Friday, 20 June 2014

The Constant Princess
by Philippa Gregory
Rating:  4/5
Pages: 490
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 2005
ISBN: 978-0-00-719031-7

Summary (via Goodreads)

"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 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.


The Constant Princess follows the life of Henry VIII's first wife, Katherine of Aragon from before her first marriage to Henry's older brother, Prince Arthur, to her court trial near the end of her reign. Gregory shows Katherine as the woman I believe her to have been, strong, courageous, brave and determined. Despite the struggles of her first marriage right to its tragic end, Katherine is determined she will become Queen of England. The reader follows to from Spain into the strange, cold lands of England that for her, were completely foreign. Despite the strangeness of the land and the differences in culture, Katherine embraced the English people and cemented herself in their hearts, making her one of the most popular and most loved queens of Henry's many future wives.

When reading this book it becomes clear that, in spite of all the hardhships she faced, Katherine was an amazing women who was every bit the queen she appeared, even refusing to give up the title until she died.

The Constant Princess is the first book in the Tudor novel series and starts the collection of with a passionate mix of love, betrayal and fierce determination.

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