Wednesday 4 May 2016

Review ~ Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen by Alison Weir

Headline Review
5 May 2016

Six Tudor Queens #1

History tells us how she died. This captivating novel shows us how she lived.

Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by bestselling historian Alison Weir, author of The Lost Tudor Princess, is the first in a spellbinding six novel series about Henry VIII’s Queens. Alison Weir lets you walk in Katherine’s footsteps and so understand this extraordinary woman as never before. History tells us how Katherine died; this captivating novel shows us how she lived.

I've read fictional stories about the Tudors since I was in my early teens,always finding something fascinating about the plots and intrigues of their lives, and none more so than Katherine of Aragon who landed in England in 1501 betrothed to marry Prince Arthur, the heir to the Tudor crown. Of course, we later know more about her marriage to Henry VIII,and the trials and tribulations of her acrimonious divorce, following Henry's tumultuous affair with Anne Boleyn.

As always, Alison Weir has given us a comprehensive look at the life of this fascinating Tudor Queen. For those who are familiar with the history of the Tudors there will be no surprises in the content of the story , as it's been told so many times, but there is no doubt that this is a very good fictional version, filled, as always, with the intrigue and machinations which we have come to expect from this exciting time in English history.

The story is very readable and spans the story of Katherine's life from 1501 when she landed in Plymouth, through to her death at Kimbolton Castle in January, 1536. There is much detail about her early marriage to Arthur, her young widowhood and her later relationship with Henry, with all the heartbreak and sadness of frequent miscarriages, all played out against the backdrop of the Tudor court, with its salacious gossip and devilish intrigue. It's far too easy to dismiss Katherine, as she is so often overshadowed by her sexier, and rather more tragic love rival, Anne Boleyn, and yet, it must not be forgotten that Katherine was such a valuable asset to England during the important early years of Henry's reign. 

The book is hefty coming in at over 550 pages, so it's not something to be read in a rush, but more to be savored slowly in order to appreciate the fine attention to detail. The way that Katherine comes alive on the page is credit to the author who has such a breadth of knowledge about this Tudor period that it's a real pleasure to read her fictional work.

This is the first of six historical novels planned which will each detail one of Henry's six Queens. Anne Boleyn is next, I can't wait !

Best Read with...Spiced wine, wafers and candied plums...

About the author

Alison Weir

Visit the author's Website
Twitter @AlisonWeirBooks

Amazon UK

My thanks to Caitlin Raynor at Headline for my review copy of this book.


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