Sunday, 30 March 2008

Katherine, the Virgin Widow by Jean Plaidy

The young Spanish widow, Katharine of Aragon, has become the pawn between two powerful monarchies. After less than a year as the wife of the frail Prince Arthur, the question of whether the marriage was ever consummated will decide both her fate and England's. But whilst England and Spain dispute her dowry, in the wings awaits her unexpected escape from poverty: Henry, Arthur's younger, more handsome brother - the future King of England. He alone has the power to restore her position, but at what sacrifice?

This is the first book in the Katherine of Aragon trilogy, and second in the Tudors series. As I decided to read the Tudors series in order this one slightly back tracks on 'Uneasy Lies the Head' and covers a little of what was covered there but, thats no problem, as this could also be read alone.

Arthur dies shortly after becoming married to Katherine, leaving her a virgin widow as the marriage was never consummated, or was it? This must be one of the most debatable parts of our history as to whether Katherine and Arthur really did consummate their marriage. I would not like to say whether they did or didn't but, I more lean to the fact that they did or didn't.

Of course as we know Katherine then goes on to become Henry's wife, and also we see a glimpse of Katherine's sister Juana and life at Spanish and English court which was quite different as I found most of the books concentrate mainly on the English court.

Overall a good read, I don't think the book showed as much of Katherine's character I much preferred Philipps Gregory 'The Constant Princess' but, still a good read and whetted my appetite for the next 2 books.

1 comment:

Margo. said...

I didn't like this book Clare, and like you I much proffered Philippa Gregory's 'The Constant princess'.