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The Agincourt Bride (Catherine de Valois #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  589 ratings  ·  108 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
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43rd out of 553 books — 2,310 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,367)
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Lisa Christian
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
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
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
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
Alison Campbell
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
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
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
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
Zeana Romanovna
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
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.
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
Patty Mccormick
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
'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
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 bou
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 at Jaffareadstoo
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 5 of 5 stars
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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
A very detailed account of Catherine de Valois, daughter of mad King Charles VI and Isabella of France, who was married off to King Henry V as part of a treaty in the early 1400's. The story is told through the eyes of her nurse Guillamette (Mette), who stays with the young Princess Royal throughout much of her early life. Court deception and intrigue, treachery and gossip throughout and the background research is quite thorough. A colourful and adventurous read for those who enjoy historical fi ...more
Michael Stolle
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
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
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
Minna Mäkinen
After a slow start, The Agincourt Bride held me gripped until the very last page. As far as historical fiction goes, I put the emphasis on the word "fiction". I don't care about the historical inaccuracies as long as the characters are well written and the narrative fluent. The Agincourt Bride delivered on both accounts. It's a fascinating look behind the glittering facade of court life from a servant's point of view, full of complex politics, shifting allegiances, conspiracies and hidden agenda ...more
I did have definite mixed emotions about this book, but mostly enjoyed it, kept wanting to dive back into it. There are some really unfortunate and distracting typos throughout, not least of which is in the first line of Chapter 3, "The King is in his oubilette [sic] again" and then throughout. I did vastly appreciate the immersion in the dirt and dazzle of the early 15th century -- I think Hickson does a great job with that, and only wish for a sharper editorial eye on details. I hate to admit ...more
Patty Mar
Story of Catherine de Valois, princess of France, who married King Henry V of England and founded the Tudor dynasty. Told from the perspective of her childhood nurse who stays with her through the initial stages of her marriage to King Henry.
What a great book about Catherine of Valois, whose life was shrouded in mystery. The author did very fine research, with an engaging and believable storyline and sympathetic principal characters.

Joanna Hickson has written a novel which facts that seem very accurate and plausible to me. I cannot wait for the sequel having already got a taste with the sample. How soon?

The scenes and staging of France and England were very fine. The details of the battle of Agincourt were riveting. Recommended f
Originally posted at:

The Agincourt Bride by Joanna Hickson highlights the many reasons I love historical fiction. I was swept away to another time and place and into the life of Catherine de Valois who was the daughter of Charles IV, King of France, and Isabeau of Bavaria, the Queen of France. This novel is rich in historical detail and begins in the early 1400’s at the start of Catherine’s life up until she marries King Henry V, hence becoming the Queen
The Agincourt bride is Catherine de Valois, daughter of Charles VI, the mad king of France. Her mother, Isabeau of Baveria, doesn’t care about her children and neglects them until she needs them for her plotting. So when Catherine is born, a wet nurse is needed immediately. Teen aged Guillaumette (Mette) has just had her first child, which does not survive. She is pressed into service to nurse the newborn Catherine. A bond is formed, like that between mother and child. Mette loves Catherine as m ...more
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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
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