The Constant Princess

Paperback | July 10, 2006

byPhilippa Gregory

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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 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.

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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 par...

Philippa Gregory is an internationally renowned author of historical novels. She holds a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. Works that have been adapted for television include A Respectable Trade, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool. The Other Boleyn Girl is now a major film, starring Scarlett...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:528 pagesPublished:July 10, 2006Publisher:HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:000719031X

ISBN - 13:9780007190317

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read What I liked about this book was the history of Catalina and learning a bit more of the Spanish side. Philippa Gregory is always brilliant in her descriptions and writing style. Although I found her lacking a bit in this book. I think it had a lot to do with the unending internal thoughts of Catalina. There were a few that almost made it becoming a book just recycling itself through the chapters. In the end, it was still good and a descent read.
Date published: 2012-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I am fascinated by this period in history, and really loved this story about such a noble queen. You fall in love with her immediately and sympathize with her situation and can't help but admire her perseverance. How anyone could put up with such a child of a man for so long just goes to show how tough she was. I also love the way Phillipa Gregory can easily transport a person to another time period, with her vivid descriptions and extensive knowledge of the subject.
Date published: 2010-07-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from One of my favorite authors Philippa Gregory has a way of writing that makes her characters unforgettable. This book brings Catalina of Aragon into your heart and makes sure you will never forget the name of Henry VIII's first wife.
Date published: 2010-02-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Captivating Enough 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.
Date published: 2009-11-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome Read Great kickoff to an intriguing series! Gregory's writing style is interesting and illustrates the different perspectives of the main characters, making the novel hard to put down!
Date published: 2009-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could Not Put it Down! I absolutely loved this work by Phillipa Gregory. The Constant Princess is the story of Catalina the youngest princess of Spain who becomes King Henry VIII's first wife and Queen of England (ie. before Ann Boleyn). Gregory tells the story from the view point of Catalina, a strong woman who never gives up on what she sees as her god given destiny: ruling England as Queen. Gregory uses historical fact where possible but this is a work of fiction. She takes a position on areas that are not clear in history, such as whether Catalina and Arthurs marriage was consummated or not, and makes it all blend into a captivating story of what could have happened. No one can claim to know definitively what happened (or didn't happen) between Katherine and her husbands but Gregory's spin is a romantic portrayal that is highly entertaining even if it is not the most plausible or believable way the events of Katherines life could have unfolded. It was a page turner for me - I had a hard time putting it down! Her style of writing is easy to follow and never boring. I definitely recommend it!
Date published: 2009-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Tudors come to life in this novel This book is one I recommend to anyone who loves the Tudors, or who enjoyed "The Other Boelyn Girl" This book tells the story of Catherine, King Henry VIII's first wife. The story is beautifully written, capturing the fear and betrayal Catherine must have felt as she was forced to wait many long years before her marriage to Henry, after her husband Arthur (brother of Henry) dies. This book gives an interesting look at Catherine before she becomes Queen, and brings to light the question many historians have pondered - was she a virgin still when she married Henry VIII, or not? Henry VIII had 6 wives, and his divorce to Catherine started many debates in that time period. You can read this before, or after Gregory' other novels. However, I recommend you read this first, to get an insight into Catherine's life before she became Queen, and to better understand her story when it is referred to in The Other Boelyn Girl.
Date published: 2008-06-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An Interesting read Not as good as her other writings, i.e. The Other Boleyn Girl", but nevertheless an interesting and informative historical fiction. The author is great at providing accurate historical fact, and this book is no different for her ability to do this. But generally, I found the book a little too much of the same, as she wrote from the point of view of Queen Catherine (Catalina), who came across as a bit egocentric.
Date published: 2007-11-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I liked it... I've read two other historical fictions by Gregory, and absolutely loved them. This book, however, is written in a different style which I find less captivating as the others (The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool). Not to say that this is a bad read. I still enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to others who enjoy historical fiction, or books in this time period, and who are looking for a light read with sympathetic characters.
Date published: 2006-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb! Another gem from Ms. Gregory. I loved 'The Constant Princess.' It is an insightful, poignant, yet triumphant look into the mind, heart, and soul of Katharine of Aragon. It's refreshing to see Henry VIII play a secondary character, for a change. A must for Tudor enthusiasts! Highly recommended.
Date published: 2006-07-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Good I was looking forward to this novel and was not disappointed. As with Gregory's other works (Virgin's Lover, Queen's Fool), this piece combines historical fact - Katherine of Aragon - with ficiton that comes across as realistic and consitent with the true history. I thought it was very enjoyable - although a few hundred pages, I read this in only one sitting. I found it very hard to put down. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2006-06-16

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Editorial Reviews

'One of Gregory's great strengths as a novelist is her ability to take familiar historical figures and flesh them into living breathing human beings. The Constant Princess is a worthy successor to her previous novels about the Tudors' Daily Express'Gregory's research is impeccable which makes her imaginative fiction all the more convincing' Daily Mail'Gregory is great at conjuring a Tudor film-set of gorgeous gowns and golden-lattered dining. She invokes some swoonsome images.while the politics are personal enough to remain pertinent' DailyTelegraph