Fiction - Romance
About the Author: Philippa Gregory
| Submitted by: SemperEadem|
Comments: As a general rule, I usually rant against Phillipa Gregory. Like I've said before, she takes the most audacious spin to a story and goes with it (and people unfortunately believe her). The Constant Princess is her one book that I let slip by, if only because its basis intrigues me: what if Katherine did consummate the marriage with Arthur, and they were happy? How would she have to justify that to herself and live the lies? I think its an interesting point to consider. Of course, she also killed me with her usual antics: not only was the 1501 marriage consummated, but they had a passionate love affair with Katherine putting on Middle Eastern garb. Hmm. And she also leaves Katherine puzzled as to why her parents are suddenly so intolerant to those they conquered in Grenada. Double hmm. I'm sorry, but I think we all know Isabella and Ferdinand were not the most tolerant people who ever lived. Inquisition, anyone?
| Submitted by: queen_elizabeth_1533|
Comments: Philippa Gregory is definitely not one of my favorite authors. Most of her historical novels annoy me because of the incredible stories she throws in, twisting the characters around. However, I actually liked this book, and as a fan of Katherine of Aragon, I wasn't angry with her representation like I was with Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I's representations. I think this book is worth reading, for its entertainment and a good view of what Katherine might have went through.
| Submitted by: Katharine_fanatic|
Comments: I hated this book. I thought it was immensely demeaning to the figure of Catherine, by transforming a soulful, magnificent, much-abused woman into a manipulative, scheming, startlingly non-religious sexpot. It's also shockingly inaccurate and filled with modern worldviews instead of historical ones (Catherine respecting and admiring the culture that her parents beat into submission? I don't think so... Catherine feeling tolerant toward the Moors? Never!).
|Submitted by: Lady-Demiya|
Comments: Oooo... I could not finish this book. I like the beginning when Katherine is married to Arthur (though I highly doubt they had that type of relationship). But once he had died, I feel so sad that I cannot bare to read anymore. I like the portrayal of Henry VII, and little Henry at the beginning, but like I have said: I have not finished this book, and I doubt I will.
| Submitted by:funrod6|
Comments:First book I have read by P Gregory. She goes so far over the top in making this a fairy tale love story between Catalina and Arthur it's ridiculous. I do not believe that the great Queen Of England KOA to carry the "most audacious lie" as she Gregory states, But then again this is the same woman who wrote TOGB. The beg was interesting, but the more it became a Cinderella story instead of a story showing the stength of a very loved Queen, was quite disappointing.
| Submitted by:Anne'sCurls|
Comments:I am not a fan of Gregory but II will praise her for The Boleyn Inheritance, I'm surprised the woman who wrote that as well as the "famous page turner" TOBG wrote this snoozer. Fans of Katharine of Aragon will hate that according to Gregory, Katharine was a liar when it comes to her debated virginity. The book is more like a failed romance novel when it comes to Prince Arthur and Katharine's 6 month marriage. Gregory continues her hatred for independent women by portraying Margaret Beaufort as an evil, scheming harpy against the innocent Katharine...It's like Anne and Mary Boleyn one generation ago. And who could forget that Henry VII is a horny ********* according to Gregory. Despite the historical lies she always tells the book is very vanilla and hard to read. I didn't care about any of the characters nor did any of them excite me. I felt more sympathy for Katharine during her 7years of virtual poverty reading wikipedia. Gregory is never going to get the facts right, but if she wants to continue her career she better put more life into her stories if she wants us to take the time to read them.
| Submitted by: Maggie-AnneB.|
Comments: I really enjoyed this book. Gregory does a good job of weaving the story and making you think, " Did Katherine/Catalina do it?" "Would she really lie?" A very good read. You wil not be disappointed.
| Submitted by: Juliana-Angela|
Comments: I thought that this book was quite good, an interesting antidote to the common portrayals of Katharine as a saintly martyr. The real Katharine was a smart politician who used her considerable PR skills to give Henry a real run for his money, and Ms. Gregory brings out this side of her personality. She also brings out Katharine's patience and determination. I didn't buy her central premise of the consummation of the marriage between Katharine and Arthur but no-one can say for sure that it didn't happen, so it is legitimate for a novelist to take this line. Likewise, the evidence strongly suggests that Henry V11 was keen on Katharine's sister Juana rather than Katharine herself, but we cannot be certain of the emotions of historical figures and rejection gives motivation for Henry's bad treatment of Katharine.
Yes, there are inaccuracies - she falls for the common myth that all uncoverted Moors were expelled from Spain in 1502 - but on the whole, the book is quite factually accurate. My main problem is the way that it petered out towards the end, as if the author didn't know how to end it. I think that it would have been better to have continued to 1516, with the birth of Princess Mary and the death of Katharine's father. On the whole, though, it was a worthwhile read.
| Submitted by: SixQueensofHenryVIII|
Comments: Whilst it is a fairly good read, Gregory seems to go overboard on description, which whilst pleasant enough in the first couple of chapters it soon gets old fast and becomes quite tedious at times. I also have serious issues with how Catherine is presented. She is so pious and good in this story, as she was in life, so why would she lie about sleeping with Arthur? It doesn't make much sense really. I'd give it a 5/10 the good parts of it are equalled out by the bad points.