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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely Wonderful!

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!

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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GOOD BOOK

couldn't put it down. recommend this to others if they want a detailed account on Katherine's life

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beware - This may not have you loving Katherine.

What did you like best about Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen? What did you like least?

What I liked best - The performance of the book was outstanding! Truly, the narrator does a fantastic job!

What I liked least - Just.About.Everything.Else. If you're looking for a book that will let you love Katherine more, this may not be it. After the 50 MILLIONTH time of hearing "Katherine prayed/hoped/fervently wished (insert appropriate verb) the Pope would decide on her marriage to Henry." I just couldn't deal anymore. Add that to the 50 millionth time she declares her love for him, no matter how big a jerk he is (and he's quite the jerk), and I found myself really disliking her. I had a hard time finishing the book, I wanted to throw my phone against a wall a few times, and I laughed because I'd be listening in the car and I'd roll my eyes every few minutes (as she declared her love, begged for one thing or another, insisted she was the true queen no matter what). Basically I expected to listen to this book and come out feeling like she was a strong woman! Instead, I feel like she's a martyr, and in the worst way possible. Never was there a woman who was more trampled on, and yet, the entire time she's being used as a doormat, she tells you she'd go back to him in an instant, no malice, no lingering feelings of unkindness, just love for her dear, sweet, amazing, wonderful, misguided by that HORRIBLE Anne, Henry.

Also, after having read a few books about this period of time in general, it just absolutely galls me that she blames Anne for the entire thing. There isn't any talk of how Anne wanted to marry Harry Percy, how she never really wanted the king in the first place, etc. There's a whole other part to this story, and you should read more about it, if you are interested.

If you just want Katherine's story, this does the job, but be warned, you might not like her as much going out as you did going in.

What did you like best about this story?

The performance was fantastic, the writing was amazing, it was a great story!

What does Rosalyn Landor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The characters, the places, I could hear the conversations, she really did a great job.

Do you think Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, not really, she died, so.....I guess that's that.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Bloodless Crucifixion Of Henry VIII's True Queen

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.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Great story, but tedious at times.

Great subject matter! Queen Katherine was a fascinating woman. Initially, I found it tedious, but I could not stop listening. The performance was superb.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • J
  • 06-29-16

Stellar, Stoic, & Stupendous

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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love the details!

I was truly enthralled with this book from beginning to end! The author's extreme attention to detail paints a picture for the listener/reader which can do nothing except place you back in time, right there with Queen Katherin.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

More romantic melodrama than history

Yeesh. Repetitive and overly dramatic. The narrator did the best she could with purple prose. I only finished because I'm stubborn.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Spellbinding!

What an incredible story! I was hooked from the very start! Beautifully written, beautifully performed. History completely came to life! I'm thrilled Alison has written so many historical novels. I'm compelled to read each one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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so enthralling and interesting

I love this time in history to start with. Alison makes me feel at home with her characters.
yours,
Roberta Weir

2 of 2 people found this review helpful