Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen

Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen

eBook - 2016
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Bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir takes on what no fiction writer has done before: creating a dramatic six-book series in which each novel covers one of King Henry VIII's wives. In this captivating opening volume, Weir brings to life the tumultuous tale of Katherine of Aragon, Henry's first, devoted, and "true" queen.
A princess of Spain, Catalina is only sixteen years old when she sets foot on the shores of England. The youngest daughter of the powerful monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, Catalina is a coveted prize for a royal marriage--and Arthur, Prince of Wales, and heir to the English throne, has won her hand. But tragedy strikes and Catalina, now Princess Katherine, is betrothed to the future Henry VIII. She must wait for his coming-of-age, an ordeal that tests her resolve, casts doubt on her trusted confidantes, and turns her into a virtual prisoner.
Katherine's patience is rewarded when she becomes Queen of England. The affection between Katherine and Henry is genuine, but forces beyond her control threaten to rend her marriage, and indeed the nation, apart. Henry has fallen under the spell of Katherine's maid of honor, Anne Boleyn. Now Katherine must be prepared to fight, to the end if God wills it, for her faith, her legitimacy, and her heart.

Praise for Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen
"Alison Weir starts off her fictional series about the wives of Henry VIII with a nuanced portrayal of Katherine of Aragon." -- The Christian Science Monitor
"Weir is excellent on the little details that bring a world to life." --The Guardian

"As always, Weir demonstrates a keen eye for crafting dramatic scenes of beautiful, accurate detail, instilling in the reader a vivid sense of being there. . . . If this greatly impressive inaugural installment is any indication, Tudor lovers have much to look forward to." -- Booklist (starred review)
"Vividly detailed . . . Weir brings considerable expertise to her fictional retelling of the life of Katherine of Aragon. . . . [The author] portrays her sympathetically as both credulous and steely." -- Kirkus Reviews
"An illuminating and engaging portrait of 'the true queen.'" -- Historical Novels Review
"[Weir's] fresh approach to Henry's first wife [is] a wonderful place to start for those unfamiliar with Katherine's story. Weir's portrayal is far from that of a weak, victimized woman, but one of a courageous, strong, devoted queen fighting for her life and rights. An easy, quick read to begin the series." -- RT Book Reviews

"In this first novel of the Six Tudor Queens series, Alison Weir dazzlingly brings Katherine of Aragon to life. Based on extensive new research, it is a portrayal that shatters the many myths about Henry VIII's long-suffering first wife. Far from being the one-dimensional victim of history, she emerges as a charismatic, indomitable, and courageous heroine whose story never fails to enthrall." --Tracy Borman, author of Thomas Cromwell
"Yet again, Alison Weir has managed to intertwine profound historical knowledge with huge emotional intelligence, to compose a work that throws light on an endlessly fascinating figure. But her real gift in all of this is making it feel so fresh and alive." --Charles Spencer, author of Killers of the King
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, c2016
ISBN: 9781101966495
Characteristics: 1 online resource


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Mar 29, 2017

This was a beautiful story. Told through the Queen's view. My heart went out to her as I read more and more about how she was treated in the end. Cannot wait to read the whole set. I will say at some parts it was a little drawn out but those parts were few and far between. Great story.

Mar 10, 2017

Wow. That was a loooong ride. A very well-written and thoroughly well-researched one, but then I'd expect nothing less from this author.

Weir brings Katherine of Aragon to life in all her righteous glory, from her early, harrowing years in Henry VII's England, to the height of her political power as Henry VIII's Queen, to her slow, steady downfall as the Reformation spreads its influence over Europe and collides with her husband's desperation for a son. It's obvious that Weir is very much attached to her subject and went into incredible depth.

My problem is that it's a story we've heard before. Good Saint-Queen Katherine who is tragically and unjustly deprived of her place because none of her sons survived. I didn't feel like there was any attempt to put any kind of unique spin on the story to make it stand out from the dozens of versions of the story that we've heard in the centuries since Katherine's death. Say what you will about Philippa Gregory, at least she gave the story a new and different perspective.

Nonetheless, I'm still hopeful for the rest of the series because each book is exclusively from the point of view of its subject. I remind myself that the book was strictly from Katherine's point of view, and thus we're limited to her view and the resources she had to learn what was going on in the outside world - namely Chapuys and what few friends she had remaining to her, like Maria Willoughby. Anne Boleyn's book is next, and given that she was in the heart of everything that was going on, I'm hoping for a more complete picture.

Nov 07, 2016

Really good book that focuses on the life of the true Queen Katherine of Aragon. Alison Weir is up there with Philippa Gregory for writing Tudor period books.
Truly enjoyed it. Can't wait for the continuation of her second book on the life of Ann Boleyn.
A must read for all Tudor fans.


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