The Constant Princess Author:Philippa Gregory I am Catalina, Princess of Spain, daughter of the two greatest monarchs the world has ever known... and I will be Queen of England. — Thus, bestselling author Philippa Gregory introduces one of her most unforgettable heroines: Katherine of Aragon. Known to history as the Queen who was pushed off her throne by Anne Boleyn, here is a Katherine the ... more »world has forgotten: the enchanting princess that all England loved. First married to Henry VIII's older brother, Arthur, Katherine's passion turns their arranged marriage into a love match; but when Arthur dies, the merciless English court and her ambitious parents -- the crusading King and Queen of Spain -- have to find a new role for the widow. Ultimately, it is Katherine herself who takes control of her own life by telling the most audacious lie in English history, leading her to the very pinnacle of power in England.
Set in the rich beauty of Moorish Spain and the glamour of the Tudor court, The Constant Princess presents a woman whose constancy helps her endure betrayal, poverty, and despair, until the inevitable moment when she steps into the role she has prepared for all her life: Henry VIII's Queen, Regent, and commander of the English army in their greatest victory against Scotland.« less
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Philippa Gregory does a fantastic job with historical novels. I gained a newfound respect for a Queen who is typically portrayed as a simpering, jealous older woman. Gregory shows us the strength in Catherine...I thoroughly enjoyed this new insight into this historic character.
I have always had sympathy for Katherine of Aragon, and now I have even more. What a lovely story of courage, fortitude, and love. Once again, Philippa Gregory has written a well-researched fictional account of historical events. While no one knows exactly why Katherine did things as she did them, Gregory's book provides a plausible and compelling reason. I hope you will enjoy this book as thoroughly as I did.
The story of Henry VIII's first queen, Katherine (or Catalina, if you will) of Aragon. Despite his later infidelity, Henry would always regard Katherine as superior to his other queens in terms of dignity and regal bearing. This novel describes Katherine's upbringing and reign as queen of Henry's heart up to the entrance and rise of Anne Boleyn. It reveals much of the source of her sense of her own destiny as a born princess and queen. It's heartbreaking to read of the trials this woman went through, first as the abandoned widow of Henry's elder brother Arthur, then as the Queen rejected by her husband. However, because of her nature as a "constant princess", this novel is not quite as dishy and enjoyable as Boleyn Girl or Virgin's Lover. Still, a great read.
Katherine of Aragon is mostly ignored in books about this time in history, other than that she was pushed off the English throne by Anne Boleyn and was the mother of Queen Mary. This is a fascinating account of Katherine as a person in her own right and relates how she helped shape the early years of Henry VIII's reign -- another Gregory triumph.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about the Spanish Queen of England. The character development of Catalina (Katherine) expertly took you from her childhood in Moorish palaces to the Queen who controlled and manipulated a young King Henry in order to rule England her own way. I now think of Katherine of Aragon as more than just Henry VIIIs first wife and victim.
Catalina, was born the last daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Her childhood had many contrasts constant war with the Moors and other neighbors in an effort by her parents to unify Spain into one country; but also a childhood of luxury and beauty in the Moorish palaces conquered by her famous parents. Catalina was betrothed to Prince Arthur in England at her birth and her parents raised her to know she was destined to be Princess of Wales and Queen of England. This marriage was planned to form a political alliance between Spain and England so the 2 countries could become an invincible war machine against their enemies.
As a young girl of 16, she was sent to England to marry Prince Arthur who dies months after their marriage. After his death, Catalina is left alone and destitute by her Spanish family and the English Tudor family, but she maintains her dignity and assertion that she was born to be Queen of England she is the Constant Princess. She grows into a strong and determined woman and endures loneliness, rejection and poverty in a foreign land away from her family and friends to get what she wants. I highly recommend this fictional account of Katherines life.
The author's clearly a master of her trade (PhD in 18th century books) but there's still a lot of historical inaccuracies here. I'm no scholar but even I recognized them.
I'd say it's good just as long as you take it for PURELY fiction.
I am still reading this book, and so far am loving it. This is my 3rd book by Philippa Gregory. I have always been interested in the royal families and her books make it interesting to incorporate some historical events with some fiction.
Although I liked this book in general, I was a little disappointed in the ending. The book was very detailed about Katherine's life up until Anne Boleyn, then it was rushed. I didn't like this book nearly as much as The Other Boleyn Girl or The Queen's Fool.
A beautiful portrait of Catherine of Aragon in her younger, fighting years. I found myself most fascinated with her childhood and her parents, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, more than I cared what happened to her after she married Henry VIII to become his first wife. The book gives you a new respect for the woman tossed aside for Anne Boleyn. How foolish of King Henry to get rid of such a woman! Catherine of Aragon is absolutely a strong, fascinating, charming, and (unlike her successor), a good woman. Wonderful story.
Although some of this book is based on speculation it is interesting to have history interpreted at such a personal level. I feel for the wives of Henry VIII who was a monster and murderer. The Spanish Princess, later Queen of England, Katherine was wonderful.