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Katharine of Aragon: The Wives of Henry VIII (Tudor Saga #2-4)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  2,119 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Omnibus edition containing: Katharine the Virgin Widow, The Shadow of the Pomegranate and The King’s Secret Matter

Legendary historical novelist Jean Plaidy begins her tales of Henry VIII’s queens with the story of his first wife, the Spanish princess Katharine of Aragon.

As a teenager, Katharine leaves her beloved Spain, land of olive groves and soaring cathedrals, for the
Hardcover, 643 pages
Published 2005 by Three Rivers Press (first published 1962)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sara Giacalone
Whew! This is a big, long book (it's really three books in one). I enjoyed it overall, even if it seemed a bit familiar. The characters are well developed (if a bit familiar in their portrayal) and the plot moves along nicely throughout. I will continue reading the series...
This title actually encompasses a trilogy originally published as 3 separate works: “Katharine the Virgin Widow,” “The Shadow of the Pomegranate,” and “The King’s Secret Matter.” Katharine was the first (and longest) wife of Henry VIII, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella (rulers of Spain).

Without dwelling on the fascinating story of Queen Katharine who was undoubtedly the purest and most deserving of Henry’s wives, I’d rather speak of the author, Jean Plaidy. With the discovery of this author I’
Very good book about the life of Henry VIII's first wife. This book is really 3 books in 1, with the first book beginning with Katherine's coming to England to marry Arthur, who will one day be king when his father, Henry VII, dies. The book continues with Katherine marry Henry when Arthur dies, though it is several years later. Katherine is kept waiting for years in England until Henry finally decides he wants to marry her, basically because all of his advisors warn him not to do so. The marria ...more
Michelle Robinson
What I really enjoy about Plaidy's work is her respect for the known or documented history of the time that she writes about she faithfully depicts the era in this novel. I enjoyed reading about events that have been documented in nonfiction sources.
I found Katherine to be an interesting and sympathetic subject. I felt sorry for what she was made to suffer but I also was able to see her as an admirable woman who would not easily be victimized. She stood up for herself, as much as she could, aga
Katharine of Aragon, by Jean Plaidy

"Katharine of Aragon," by Jean Plaidy, is actually an omnibus of the author's three previous novels about Henry VIII's first queen. The books are: "Katharine, the Virgin Widow," "The Shadow of the Pomegranate," and "The King's Secret Matter." So this volume is a great deal, as you're really getting three books for the price of one.

Plaidy is an excellent historical fiction writer. I'd seen her recommended several times, and was eager to read something of hers. K
Mandy Moody
Katherine of Aragon is actually a trilogy of books that were originally published separately, but have now been combined into one volume, with each book representing a separate part. As I read it, I thanked God that it had been combined like it was.
At times I really loved this book, at times I really hated it. The first part was incredibly slow for me. The period between Katherine arriving in England and marrying Arthur, the period between Arthurs death and Katherine marrying Henry - both dragge
I have to admit I didn't finish this one. The first section, which would have been book 2 of the series had I gotten them separately, basically just retold the last half of book 1 from a different point of view, and had I known this I would've skipped it altogether. So far my impression of this author is that she tells a good story, but takes a lot longer than necessary to tell it. I just couldn't get through this one.
Apr 29, 2009 Wen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone that likes Historical fiction from the Tudor time period
Shelves: fiction, historical, tudor
I really enjoyed this book. It is actually 3 novels in one. They are all about Katherine of Aragon and are about her life from a young girl to her death. It paints Katherine of Aragon as a very strong if not stubborn woman. Filled with historical facts as well as speculations as to how these people really were when alive makes this book well worth reading.
I give it 3 stars because of the author's great grasp of history. Usually, historical novels are so over-the-top on pageantry and the show of royalty, they forget that these royals are flesh-and-blood people, and that high rank carried high responsibilities and a heavy personal cost. Sometimes, there are flashes of brilliance, in the descriptions of Arthur's gentleness or Henry VII's calculations. I would have given it 2 stars for the cardboard cutout nature of the characters, and the continual ...more
I love all of Jean Plaidy's books I have read up to this point. I feel she brings historical characters to life and makes you feel as though these could be anyone or that any person could go through the same pitfalls and triumphs as the historical figures featured in each book. Worth reading.
Lolly's Library
2.5 stars

If I'd read this compilation (or the individual novels) about twenty years ago, before I'd studied and read so much concerning Tudor history, I probably would've enjoyed it more. As it is, I just know too much and have too many suppositions and theories of my own; whenever I came upon points of contention, I would say to myself, "Ah, so she went with this version of that event. Okay, so she used this birth date rather than the later one." And so on. So while I can appreciate that Plaidy
Jeralyn lovell
Loved this fictional account based on her true story. Wow! She's quite the queen.
Victoria Quinn
this is dragging on...
I'm often lukewarm about Plaidy's books, even though I'd choose her stuff above most of today's HF. Sometimes the prose is too simplistic or there is too much repetition as the same points are brought up over and over again within the span of a few pages. This book was no different on the latter point, but there seemed to be a depth in the character of Katharine that was lacking in her books on Catherine of Valois (The Queen's Secret) and Margaret Tudor (The Thistle and the Rose). Katharine's fo ...more
Laura Finger
I was so thoroughly disappointed with this one. I've always had a soft spot for Katherine, who received one of the worst hands in history.

Jean Plaidy is one of my all time favorite historical fiction writers. They're long, meaty, and if I can get my hands on one that's available as an eBook I'm thrilled.

The problem I have with this book is the structure. Plaidy turns from Katherin's narrative to so many other POVs that it's basically anybody's novel. For example, she leaves Katherine to focus
This is the story of Katherine of Aragon, Spanish princess (daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella) and first wife of Henry VIII. She is first sent off to England to marry Arthur (Henry VIII’s older brother); Arthur dies, she is stuck in England, living off the meager allowance Henry VII provides her. She is ultimately married to Henry VIII. They have several children, all of whom, except for Mary, are miscarried or die in infancy/early childhood. Henry VIII needs a male heir and thinks he’d have a ...more
The story of Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife. The book starts out with Katherine leaving Spain to be the wife of Henry's brother Arthur and ends with her death. In between were all of the details about her brief marriage to Arthur, living in poverty until Henry married her, the happy years with Henry, and ultimately Henry's betrayal of her because they did not have a son who lived.

I would have liked this book better had it stayed focused on Katherine. Instead, there were many chapte
If you enjoy the sweeping historical dramas of Philippa Gregory, you should definitely try reading Jean Plaidy. Both authors are known for bringing history to life with their engaging writing and fascinating characters. Start with Katharine of Aragon , which includes the story told in The Other Boleyn Girl , but from an entirely different perspective.

As a fan of the historical detail, romance, and drama in The Other Boleyn Girl , you may want to consider reading another master of the epic royal
Erika Stowell
I love anything about British history. Especially about royal history. This one was great about Henry the VIII's first wife. I feel so sorry for her and her lot in life. I think initially Henry really loved her but it didn't last and he turned on her in the end.
This is a very readable, historically-accurate trilogy about Katherine of Aragon (Henry VIII's first wife). Plaidy sticks as close as possible to historical facts and seems to have done her research well. I am inspired to read more of her books. Plaidy also does a great job of placing Katherine in history so the reader gets a better understanding of historical context in which Katherine based her decisions. This gave the novel greater depth and helped me to have a better understanding of that pe ...more
I started this book more than a year ago and it was my 'go to' book when I didn't have others waiting for me at the library. It was never checked out so I'd pick it up and read a few pages and then when another book came in I'd return it until the next time I needed a book. But a couple of months ago I found that the library had removed it and had instead added audio books of the 3 books within this particular volume.
(Katharine the Virgin Widow, The Shadow of the Pomegranate and The King’s Secre
This book is the historical fiction account of Katherine of Aragon and her marriage to Henry VIII. This book is actually three books. I am not super knowledgable about the history of the Tudors and Henry VIII's reign to know how much of this was accurate history and how much was fictionalized. This book made me want to read some non fiction about the Tudors and Katherine of Aragon.

This book was well written and held my interest through all of its multiple 600 plus pages. I enjoyed it a great de
This is the first Jean Plaidy book that I have liked. Granted, it is only the third that I have read but saner people would have stopped after the first and never have picked up a book by a disliked author again. Plus, I am not insane over the Tudors....much prefer the Plantagenets. However, so many people have said that this was a good book. I couldn't help but pick it up at the library. Those people were right. This book is a good one and convinced me to keep going with the Jean Plaidy books. ...more
Mar 21, 2008 Katie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical fiction lovers.
I LOVE historical fiction and have found this book to be pretty good. It's actually 3 novels in one about Katherine, Henry VIII's 1st wife. The upcoming movie "The Other Boleyn" is about Henry's second wife so I'm getting some great background before seeing the movie. Since picking this book up I've discovered a ton about the history of the time and it's also tied together random info. I knew about Henry, his wives, and his children. Also, the author is a rock star lady who has written under sev ...more
Jean Plaidy is amongst the nobility of historical fiction authors. Her research, particularly for the time, is amazing. This is primarily the story of Katherine, but we also get a good chunk of the story of her sister Juana, and the rise and fall of Cardinal Wolsey. It is clear that Anne Boleyn will have her own time to shine, as in this book she is a shadow in the background and never in the forefront. You can't help but feel sympathy for the position of Katherine.
Ann Canann
There is more history and politics in Plaidy's work than in the other historic novel's I've read, so I was drawn into the book on many levels. Henry the VIII'S first wife won my heart with the gorgeous speech Shakespeare gave her as she faced Henry in court. She had such an interesting life the two novels I have read about her this year hardly overlapped. Plaidy is Brit-based and somewhat difficult to find on this side of the pond, but well worth the hunt.
This volume includes 3 books that were originally published individually. Together, they cover the entire scope of Katharine of Aragon's life, from the time she left Spain to marry Arthur until her death. Plaidy is sympathetic to Katharine, especially in regards to Henry VII's treatment of her after Arthur's death. I think this volume is one of Plaidy's more successful efforts. When I finished, I felt like I had a good sense of Katharine's struggles and character.
Another good book by Jean Plaidy! I really haven't read many books from the point of view of Katherine of Aragon and am happy to have read this one. Most books that I've read take place during the later years of her life; this book really lets you know who Katherine of Aragon is during her childhood and teen years in Spain and England which set her foundations of royal behavior. These books truly made me feel sorry for Katherine and gain a new respect for her.
Diane Bell
I really enjoyed this book, which was a nice surprise, since I pulled it off the library shelf without knowing anything about it. It is long, but I stayed interested throughout. The author did a terrific job of delving into the workings of the royalty, and was excellent at revealing the personalities of the characters. I appreciated the fact that though sex was a major theme of the story, she did not get graphic about it.
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Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subject matter between her books; the best-known, apart from Plaidy, are Victoria Holt (56 million) and Philippa Carr (3 million). ...more
More about Jean Plaidy...
The Lady in the Tower (Queens of England, #4) Murder Most Royal (Tudor Saga, #5) The Rose Without a Thorn (Queens of England, #11) To Hold the Crown: The Story of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York (Queens of England Series, #11) The Sixth Wife (Tudor Saga, #7)

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