Tuesday, 1 April 2008

The Shadow of the Pomegranate by Jean Plaidy

Whilst the young King Henry VIII basks in the pageants and games of his glittering court, his doting queen's health and fortunes fade. Henry's affections for his older wife soon stray, leaving the lonely Katharine to instead use her marital sway to dangerous foreign advantage. Overseas battles play on Henry's volatile temper, and whilst many his power, rumours of his fruitful affairs are notorious. With no legitimate heir yet born, Katharine once again begins to fear for her future...

England loved the young lovers, but hardly were they wed when powerful people in Henry's court were spinning webs of intrigue around the innocent royal pair.

Spanish spies, the Pope's men, the Queen's seductive ladies-in-waiting, and especially the King's brilliant advisor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey--all were obsessed with one question: Would Queen Katharine be able to give Henry the healthy son he so desperately needed? Everything depended on the answer, especially the destiny of Queen Katharine herself.

Jean Plaidy has never written more brilliantly of history's great women and men than in the bittersweet true story of young King Henry and his dear Kate, who wanted only to please her beloved husband but seemed fated to be thwarted at every turn. . . .

The second part of Katherine of Aragon's trilogy - I felt Katherine's personality coming through more in this book and of course this is the famous part of the story where Henry starts to cast Katherine aside after only having provided him with one healthy daughter.

But, of course there is more to the story than that - for me Katherine of Aragon is not one of the queen's I have very much fascination with, possibly because I liked Anne Boleyn and maybe saw Katherine as being in the way but, the more I read about Katherine the more I feel for her how scary it must have been coming from Spain to marry a man (boy!) she had never even met.

I did not enjoy this as the previous one, I do find with Jean Plaidy's books that you don't seem to get to know the characters as well as perhaps you could do and for me this book seemed to have a lot of flitting from one scene to the other but, that said still essential to read if your reading the Katherine trilogy.

1 comment:

Vicki said...

Hi there! Just wanted to say hello to a fellow reader! Hope you're having a good day!