Sunday, 26 April 2009

The Spanish Bride by Laurien Gardner

The queen who married a Tudor and a tyrant.

Her name was Catherine. For over two decades, she was Queen of England, until her failure to bear the king a son, her advancing age, and King Henry VIII's obsession with Anne Boleyn cost Catherine the crown, her marriage, and her life. This is her story, told from the point of view of Estrella de Montoya, her trusted maid of honor, who traveled from Spain to England with her, and witnessed the triumphs and tragedies of her amazing life.

I am sad to say had I read this book first (of the three) I may well have not read the rest, so fortunate for me I read them out of order! I personally don't think its imperative to read them in order unless you are completely unfamiliar with the story of Henry's wives which I doubt.

I would add that of all the wives I would say Katherine is my least favourite but, thats not to say its the reason for not being completely bowled over by this book (I loved Philippa Gregory's Constant Princess) I think it has more to do with Estrella who is the narrater of this book, this book is written in the first person which is books I usually love but, Estrella was for me as dull as dull can be.

There are parts of this book which are quite dark and moody so not a book to be reading if you are depressed!

I liked (yes there were parts I did like) the fact it flitted back and forth between when Katherine was coming to England from Spain and when she first arrived in Spain to the later years, it was also good to hear about the journey coming over, most books on Katherine I have come across have started with her when she first marries Arthur.

Although as I said Katherine is not one of my favourite wives but, still I would like to read more on her so if anyone has any suggestions please feel free (with the exception of Philippa Gregory & Jean Plaidy).


Daphne said...

I think the best book I have read so far about Katherine of Aragon is The King's Pleasure by Norah Lofts. It was recently reissued.

Marg said...

I don't have any more recs for books about Katherine but I did enjoy reading CW Gortner's The Last Queen which is about her sister who is known as Juana the Mad.