Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Agincourt Bride (Catherine de Valois, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Agincourt Bride (Catherine de Valois, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Agincourt Bride (Catherine de Valois #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,365 Ratings  ·  152 Reviews
The epic story of the queen who founded the Tudor dynasty, told through the eyes of her loyal nursemaid. Perfect for fans of Philipa Gregory.

When her own first child is tragically still-born, the young Mette is pressed into service as a wet-nurse at the court of the mad king, Charles VI of France. Her young charge is the princess, Catherine de Valois, caught up in the turb
Paperback, 578 pages
Published January 3rd 2013 by HarperCollins
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Agincourt Bride, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Agincourt Bride

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lisa Christian
Jun 23, 2013 Lisa Christian rated it it was ok
Shelves: france, medieval
I was disappointed in the Agincourt Bride, for many reasons. I felt that the novel had great potential, because it was written from the point-of-view of Katherine of Valois’s wet nurse turned Mistress of the Robes, Mette. This approach was different from many other historical fiction novels written about Katherine and Henry V and Owen Tudor. The novel certainly started strong with the fifteen-year-old Mette assuming her position as wet nurse in the royal household. Of course, as Katherine was ju ...more
Jul 13, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this novel based upon the earlier years of the life of Catherine of Valois. Through the eyes of her wet nurse and later confidante, Mette, we are with Catherine from birth and through the turbulent years of her adolescence. Only towards the end of this novel does she become the Queen of Henry V and therefore this is truly a novel where Catherine herself is the focus, and not just her position as wife of Henry V and mother to Henry VI. The reader is able to formulate an idea of who Cath ...more
Although the Tudor dynasty is oft accredited to Henry VII’s success at the Battle of Bosworth; the Tudor line matriarch is arguable Catherine of Valois. However, before her marriages to Owen Tudor and King Henry V of England; Catherine already led a life of intense intrigue. Joanna Hickson narrates Catherine’s youth in, “The Agincourt Bride”.

Without a doubt, “The Agincourt Bride” suffers from stylistic issues and a slow beginning. Being narrated by “Mette”, Catherine’s nurse maid; “The Agincourt
This book was a disappointment. Catherine is first described as the most perfect and adorable baby, and then she turns into blonde, blue-eyed (in fact doe eyed!) perfection with, of course, a dazzling smile and a wonderful personality. Just too sugary sweet and perfect for my taste.

(view spoiler)
Mar 13, 2013 Robin rated it it was amazing
I loved this. Indeed, I found myself completely enthralled and caught up in the politics, intrigue and magic of the French Court and Henry V of England. Joanna Hickson is one of those rare story tellers that weaves a kind of magic with the English Language so that you feel as if you have been transported to another time and place.

The story is told in first person by Catherine's nurse. At first I thought this literary device would become annoying. However, I soon found myself completely caught up
Feb 04, 2013 Audrey rated it did not like it
I had high hopes for this book when I first saw it and was looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately it was a big let down. The book was very shallow and relied totally on the serving maid narrator. Sometimes, a narrator can be a really helpful device in a book, but it always takes away from the immediacy and action in the book. In some stories that does not matter, in this book it did. The effect of the Narrator in this book was jarring and false and and the book lost all excitement, immedia ...more
One of the most interesting things about historical fiction revolving around royalty is the paradox they present. On the one hand, you read about such wealth and power that clearly marks them on a completely different social sphere. And yet, behind the all the opulence you get a wide spectrum of people who are either driven at all costs to achieve/maintain their status or are essentially pawns for said people to use and barter for their own gain. I think this idea was really illustrated well in ...more
Elia Princess of Starfall
Before I truly destroy... errr review this novel, does anyone else see the rather blatant similarity between the cover of the Agincourt Bride and the Forbidden Queen by Anne O'Brien?



I mean it looks like they used the exact same model, in the exact same dress, the exact same hair style and then just took two different shots...

Oy vey, there must have been some serious cutbacks in the book cover department!


Yeah I was not.... greatly impressed by the Agincourt Bride or by its author Joanna Hickson
3.5 stars

The Agincourt Bride by Joanna Hickson is more of what The Forbidden Queen by Anne O'Brien should have been. Both novels are about Catherine of Valois but Agincourt Bride is a more multidimensional story of politics and court intrigue told from a woman’s point of view with better developed characters, whereas Forbidden Queen is a flat, one-track romance with a whiny, annoying main character. In Agincourt Bride, we get to see many of the characters
Her beauty fuelled a war. Her courage captured a king. Her passion would launch the tudor dystancy.

The Agincourt bride is the story that follows the life of Catherine of Valois (consort of Henry V) through the point of view of her dear nurse Mette.
This book shines a different light on Mette because she is briefly included in shakespeare history of Henry V.

The story evolves around the neglect at birth from her mother, who Mette just after losing her first born is sent to tend her; creating a bo
Jun 26, 2013 Lucinda rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
A sumptuous, richly evocative read that captures such impacting times…

This beautiful book is simply exquisite, with its gorgeous shining cover and fascinating detail on Tudor England. As an avid reader of novels by the outstanding Philippa Gregory and other historical writers like Barbara Erskine, I was incredibly excited upon encountering this sensational debut. Joanna Hickson’s writing ensnares the senses, as you instantly gain a truly realistic sense of the period and turbulent times. Richly
Alison Campbell
Jan 30, 2013 Alison Campbell rated it it was amazing
The Agincourt Bride is a well crafted historical novel, based on the French Princess, Catherine de Valois, who was later to marry Henry V.

The story is told through the eyes of Mette a young French girl, who due to the sad loss of her own baby, was hired by the palace to be Catherine's wet nurse.

Over the course of the story Mette becomes a much loved mother figure to Catherine, and a trusted, loyal confidant and friend, who in later years, supported Catherine through the cold, chaotic royal hous
Dec 30, 2012 Kate rated it it was amazing
I loved The Agincourt Bride! Beautifully written with such a lightness and humanity about it, it's impossible not to care about our courageous, spirited heroine Catherine of Valois and our narrator, Catherine's loyal nursemaid Mette. Henry V is one of my favourite figures from history and when he appears in these pages, as Catherine's bridegroom, he comes alive. Before that point, though, Catherine and Mette have a host of trials to endure, not least at the hands of Catherine's mother, brothers ...more
Nicole Yovanoff
Jan 23, 2014 Nicole Yovanoff rated it really liked it
I bought this book because it was in the reduced bin for $2. I was skeptical of it being a good read because the cover looked like a romance novel and the tag of “Her beauty fuelled a war. Her courage captured a king” added to that skepticism. Glad to say I poorly judged the book by its cover.

It was a really good reads with little to no romance. Very strong female characters trapped in a world where women had little to no value. I enjoyed how the reader wrote from the perspective of a close serv
Aug 28, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Other reviewers have told the story of this book much better than I could ever hope to do, so I shall tell you things personal to me. First, if this was the author's first book, then she has done a tremendous job. Is it beginner's luck? We shall see in the next novel about King Henry V and his Agincourt bride, Catherine. The author balanced the competing forces in this book into a very good story. Catherine's brother Charles, the rightful heir to the French throne, is exiled because his own pare ...more
Carole Roman
Mar 26, 2014 Carole Roman rated it really liked it
Great historical fiction about Catherine of Valois, mother to the Tudor line. Joanna Hickson creates credible characters based on what is known about the Valois princess and Henry V. Told though the point of view of a devoted wet nurse, it's a well written account of life in the 15th century. Filled with villains, scoundrels, and saints, it has all the ingredients for royal historical drama.
Georgiana Romanovna
Apr 25, 2013 Georgiana Romanovna rated it really liked it
I really thought this book would be a good read, and in part it was. However, I found that although the character Mette was well filled out, the other main characters I found seriously wanting. To me, it also seemed as if the book stopped without a fulfilling end, but regardless, I believe the Author did a reasonable work and this book would not put me off from reading her other novels.
Marcia Pastorek
Mar 03, 2013 Marcia Pastorek rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. The way the story evolves and the writing keep you interested from beginning to end. Although I am familiar with that historical period, this story of Catherine of Valois told through her nursemaid is new and fresh.
Patty Mccormick
Jul 24, 2013 Patty Mccormick rated it really liked it
This book is the story of princess Catherine de Valois. She is the daughter of King Charles VI of France and Queen Isabeau of Bavaria. Mette becomes a wet-nurse for princess Catherine. With a mad father as a king and a demanding and manipulating, cold mother, Catherine turns to Mette for love and companionship. Mette tells us the tale of Catherine’s marriage to Henry V and her transformation into the Queen of England. The road to queen and happiness is rocky and treacherous. Who can she trust? T ...more
Victoria  Ellis
'It was a magnificent birth'

I recieved this book free from a Goodreads giveaway. The Agincourt Bride tells the story of Catherine de Valois from the point of view of Mette, her maid. There may be spoilers ahead!

The Cover
Although I'm not usually a fan of photos of people on covers I didn't mind this one mainly because she's so pretty and regal. I love the gold leaves in the top left corner, the sides and the back cover. The title is also written in the same gold which does make it stand out from
Apr 07, 2013 Karen rated it it was ok
I really do not like giving books less than 3 stars. I especially do not like it when I was so looking forward to reading the book.

Catherine of Valois fascinates me and I wish there was more written about her (fiction and non-fiction). The chance to read an (I believe) two part series exploring her life in depth? Fabulous. I went into the book with high expectations but was disappointed as ultimately this novel is not epic enough to sustain interest over its relatively long length. The characte
Agincourt Bride is definitely a dense read and one to be savored. It brings to life so many aspects of the world it's set in and just leaves the reader contemplating the words long after finishing.

This book wins a prize for transporting its readers right smack dab into the early 1400's and the Hundred Years War. From the mean streets of Paris to the pastoral agriculture of the Champagne region, Joanna Hickson knows how to weave historical details into a narrative so that it doesn't overfill the
Jo Barton
Dec 11, 2013 Jo Barton rated it really liked it
This is an interesting and informative look at the supposed early life of Catherine de Valois. Much of the story is narrated by Guillaumette, who becomes the official wet nurse to Catherine when she is abandoned as a baby by her decadent and licentious mother, Isabeau. The story of 15th century life at the French court is beautifully depicted and the fragile and tenuous grip that the royal children had on their own destiny makes for fascinating reading.

Catherine and Guillaumette's relationship i
Aug 10, 2014 Eva rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
This is the story of the childhood and young life of Catherine de Valois(1401-37), daughter of King Charles VI of France and wife to Henry V of England. Catherine was the mother of Henry VI of England, and through her secret marriage with Owen Tudor, the grandmother of Henry VII, establishing her as the Queen who founded the Tudor dynasty.

Engrossing narrative, well written and from a most unusual perspective. We are brought into the world of "Mette", a poor baker's daughter who loses her first b
Better than usual historical fiction. Well written, good characters, an interesting period, and a unique approach. Although the book is technically about Catherine of Valois, the real star is her nursemaid/faithful companion Mette and her perspective of the events portrayed in the novel. I found her interesting and entertaining throughout. Well worth reading. I'm looking forward to reading more of Hickson's work.
Jodie Downes
Nov 30, 2014 Jodie Downes rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm quite new to historical fiction but I love it; the romance, the suspense, the treachery and war... It really does have it all, and this book was no exception! Told from the fresh perspective of a lowly servant who rises through rank and respect, it's a whole new side of the royal family life. I am happy to recommend this book and cannot wait for the second book!
Aug 18, 2013 Robyn rated it really liked it
I won this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway, so I was quite excited to start reading it as soon as I got it, even though I find historical fiction in general to be fairly hit and miss. However, that was not the case with The Agincourt Bride. I found that the perspective of the book, told from the point of view of a 'servant', was completely refreshing. I felt that it gave the book a more honest point of view, and enjoyed reading about how the whole situation would be viewed from the perspec ...more
Michael Stolle
Feb 23, 2014 Michael Stolle rated it really liked it
The book started a bit slow but managed to engage my attention more and more as the story unfolded. I love the rich historical background, it has been extremely well researched and the author's knowledge of the daily life at court and fashion is impressive.

The old nurse's personality and her story is not always credible but Catherine de Valois and the Valois court really come alive in this story! I'm a bit skeptical that the Duke of Burgundy should have dared to violate the princess - but clear
Nov 10, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
Mild spoilers(?) ahead:

I really enjoyed this novel, and I'm excited for the next book in the series (coming out next year, unfortunately). Having not read many novels about Catherine de Valois, I was unsure what to expect, but I found the characters sympathetic and engaging. The narrator, Mette, was a good choice. While her life revolved around Catherine's, she did have a family and concerns of her own. It is a drawn-out story, with Catherine's marriage to Henry V coming only toward the end, but
Suzanne Reed
Dec 31, 2013 Suzanne Reed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical fact or fiction?

This story of Catherine of Valois and Henry V is very well written. I enjoyed the book very much. However, when I read a book about real people, I like to know if circumstances they undergo are historically true or fictitious. In this book, I could not find any other reference to the rape of Catherine by the Duke of Burgundy in any other source. I think Catherine was too great a person of history to manufacture something like that to happen to her, and it's too horribl
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Tudor History Lovers: March 2016 - The Agincourt Bride, by Joanna Hickson 16 65 May 03, 2016 05:29PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Feb 23, 2015 06:53PM  
  • Royal Mistress
  • The Forbidden Queen
  • The Boleyn Deceit (The Boleyn Trilogy, #2)
  • The Forgotten Queen
  • The Summer Queen (Eleanor of Aquitaine, #1)
  • Venus in Winter
  • Beloved Enemy: The Passions of Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • The King's Daughter
  • Pale Rose of England
  • The Sister Queens
  • The Tudor Conspiracy (The Spymaster Chronicles, #2)
  • The Lost Prince: The Survival of Richard of York
  • The Queen of Last Hopes: The Story of Margaret of Anjou
  • Blood Between Queens (Thornleigh, #5)
  • The Queen's Pleasure
  • The Queen's Rival (In the Court of Henry VIII, #3)
  • Blood Royal
  • Treason
Joanna Hickson became fascinated with history when she studied Shakespeare's history plays at school. However, having taken a degree in Politics and English she took up a career in broadcast journalism with the BBC, presenting and producing news, current affairs and arts programmes on both television and radio. Now she writes full time and has a contract with Harper Collins for three historical no ...more
More about Joanna Hickson...

Other Books in the Series

Catherine de Valois (2 books)
  • The Tudor Bride (Catherine de Valois, #2)

Share This Book

“racing for his freedom along the battlements and rooftops of St Pol.” 1 likes
More quotes…