford from this bio.

    Sadly, I was unable to stick it out for the entire book, as I soon became bogged down in the mind numbing details such as the origin of her last name, which seems to go on for many pages, or endless review of her genealogy. A little of this is fascinating, a lot is very distancing, there was no sense of the actual person behind all of those facts.

    I may go back again and try to make it all the way through, I do admire the writer for doing all of that research.

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Salem, MO, United States 01-10-12
    Kathryn Salem, MO, United States 01-10-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loaded with facts."

    Over all this is a good book. It is loaded with facts. It does bog down with a minutiae of dates and spellings at times, which does detract from the story. It is a book that is better read than listened to.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Harrisburg, PA, United States 09-30-13
    Amy Harrisburg, PA, United States 09-30-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Misnamed"
    What would have made Katherine Swynford better?

    I struggled to finish the book, which should have been entitled "John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford: Their times and the buildings they inhabited." If you were to delete all of the detailed descriptions of the architecture of the buildings associated with them, and the words "may have" could have," might possibly have," and similar words of speculation about Katherine, it would be a very short book. No matter how much someone may want to write a biography of a historical figure, if almost nothing is known about her, it is inappropriate to categorize a book about the people close to her, and buildings and events of the period in which she lived, as a biography of her. Very disappointing.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence Scotts Valley, CA, United States 07-07-09
    Lawrence Scotts Valley, CA, United States 07-07-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "boooring"

    I can read some pretty stultifying history-- I eat Gibbon for breakfast-- but this book takes the gold medal. Do I really need to know where John of Gaunt was between August and September of 1369; given that we have NO IDEA what he did there? Or what the (spurious) modern-day value of every single payment made to Chaucer's wife is? The book amounts to a raw distillation of every fact and detail that can be found in the archives on Katherine, her husband, in-laws and children. The fact is, Katherine left behind very little biographical data, but instead of telling us about the interesting events of her more well-documented contemporaries and descendants, we are subjected to every iota of extant information about this obscure personage. I'm sure the source material would make much more exciting reading!

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nora Pocatello, ID, United States 11-19-14
    Nora Pocatello, ID, United States 11-19-14

    12 n \\\\ Born and grew up in Scotland. No species of book I do not love. Favorite genre History, thrillers, biography, memoirs etc

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Great Disappointment from a great writer."
    Would you try another book from Alison Weir and/or Judith Boyd?

    I have always enjoyed Alison Weir's books not this one. This book managed to make great material into a very boring.


    Has Katherine Swynford turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I enjoy this genre


    Which scene was your favorite?

    None I am afraid


    Do you think Katherine Swynford needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It needs a new book or a complete rewrite. I wanted to earn about Swynford not detailed lists of property holdings by her and John of Gaunt.


    Any additional comments?

    I an saddened by hours of property descriptions filling space instead of the fine writing and research I had come to expect from author Weir.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Palmer Denver, CO USA 08-12-13
    Carol Palmer Denver, CO USA 08-12-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Read after reading Anya Seton's book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Katherine Swynford to be better than the print version?

    no


    If you’ve listened to books by Alison Weir before, how does this one compare?

    Both needed an editor to cut sections.


    Which character – as performed by Judith Boyd – was your favorite?

    n/a


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    Read this book after Anya Seton's "Katherine" so that the historical inaccuracies of Ms. Seton's book doesn't bother you.

    One thing I did like about the book is that it explained the fall of Richard II and the rise of Henry IV

    Ms. Weir went on tangents that didn't really belong in the book or may have been better in an appendix.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynda College Station, TX, United States 01-22-11
    Lynda College Station, TX, United States 01-22-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't Get Through It!"

    This book is basically a history book in historical form. Dates, places, names. The information hasn't been woven into a historical story, but was left to the dull historical facts. Judith Boyd is a wonderful narrator and is the only reason I got through the first 3 hours. I have purchased SEVERAL books in this time era and this has to be the most boring of all that I have had the misfortune to listen to.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A User cocoa, FL, United States 01-27-13
    A User cocoa, FL, United States 01-27-13 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    6
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    "Too much details and not enough of Katherine."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    It was too detailed by all most covering every moment and not enough of the feelings of everyone.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
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  • Barbara
    Jar, Norway
    7/20/11
    Overall
    "A great book if you like historical detail"

    I am a little surprised by the negative reviews for this book. It is my 3rd Alison Weir and I liked it immensely. It was rich in detail but never boring. I was fascinated by the unfolding relationship between Katherine and John. It also filled many holes in my knowledge about John of Gaunt; my main impression being based on the Shakespeare speech in Richard II about this sceptered isle. I enjoyed it so much, I am going to spend my next credit on Isabella, she-wolf of France. I also liked the reader, who did not rush it - so I was able to absorb the details and get a fuller picture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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