Friday, March 1, 2013

The Constant Princess, by Philippa Gregory

Synopsis:  "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.

Thoughts: As I said before, I'm a big fan of this time in England, and of the Tudors in particular. Katherine of Aragon was, in my opinion, the greatest queen that Henry had among his wives. She was primed her entire life for that position, and was the only one among the six who could make that claim. And being the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, she had incredible role models for how to rule a country.  If Henry hadn't let himself be led by lust, one can only imagine what a power England would have been in Europe.

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