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

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  2,659 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
For the first time in paperback--all three of Jean Plaidy's "Katharine of Aragon" novels in one volume.
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 drab, rai
Paperback, 661 pages
Published February 22nd 2005 by Three Rivers Press (CA) (first published 1962)
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Nov 23, 2009 Tania rated it it was amazing
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’
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...
Jul 24, 2011 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
The Book Queen
Oct 03, 2015 The Book Queen rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
2.5 stars

I've heard a lot of good stuff about Jean Plaidy's books, and to be honest I was disappointed. I think historical fiction is a very hard genre to write about; you've got to keep the story interesting, but also stay true to the facts. I think Plaidy did a lot more of the latter than the former.

I'm not one of those people who are obsessed with everything in a historical novel being totally accurate; I like it to be more or less true, with more emphasis on the story than the history. That'
Apr 21, 2010 Leeanna rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
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
Feb 02, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it
Since I'm a big fan of historical novels and especially when writer/author brings in genuine true historical figures like King Henry VIII & his first wife Katharine of Aragon this is a winner. Jean Plaidy brought Katharine to life for me and also evoked much sympathy for her position and her difficult struggles with her husband King.
Mar 15, 2010 Leslie rated it it was ok
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 it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone that likes Historical fiction from the Tudor time period
Shelves: fiction, tudor, historical
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.
Aug 07, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
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
Jun 01, 2011 Carrie rated it it was amazing
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 (Dork Kettle)
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
Oct 22, 2009 Jeralyn lovell rated it really liked it
Loved this fictional account based on her true story. Wow! She's quite the queen.
Victoria Quinn
Mar 13, 2008 Victoria Quinn rated it it was ok
this is dragging on...
There are few things I enjoy as much as being immersed in a Tudor historical fiction book, show or movie. This saga, which this three books in one edition doorstopper truly is, fully delivers. Plaidy tells the story of Katherine of Aragon's childhood, arrival in England, and all the travails that ensued as a pawn in royalty game of Tudor era England, until her fall from favor and end of her life. Plaidy weaves in varied alternative points of view to enrich the goings on at the court and around t ...more
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
Jul 24, 2009 Elisa rated it liked it
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
Ivonne Vivlo
Apr 19, 2015 Ivonne Vivlo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good book, it take you through the time when the characters lived, it also makes you think about life in that edge but principally takes you at the very difficult situation of the princesses marriage, letting you see that their live wasn't as easy and comfortable as someone could think.
As an historical context, I do believe is a very nice experience to learn about history through this kind of good novels.
Enjoy it.
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
Mar 09, 2015 Jen rated it liked it
Again Plaidy delivers displaying her impressive knowledge of history. This is not quite as readable as some of the others in the series, but certainly conveys life at the time of Henry the VIII. One is not left envying any of his queens, yet it stirs an inexplicable fascination with the era. I will read more.
Erika Stowell
Oct 05, 2014 Erika Stowell rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 30, 2011 Roya rated it really liked it
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
Aug 18, 2016 Jan rated it liked it
Interesting saga of Katharine from the time she comes to England to marry Arthur to the day after she marries Henry VIII. Wanted it to keep going to see how her early marriage worked out. She spent years and years after Arthur died as the virgin widow, living in isolation and poverty with her ladies until something was worked out.

Not the most exciting book, but interesting.
Priss Ma
Mar 17, 2016 Priss Ma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El primero de la saga que leí y me hizo querer leerlos todos. Es la historia de la primera esposa de Enrique VIII contada por ella misma. Simplemente interesante de principio a fin.
Manu Corta
Nov 28, 2015 Manu Corta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amé la forma en que Jane Plaidy relata la trágica historia de Catalina de Aragón. Esta trilogía compilada en el primer libro de esta serie, relata la primera parte de las tormentosas relaciones de Enrique VIII con sus mujeres. Es triste la vida que esta mujer llevó sin perder la dignidad en ningún momento. Siempre fue una dama y me da mucha ternura su historia. Neta vale mucho la pena. Está ágil y escrito en forma de novela, así que no es nada cansado ni aburrido. Me encantó.
Alina Radu
May 12, 2015 Alina Radu rated it really liked it
I never understood why he had to have a boy...and what happened to his personality...
It seems the fairies changed him about the age of twenty...
Good book.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 12, 2015 10:09AM  
  • Plain Jane
  • The King's Pleasure
  • Virgin: Prelude to the Throne
  • Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • Mistress Anne
  • Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford
  • The Queen's Mistake (In the Court of Henry VIII, #2)
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • My Enemy, the Queen
  • Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)
  • Vengeance Is Mine: A Novel Of Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, And Lady Rochford  The Woman Who Helped Destroy Them Both
  • By Royal Decree (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #3)
  • The Queen of Subtleties: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • Dear Heart, How Like You This?
  • The Fifth Queen
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...

Other Books in the Series

Tudor Saga (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • To Hold the Crown (Tudor Saga #1)
  • Katharine, the Virgin Widow (Tudor Saga, #2)
  • The Shadow of the Pomegranate (Tudor Saga, #3)
  • The King's Secret Matter (Tudor Saga, #4)
  • Murder Most Royal (Tudor Saga, #5)
  • The King's Confidante (Tudor Saga, #6)
  • The Sixth Wife (Tudor Saga, #7)
  • The Thistle and the Rose (Tudor Saga, #8)
  • Mary, Queen of France (Tudor Saga, #9)
  • The Spanish Bridegroom (Tudor Saga, #10)

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