The lives of Henry VIII's queens make for dramatic stories, and Alison Weir writes a series of novels that offer insights into the real lives of the six wives based on extensive research and new theories.
In all the romancing, has anyone regarded the evidence that Anne Boleyn did not love Henry VIII? Or that Prince Arthur, Katherine of Aragon's first husband, who is said to have loved her, in fact cared so little for her that he willed his personal effects to his sister? Or that Henry VIII, an overprotected child and teenager, was prudish when it came to sex? That Jane Seymour, usually portrayed as Henry's one true love, had the makings of a matriarch? There is much to reveal....
Alison writes about the wives in the contexts of their own ages and of the court intrigues that surrounded these women and - without exception - wrecked their lives. She will transport listeners into a lost and vivid world of splendour and brutality: a world in which love, or the game of it, dominates all.
It's so easy to gloss over the amazing events of Henry VIII's life with a sentence or two. Katherine of Aragon is often dismissed with a few words as Henry's first wife yet she shared more than twenty years with him, had six pregnancies of which only one produced a surviving child, Princess Mary, and she died as a virtual prisoner when he decided to get rid of her to marry Ann Boleyn. In this remarkable book, Alison Weir brings her story to life, through careful research of contemporary sources, so you feel as though you live through the whole saga at Katherine's side. A great addition to her body of historical work and a really engaging audiobook.
Ive always been fascinated by the Tudors. At first, when I realised there were 35 chapters I wondered if I would last until the end but Alison Weirs superb storytelling kept me enthralled and gave me a much greater insight to why the main characters behaved as they did. Dear Katherine of Aragon what a woman! I cannot wait for the next instalment to be released in audio format.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Loved this thorough narration of Katherine's life. Alison is an excellent historian but hearing this book read really does draw you into each dramatic chapter. Can't wait for the next book in this series!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Where does Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
This audio book is a really in depth account of Katherine of Aragon. It portrays her life as the tragic victim of circumstance she was, but also illustrates her intellect and desire to be a good queen.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Henry, as always his character is multidimensional and this book gives an insight into his early life and the tragedies that helped shape him.
What about Maggie Mash’s performance did you like?
I disagree with some of the unkind comments made about Maggie's narration. Whilst it is true she does read some dialogue more slowly, this is to add dimension to some of the foreign characters. Her style does not detract from my enjoyment of the book and I have liked other books she has read previously. I look forward to the next five volumes of this series and hope i don't have to wait too long!
Any additional comments?
The download wasn't the best quality; the dialogue jumps I places and fades in and out occasionally. A good historical fiction book which sticks closely to the known events.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen in three words, what would they be?
Slow to start, great middle and slower to finish. The novel is written from the perspective of the Queen from her arrival from Spain to marry Prince Arthur until her death. Accordingly her life did not make for such exciting reading throughout, as it does when the Boleyns arrived. I liked however how the novel does include the lesser well known periods of her life; Katherine it would appear truly was a great Queen.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen?
It would be easy to say the Boleyn moments; for me her confinement post Queen Ann on the throne was particularly appauling. I'd previously considered with knowledge of the fate of other wives that Katherine got off lightly. Now I'm not so sure.
Which character – as performed by Maggie Mash – was your favourite?
The performer grew on me. Her portrayal was "queenly" as suits the novel and other reviews have commented they did not care for the presentation. I was unsure to start with as Katherine is presented in a halting English accent as she is obviously grasping a new language. This took me a while to get used to, but overall I found myself really liking the presentation. I think the whole reading will stay with me for a while, it is certainly powerful.
Any additional comments?
Ann Boleyn comes across as quite the nasty bitch. Alison Weir says as much in her interviews about the book. The second in the series I am awaiting with eager anticipation! There were sufficient villainous Ann Boleyn moments in this novel to make me long for the next!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
enjoyed listening to this story from queen Catherine's point of view. not impressed with some of the voices from narrator
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
ok - i listened to the end- but found it unnecessarily repetitive of katherine s woes. no doubt accurate - she probably did repeat herself over and over to the king as she stuck to her guns. good for her but doesnt make for a cracking read.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Bookwise I was hoping it was to Alison Weirs usual non-fictional, fact filled novel style of story telling but this is much more of a romantically written (as romantic as it can be for a queen who got dumped) more fictional story. I can forgive this as having actually read the book aswell as listening to it, it flows so well and the story in general is great but I've said it before and sadly having to say it again, Maggie Mash is absolutely dire.
Why, oh WHY does she read characters dialogue so slowly like she's struggling? I know that she isn't as she reads the rest of the book just fine but the dialogue quality is unforgivable. Davina Porter gave an outstanding performance in The Life of Elizabeth the first, as did Simon Prebble and Judith Boyd in other Alison Weir works but sadly this is now the third book by Maggie Mash that's just going to sit in my library and wasting my credits which is such a shame as the authoress has such a knack to tell vivid stories.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
the characters are meant to be nation influencing minds and characters - but each time the narrator speaks their lines it sounds like some terrible panto
i couldnt listen to it
Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Maggie Mash?
jimmie krankie would have been better
Do you think Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
id really like to get the rest of the series - but please dont use maggie mash again - OR if its the producers fault that it was played like a bad childrens story then dump the producer
6 of 9 people found this review helpful
I did not warm to Katherine , she was so obstinate. if only she had gone into a nunnery how history would have been different.
I really wanted to listen to this book and I’ve stuck with it up to chapter 15 but I can’t stand it any longer. The ‘voices’ are just annoying. I’m pretty sure that the people in the Tudor court didn’t speak pigeon English and Catherine’s voice is not realistic at all, right from the beginning it’s so deep. Such a shame as I was so looking forward to this book.
Unbelievable, I feel like an eyewitness... Wonderful story, in-depth revision of a true queen and narrated with great mellifluousness. As always, Alison Weir manages to teach history with ease by painting the lives of the subjects vividly. A pleasure to “read” which I would highly recommend.
What a great way to learn about the history of the period. Awesome all round.
I loved the story but the speaker annoyed me. Speaking too slowly for many characters
I'm a Tudor fanatic and thoroughly enjoyed the detail in this audiobook which expanded my knowledge of Catherine of Aragon. Excellent and consistent narration which was very easy to listen. Looking forward to the next book!!
Well written and very well read by Maggie Mash. So many times the story starts withe Katherine's exit, it was really interesting to hear her whole story.