We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Katherine Audiobook

Katherine: A Novel

Regular Price:$41.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Set in the vibrant 14th century of Chaucer and the Black Death, the classic romance Katherine features knights fighting in battle, serfs struggling in poverty, and the magnificent Plantagenets - Edward III, the Black Prince, and Richard II - who ruled despotically over a court rotten with intrigue.

Within this era of danger and romance, John of Gaunt, the king's son, falls passionately in love with the already married Katherine. Their well-documented affair and love persist through decades of war, adultery, murder, loneliness, and redemption. This epic novel of conflict, cruelty, and untamable love has become a classic since its first publication in 1954.

©1954, renewed 1982 Anya Seton Chase (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Seton breathes life into this little-documented historical fact… a glorious example of romance in its most classic literary sense." (The Austin Chronicle)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (750 )
5 star
 (447)
4 star
 (197)
3 star
 (73)
2 star
 (20)
1 star
 (13)
Overall
4.4 (662 )
5 star
 (402)
4 star
 (168)
3 star
 (63)
2 star
 (22)
1 star
 (7)
Story
4.5 (662 )
5 star
 (422)
4 star
 (172)
3 star
 (46)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (10)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 07-06-12
    Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 07-06-12 Member Since 2016

    Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    999
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    455
    147
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    91
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Historical Fiction at it's Best"

    The Katherine of the title is Katherine Swynford (1350-1403), an important figure in English history as she is the ancestress of many royal figures, and also, incidentally, sister-in-law to Geoffrey Chaucer, who married her sister Philippa. There are few known facts about what kind of woman Katherine was, which gave Seton plenty of leeway to turn her into a beautiful, strong-willed woman. Married off at a young age to a knight she actively disliked, she nonetheless caught the eye of John of Gaunt, of the House of Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Lancaster, the third son of King Edward III. They were lovers over a great number of years and had 4 bastard children, named Beaufort, and eventually married in 1396, three years before the passing of the duke. While their relationship is at the heart of the novel, it is much more than a romance novel, as Seton did a wonderful job of bringing the 14th century vividly to life with rich detail, and putting the story firmly in the context of important historical events. Strongly recommended for fans of historical fiction and solid narration by Wanda McCaddon, aka Nadia May.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tango Texas 01-26-15
    Tango Texas 01-26-15

    Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3232
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    981
    159
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    434
    27
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Love Story that Changed History"

    Katherine is not just a love story set in a historical setting, the love affair between Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt lasted decades and changed the course of European history. The two became the ancestors of the Tudor line of England and the forebears of many other significant European rulers and historical figures. Seton meticulously researched this book and pieced together a biography of Katherine Swynford that not only accurately documents a fascinating period of time - the end of the Plantagenet rule in England - but sucks the reader into a love affair that changed history.

    I have loved this book for so long so perhaps no narrator could quite measure up to my expectations of what it deserves on audio. However, I was a bit disappointed in Wanda McCaddon. This book is very focused on Katherine's long love affair with John of Gaunt, but it is a serious piece of historical fiction and I didn't think that McCaddon's rather melodramatic delivery quite did it justice. However, McCaddon is easy to understand and this is a great book so overall, the narration was acceptable.

    One of the greatest love stories of all time - highly recommended!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Driftless Nana 07-18-16 Member Since 2016

    leahiniowa

    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    71
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What was Old is New Again."

    Sometimes I avoid old classics due to fear that I will be disappointed when I finally do read or listen to them. This rarely happens. In the case of this novel, I had the impression that it was written for young people. It wasn't until I read a review of a modern historical novel about Katherine Swynford in which the reviewer stated that Seton's Katherine was still the definitive novel written about Swynford.

    I had always thought of Katherine Swynford as the Duchess of Lancaster, mother to kings. I imagined her as having high status in the court of Edward III. I was completely wrong. (Well, almost completely.)

    In fact, the Duke of Lancaster (John of Gaunt), though the son of Edward III, attained the title due to his first wife - Blanche of Lancaster. Katherine was married to another knight, Hugh Swynford. Katherine and the Duke apparently began to fall in love while both of them were married to their first spouses. When Blanche died, the two of them acknowledged their feelings but held back until Hugh died. At this point the Duke had three children (?) and Katherine had two, the first, a daughter, named Blanche after the Duchess.

    The two became lovers despite the fact that the Duke planned to marry Princess Constanza of Castile. Over several years, the two had four children, who were given the surname Beaufort. When Katherine and all their children were at the Savoy Palace, Richard was called away to battle overseas. The plan was for Katherine and the children to follow him to Orleans.

    Unfortunately, Katherine and her oldest daughter were unable to leave with the rest of the family. During this time, a peasants' revolt, called the rising, ended with the deaths of many of the nobility and the utter destruction of the Savoy. Catherine and her daughter became separated.

    These events drove Katherine into religious fanatacism. Eventually she found peace and returned to the Swynford manor home, where she lived with her children. Various events kept John and Katherine separate, until they finally married and their children legitimized, By this time her children and his were grown. One of her daughters, named Joan, married Ralph Neville, a nobleman who couldn't marry her before due to her bastard status.. Her daughter, Cecily Neville, married Richard Plantagenet, the Duke of York.

    Of John of Gaunt's three wives, were born three different royal dynasties: Blanche's son Henry, became Henry IV. Constanza's daughter, Catalina, married the Prince of Castile, and Katherine's descendants not only included Edward IV (York) but Henry Tudor (Lancaster - through Margaret Beaufort). Those representatives of the Red and White Roses were combined through marriage into the Tudor dynasty.

    Even though this is a lot of information, I am only skimming the surface of this comprehesive, engrossing work.

    I very, very highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    susan Port Perry, ON, Canada 03-12-13
    susan Port Perry, ON, Canada 03-12-13 Member Since 2017

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    358
    67
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A historic love story"

    Great reader. The book kept my attention. However, thought I purchased a historical novel and romance not exactly my thing.

    Great read for those who do want a romance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edwillmom 07-30-17
    Edwillmom 07-30-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excelllently researched beautiful story"

    The 14th century is not a period I am familiar with but my sister highly recommended this book. I'm so glad she did. A wonderful and true story full of descriptions of costume, customs and castles. I can't wait to find out what else Seyton has written.
    Wandas narration was perfect right down to the correct accent for different regions of England.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Protogere 07-21-17
    Protogere 07-21-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Unheard Story"
    Would you listen to Katherine again? Why?

    I found the narrator difficult to follow at times as she "acted" the text out and it was difficult to understand her thoroughly. Nonetheless, the story was beautiful, I'd never heard of this novel and other than a blip on the radar in history, I didn't even know who Katherine was.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Georgia 06-10-17
    Georgia 06-10-17 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    167
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Biography & Beautiful Romance"

    I enjoy historical novels. However, I don't syrupy romances. This beautifully written story combines biography and romance in a satisfying manner. A pleasurable trip to another era.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-14-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Riveting"

    I never knew if the Duke of Lancaster or Katharine Swynford. What an exciting life and time. How quickly life passed and the danger that it held. I am glad that I read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 01-21-17
    Linda 01-21-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Katherine"

    An absolutely beautiful love story with historical facts woven in! I highly recommend! I could even start over again! 💜 I've read this book many times over the years but to hear it was the best!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Krueger 01-18-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointed"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This is one of my favourite books, so I would recommend READING it, but the audio version was a big letdown.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Katherine?

    One of my favourite scenes is when Katherine attends Blanche as she is dying.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The quality of the performance was very uneven. At times I wondered if there were several different narrators. Sometimes it was barely tolerable.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.