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The Constant Princess Hardcover – 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Touchstone (2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074327248X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743272483
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #390,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From early childhood, Katherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, is destined to become queen of England. At the age of sixteen, she is sent to marry her betrothed, Arthur, son of Henry VII. After only a few months of marriage, Arthur dies. Rather than meekly accept her widowhood, Katherine is determined to become the queen she was born to be by marrying her husband's younger brother, Henry VIII. In order to accomplish this she must tell the Great Lie: that her marriage to Arthur was never consummated.

The character of Katherine is beautifully done, giving readers a real sense of who she is. I'm not sure I buy the lifelong devotion to a man she was married to for only a few months; surely, the historical Katherine of Aragon must have had greater personal ambitions in wanting to maintain her own power as queen.

Every novel is a balancing act between "show" and "tell". Ideally, "show" should predominate. Unfortunately, "The Constant Princess" too often falls far on the "tell" end of the spectrum. This is largely due to the shifting points of view. Most of the time, I enjoy a story told from multiple points of view, but in this case Katherine's first person narrative is generally her telling the reader instead of showing.

That being said, the reader is thoroughly immersed in the Tudor era. The sensuous details are stunning and provide a lovely escape for lovers of history.
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Format: Audio CD
I read “The Other Boleyn Girl last month last month. (See My Review). It was my first Phillippa Gregory book and I loved it. Since I was hungry for more Gregory I decided on The Constant Princess next. I actually listened to the Audio CD version. The narrator, Kate Burton brought Gregoy’s characters to life. I loved learning more about Catherine of Aragon and her fight to become Queen of England. Gregory captures the plight of women from the 15th and 16th century well. My only criticism is that Gregory ended the book too abruptly. She wrote about Catherine’s triumph in Scotland and then jumps to her death. I would have like to have read about what happen in between! Non the less, I’m still hungry for more Phillippa Gregory.
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Format: Paperback
Those of you familiar with all things Tudor already know the basics of the long-suffering Katherine of Aragon and the husband who dumped her when she couldn't produce a male heir. Those who aren't might consider this review rather spoilerish so consider yourself warned. That said, since the author skims through a big chunk of the latter part of Katherine's life and "The King's great matter", I wouldn't recommend this for newbies as you'll be scratching your head at the end wondering what in the heck you missed. Just be warned, this is Tudor history PG style so expect historical accuracy at your own peril...

In this book, Gregory purports that the marriage between Catalina (Katherine) of Spain and Arthur Tudor was a love match and their union was most definitely consummated - a secret they kept from everyone. When Arthur realizes he'll not survive the sweating sickness, he commands Catalina to marry his younger brother Henry, so that she can still become Queen of England as they'd always dreamed. Catalina is determined to stay *constant* to her beloved's commands, but there's a lot of political turmoil ahead of her, especially over the fact of whether the marriage was consummated,

"I shall keep my promise. I shall be constant to my husband and to my destiny. And I shall plan and plot and consider how I shall conquer this misfortune and be what I was born to be. How I shall be the pretender who becomes queen."

"At Arthur's request I told the greatest lie a woman has ever told, and I will tell it to the very grave...He asked me to say that we had never been lovers and he commanded me to marry his brother and be queen...I was constant to my promise.
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By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on Nov. 19 2009
Format: Paperback
In this historically based fiction, Ms Gregory introduces us to one of her most unforgettable heroines and vividly reconstructs for our enjoyment the life of Katherine of Aragon, daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain.

The story is told from Katherine's point of view, relating her feelings at each milestone in her life, from her childhood in Spain, her marriage to Prince Arthur of England up to the time of her disgrace from court. She recalls when the young couple who were betrothed, finally meet and married, a politically arrange marriage that soon developed into a hidden passion and devotion for each other. Sadly, at age fifteen Arthur falls ill and on his death bed he has Katherine promise to marry his brother Henry and further the hope of becoming Queen and fulfilling their dreams for the country.

It is easy to forget that Katherine's life is the author's version of events. The story details Katherine's insistence that her first marriage was never consummated; this facilitated her marriage to Henry but always remained a point of contestation.

The author portrays Katherine as a very courageous and strong woman who faced many struggles, some joyous some sad. We are left with Henry V111 depicted as a spoiled and selfish man who would put aside wife after wife at a whim.

For those fascinated by historical fiction, this will transport you into the tumultuous life at the Tudor Court, at a time when no one was safe. It was a time when battles to conquer territories were forcefully fought and ones religious beliefs ruled the world.

The story is quite captivating although I did find it meander and dragged a bit and it ended rather abruptly.
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