The Constant Princess Author:Philippa Gregory Splendid and sumptuous historical novel from the internationally bestselling author, Philippa Gregory, telling of the early life of Katherine of Aragon. We think of Katherine of Aragon as the barren wife of a notorious king; but behind this legacy lies a fascinating story. Katherine of Aragon is born Catalina, the Spanish Infanta, to parents who... more » are both rulers and warriors. Aged four, she is betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales, and is raised to be Queen of England. She is never in doubt that it is her destiny to rule that far-off, wet, cold land. Her faith is tested when her prospective father-in-law greets her arrival in her new country with a great insult; Arthur seems little better than a boy; the food is strange and the customs coarse. Slowly she adapts to the first Tudor court, and life as Arthur's wife grows ever more bearable. But when the studious young man dies, she is left to make her own future: how can she now be queen, and found a dynasty? Only by marrying Arthur's young brother, the sunny but spoilt Henry. His father and grandmother are against it; her powerful parents prove little use. Yet Katherine is her mother's daughter and her fighting spirit is strong. She will do anything to achieve her aim; even if it means telling the greatest lie, and holding to it. Philippa Gregory proves yet again that behind the apparently familiar face of history lies an astonishing story: of women warriors influencing the future of Europe, of revered heroes making deep mistakes, and of an untold love story which changes the fate of a nation.« less
I enjoy historical fiction and thought I would give this book a try. I found it extremely flat and not very entertaining. Catalina comes across as shallow and one-dimensional. Her character is never truly, deeply developed. Even the writing is flat and so repetitive. If Catalina would have said that she will be Queen of England one more time, I would have burst into tears. I also found the italicized personal thoughts that are sprinkled randomly throughout the story very distracting and they did not move the story forward. I didn't finish the book...too many other books waiting on my shelf...so maybe it gets better towards the end. I might try another Philippa Gregory book but this one was not for me.