The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

Published By: Touchstone

Date of Publication: October 24, 2005

Categories: Adult, Historical Fiction, Series.

Pages: 393

Summary (from goodreads.com): Katherine of Aragon is born Catalina, the Spanish Infanta, to parents who are both kings and crusaders. At the age of three, she is betrothed to Prince Arthur, son and heir of Henry VII of England, and is raised to be Princess of Wales. She knows 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. Unexpectedly in this arranged marriage, a tender and passionate love develops.” 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 indomitable. She will do anything to achieve her aim; even if it means telling the greatest lie, and holding to it.

Review: I have to start off by saying that I’m a little obsessed with the Tudors. I loved The Tudors TV series with Jonathan Rhys Myers and Henry Cavill. It was amazing and I highly recommend it. It’s so incredibly good.

It was interesting to see how the book started with Katherine as a child, though it made sense as the book went on – it helped the explain the decisions that Katherine made and where her motivation came from. I thought it also gave a fuller picture of what was going on in Europe at the time.

Getting to see Henry as a young prince who was never really meant to be king was something that I really enjoyed. I never really thought much about where he came from before, but his decisions later in life definitely made more sense with his childhood as context.

The pacing was great, I never felt bored while I was reading, I always wanted to know what was going to happen next.

It was interesting to get Katherine’s point of view as well. I liked hearing about a strong woman who knew what she wanted and was willing to do the hard work to get what she wanted.

While I know there’s a lot in this book that isn’t true, I think that’s the fun of historical fiction.

I’ve read The Other Boleyn Girl a few years ago, and after reading The Constant Princess, I’m really looking forward to reading The Other Boleyn Girl again, this time with the foundation of knowing more about Katherine.

Image: goodreads.com

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