The Life of Shinke

The Constant Princess

Posted on: November 20, 2010

Title: The Constant Princess

Author: Philippa Gregory

Published: 2005

Description: “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. (Taken from Shelfari)

First of all I would just like to say I LOVED this book. I thought it was wonderfully done and jumped right off the pages.

I first learnt about the Tudor family in my 9th grade history class and I was instantly intrigued and held on dearly to the story throughout the years. Then I heard about the tv show, Tudors, the second book in the series The Other Boleyn Girl, and the movie for it and was probably the happiest person in the world because there were suddenly tons of mediums for me to enjoy this story in. However try as I might I couldn’t get my hands on the book at the time it came out and it slipped my mind and ended up on my ever-growing to be read list. Fast forward a couple of years and I find out that it’s not just one book but a series of books surrounding the Tudor family and I’m so excited I pick up The Constant Princess immediately.

I had never really heard much about Katherine as most of the stories simply start with her demise on the throne as an “old” woman. However this book brought me back to when Katherine was 3 and betrothed to Arthur, 16 married and in love with her husband, 17 and widowed all the way up to her triumph over the Scots. I found myself enjoying this character, admiring her strength and her constancy. I fell in love with Arthur and was dreading his death, it was a very sad scene.

I started to have a better understanding of King Henry and the circumstances that made him who he was and I learned a lot about the Royal family that I didn’t know before. This story was well researched and beautifully told. Before they were just characters in a history tale but now they’re people, they seem real and tangible. She did the story justice.

However it makes reading The Other Boleyn Girl kind of difficult as I can’t very well root for the girl who is trying to take down my beloved Queen Katherine but it helps that she wasn’t a willing servant in this scheme. I suppose that’s why there isn’t a book in this series devoted to Anne because after falling in love with Katherine there’s no way you could love Anne.

So I reiterate I LOVED this book and if you haven’t read it yet you should you’ll have a whole new appreciation for Katherine and Arthur. I give it a five out of five and a favourite sticker.

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2 Responses to "The Constant Princess"

you read like a beast. i’m jealous. i enjoy your reviews. keep them coming, so i may live vicariously through you. = )

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