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Topic: The Constant Princess - Is It Just Me?

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Subject: The Constant Princess - Is It Just Me?
Date Posted: 6/4/2008 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Or is Catalina/Katherine of Aragon completely unlikeable? 

I'm a little over halfway through this book, and I just completely dislike her!  Weird because I think I liked the same character in The Other Boleyn Girl, although granted that book was not about her.  Well, maybe I didn't so much like her in The Other Boleyn Girl, more so that I had sympathy for her.

Yes, I am somewhat new to the Tudor genre. I kind of wish I had read The Six Wives of Henry VIII first so as to have some background on her.  However, I'm not really saying I don't like Katherine of Aragon, I just don't like her character in this book.  I can see where she's coming from.  I understand her motivation, her background, what drives her, etc. (and I felt horrible for the years she spent languishing in England between husbands), but in my mind it just does not excuse the fact that she is a driving, self-serving, ambitious, arrogant, vain, wench!  There!  I said it, LOL!

Also, I'm not enjoying this book as much as I did The Other Boleyn Girl

Who else disliked "The Constant Princess" Catalina/Katherine of Aragon? 

 

 

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Katherine of Aragon is my favorite of Henry VIII's wives, and I have a lot of sympathy towards her.  Having said that, I didn't particuarly like The Constant Princess and I disagreed with a lot of the decisions that Gregory made about history and how to intrepret it (she goes into detail in her author's note about it)

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Mimi - Yes, I've heard that Philippa Gregory takes quite a few liberties with history.  I plan on reading The Six Wives of Henry VIII next.  Hopefully that'll give me a more accurate picture of Katherine.  Maybe I'll pick a favorite wife too! 

One more thing - why was Catalina's name changed to Katherine of Aragon?  No reason for that is discussed at all in The Constant Princess.  I'm assuming to make the Spanish-born Queen more "English?" 

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Catalina is the Spanish form of the name Catherine.

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,892
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Out of all the Philippa Gregory books I've read I liked this one the least.  Like you, I just didn't connect with the character although I also like Katherine of Aragon and am looking forward to reading more on her in other books.

Date Posted: 6/4/2008 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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I really enjoy PG's books but this is my least favorite so far.  I grew tired of the "one day I'll be queen" stuff over and over.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 12:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 965
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Add me to the list of those who disliked Katherine in this book and The Constant Princess itself. My niece is currently reading it also and is ready to pull her hair out everytime Arthur says "tell me a story" in the book. However, I'm thoroughly enjoying The Other Boleyn Girl which I'm currently reading.

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Leticia - That's funny.  I too grew so tired of "tell me a story."  LOL! 

Date Posted: 6/5/2008 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,495
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I am so glad to read all this.  Now I can take the book off my wishlist and move on to something else!

Date Posted: 6/30/2008 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 95
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I like Jean Plaidy's take on Katherine much better than Phillippa Gregory's.  I didn't care for the Constant Princess.

Date Posted: 7/6/2008 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 849
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The Constant Princess was my first Phillippa Gregory book.  I really liked it a lot and felt sort of sorry for Katherine.  I haven't read another Gregory book yet, but I will.