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The Constant Princess

The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels
Narrated by: Karina Fernandez
Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (49 ratings)

Regular price: $28.34

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Publisher's Summary

A new unabridged recording featuring an afterword read by the author! 

From number-one New York Times best-selling author and “queen of royal fiction” (USA Today) Philippa Gregory comes the remarkable story of Katherine of Aragon, princess of Spain, daughter of two great monarchs, and eventual queen of England when she marries the infamous King Henry VIII. 

Daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, Katherine has been fated her whole life to marry Prince Arthur of England. When they meet and are married, the match becomes as passionate as it is politically expedient. The young lovers revel in each other’s company and plan the England they will make together. But tragically, aged only 15, Arthur falls ill and extracts from his 16-year-old bride a deathbed promise to marry his brother, Henry; become queen; and fulfill their dreams and her destiny. 

Widowed and alone in the avaricious world of the Tudor court, Katherine has to sidestep her father-in-law’s desire for her and convince him, and an incredulous Europe, that her marriage to Arthur was never consummated, that there is no obstacle to marriage with Henry. For seven years, she endures the treachery of spies, the humiliation of poverty, and intense loneliness and despair while she waits for the inevitable moment when she will step into the role she has prepared for all her life. Then, like her warrior mother, Katherine must take to the battlefield and save England when its old enemies the Scots come over the border and there is no one to stand against them but the new queen. 

©2005 Philippa Gregory Limited (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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Best performance I’ve heard

This has been my favorite audio book since I joined Audible 2 years ago. This story is so compelling and performed beautifully! I need to know more about Katherine of Aragon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Narrator is fabulous

I enjoy all of Gregory's books and the audiobooks. I was worried I wouldn't enjoy this one with a new voice performer. But I was wrong. Karina Fernandez is amazing and her accents draw you into the story. I didn't love the male voices (I am really picky) but her portrayal of the princess/queen is really remarkable and nuanced.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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good and bad.

I enjoyed the story the new perspective on Isaella. I did not like the heavily accented narrator. it seemed overdone.

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Excellent narration, bad book

TL;DR-- I recommend the narrator, but not the book. If you are going to listen to this book, this is the recording I would recommend, but I wish I had spent my audible credit elsewhere.

I waited to listen to this book until Karina Fernandez's narration came out, I wanted to enjoy the story listening to someone who could do the proper accent. It was well worth the wait for her performance. Not only was her accent good, but she did an amazing job of making the story sound more interesting than it was and delivered an emotional, lively performance. It wasn't perfect, but she did the best with that she was given, because I did not enjoy the actual book at all. I would have returned it a few chapters in if it wasn't for the excellent narration.

I'll avoid spoilers.

I've read other Philippa Gregory books before and have *mostly* enjoyed them. There is too much sex and blatant historical inaccuracy for my liking, but the books are usually worth listening to in my experience. I've also read a lot of books about Catherine of Aragon, and shes one of my favorite historical figures.

But in an effort to make Catherine a "stronger woman" Phillippa Gregory takes an ALREADY STRONG, ambitious, pious woman, and loving wife and turns her into a conniving, arrogant woman who at best tolerates King Henry, and who spends her time talking to her dead husband Arthur and her dead mom when she is supposed to be praying. The only time she seems to talk or think about her faith is when she is questioning it. She claims to love Henry, but still thinks of him as a spoiled child years into the marriage. I think her character would have been completely unlikable if it was not for Karina Fernandez's performance.

I can't claim to be a historian, or an expert on Catherine's life, but most parts of the story contradicted things I have learned about her, and too many details were obviously made up. I know its historical FICTION, but I'd like there to be a little more actual history involved, you know? A lot of exciting events were left out or under emphasized, and less interesting events had way too much time dedicated to them. Not to mention how much time was spent trying to make the made up stuff seem more believable.

My final complaint is the monologues. Catherine's character has a lot of long monologues that don't seem to fit very well with the flow of the book. She repeats herself a lot in these or tells us things we already know. It's also hard to tell when she is starting a monologue or when she is actually ranting to another character, because it's an audio book.

So no, I do not recommend you read this book, but I personally plan to see what else Karina Fernandez has narrated. Hers was one of the best narrations I've heard.

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really enjoyed

I really enjoyed learning more about this exceptional woman/queen. she was a very complex person and our knowledge of her is skewed by all of Henry's shenanigans

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Moved Really Slow

I read this book years ago, and thought it would be a great audiobook to listen to. Story is good, but it just seems to drag on.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Extraordinary!

Thank you again Phillipa for giving me a version of Queen that I could get behind. Her history with her parents was amazing. I've only read none fictional accounts of their reign. I love your version of her the romance between Catherine and Arthur. Completely believable, as well as her romance with Henry and the way she learned to control him. Truly, it took Anne Bolyne to challenge Catherine and it was for the Crown 👑 not for love of the man exactly. Catherine was a warrior Queen. My Lady The King’s Grandmother would have been green with envy but would have had to appreciate the young woman’s tenacity and skill had the old crone lived long enough.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful