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The Constant Princess (The Tudor Court #1)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  92,108 ratings  ·  3,390 reviews
"I am Catalina, Princess of Spain, daughter of the two greatest monarchs the world has ever known...and I will be Queen of England."

Thus, bestselling author Philippa Gregory introduces one of her most unforgettable heroines: Katherine of Aragon. Known to history as the Queen who was pushed off her throne by Anne Boleyn, here is a Katherine the world has forgotten: the ench
Paperback, 390 pages
Published September 6th 2006 by Touchstone (first published 2005)
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Hu Di Probably depending on the mental age and what kind of reader she is. I might wait until she is 16. I wish I had learned all that this book has to…moreProbably depending on the mental age and what kind of reader she is. I might wait until she is 16. I wish I had learned all that this book has to teach about being a woman earlier in my life, but not as early as 13 when I was still free to have a naively beautiful understanding of the world. Some of the virtues the book leads us to learn are great, while others takes a more sophisticated lens to really understand. (less)
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4th out of 395 books — 1,141 voters
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Best Historical Fiction
110th out of 4,418 books — 17,888 voters

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Community Reviews

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alana Semuels
Ah, Philippa Gregory. You lured me in with The Other Boleyn Girl, which I knew was kind of trashy, but still couldn't put it down. TOBG was like eating cupcakes while watching SVU re-runs. Paradise. The Constant Princess, however, was like eating Doritos while watching Grey's Anatomy. I really wanted to like it, but really, it just made me want to barf. The problem, dear Philippa, is that just as Henry VIII liked his ladies, you seem to love italics. You write whole pages in italics, which in my ...more
2.5 stars

Those of you familiar with all things Tudor already know the basics of the long-suffering Katherine of Aragon and the husband who dumped her when she couldn't produce a male heir. Those who aren't might consider this review rather spoilerish so consider yourself warned. That said, since the author skims through a big chunk of the latter part of Katherine's life and "The King's Great Matter", I wouldn't recommend this for newbies as you'll be scratching your head at the end wondering wha
I'm going to start out by saying 1) I love historical fiction and 2) I loved Margaret George's, The Autobiography of Henry VIII with notes by his fool Will Sommers (one of my fave books of all time).

So when I have the opportunity to go back to Kind Henry VIII's court I do! I've read the Other Boleyn Girl, I've read Elizabeth I by Rosamund Miles to learn about the time after Henry VIII, etc.

Therefore I was really looking forward to learning more about Henry's first wife, Katherine of Aragon.

A very entertaining and engaging story, more lively than Jean Plaidy's Katherine trilogy. Even though I found Plaidy's books a bit on the dull side, I'm glad I read them to complement Gregory's take on the young Katherine. Most of the HF I've read about Katherine shows her in her times of trial during her second marriage, where she comes across as a long-suffering and pious cow, an object of scorn and pity. Even as a younger girl, she comes off as a bit of a drip and killjoy, as if she was born ...more
The Book Maven
If King Henry VIII's wives have any consolation, it is that they are remembered and honored far more in death than they were in life--there were six wives, and now there are dozens of books about them. But The Constant Princess begins at the beginning--with the first wife, Katherine of Aragon, whose unfortunate life did not include the birth of a son and heir to King Henry VIII. It is that perceived fault of hers that inspired Henry to seek sport in the arms of other women, and provided us with ...more
B the BookAddict
May 20, 2014 B the BookAddict rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Historical fiction, Tudor history lovers
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Goodreads
Shelves: hist-fiction

Firstly, let me say that the thing I like about Philippa Gregory's novels is that she is an Historian, first and foremost. She has studied the people she writes about in great detail. You cannot take people like Catherine of Aragon and fashion some carte blanche story about her; there are facts and documentation which must be adhered to. She brings this fascinating woman to life for us; teaching us as we read.

Philippa Gregory gives the reader such a keen sense of this woman; this Catalina, Infa
I am completely fascinated by this time period. It is like reading a soap opera. It also helped me to understand how King Henry could be so cruel and it made me sad for Queen Katherine. This was a beautiful love story and a story of perseverance. I loved the descriptions of the spanish court. It certainly made me glad that I am not royalty.
For me, Gregory's big problem is point of view. Her first-person narratives are fantastic, but her third-person ones suck. Here is an interesting combo: The Constant Princess is written mostly in third, but with about just as much in first-person asides that aren't really justifiable in any way. Are they journal entries from the protagonist, Katherine of Aragon? Just musings? Often, the narratives overlap, which could be interesting, but really just comes off as jarring. I don't really get what ...more
This was actually the second attempt I made at reading this book. The first failed about fifty pages in: I simply couldn't buy the premise. Apparently there are some things that are "obviously what happened" in Gregory's brain, but that seemed like huge, wildly improbable conjecture to me and many other readers. I don't want to go into it in detail, so as not to spoil the plot, but basically, Gregory took historical events and assigned feelings and motivations to the major players that seemed co ...more
Crystal Starr Light
"A near-constant bore"

Catalina is the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, the Spanish Infanta, betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the throne of England. From childhood she was prepped for her queenly position; she grows up alongside a battlefield, in the splendid palace in Spain, until she is sent to be married to Arthur. And thus begins the life of the future Queen Katherine of Aragon.

Despite their flaws, I rather enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl and The
This book is, in my opinion, Gregory’s best novel. Some historical fiction can be a little too tawdry for my taste. (But don’t get me wrong, tawdry is awesome as long as it’s accompanied by some substance I can sink my teeth into). Gregory’s novels can lose this balance every now and then and she is sometimes guilty of repetitive phrases that can force your mind to wander. I did not notice these pitfalls in this particular novel. There are, of course, passionate love scenes (because what hf woul ...more
In this book, Philippa Gregory tells us the story of Katherine of Aragon, a Spanish princess who became Queen of England. The story begins with Katherine (still know as Catalina) as a child, growing up in the battlefields while her parents, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, drove the Moors out of their country. She had been bethroted to Arthur, the eldest son of Henry Tudor and Elizabeth, almost since her birth. Still a teenager, Katherine travelled to England to marry Arthur and become Princes ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Iset rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Philippa Gregory
Recommended to Iset by: No one

It is difficult to know where to start with this review. Perhaps by highlighting one of the most pertinent points. The novel is written alternately from third person and first person point of view. Usually, a scene will occur written in the third person, followed by an internal monologue from Catalina's character about the events which have just occurred. Is this poor writing, or does this continuous switching of views work within the story? The premise sets off alarm bells that the story may se
Just started to read this book and I'm hooked so far.

I completed this book last night and I really enjoyed it. Its the first book I've read from this author and she does a wonderful job telling this historal fiction book. I sometimes have trouble getting into these kinds of books but I fell into this one.

Katherine of Aragon, Queen of England is written has a very strong woman, taking command of her life when and where she is able. In that that, many women were mainly objects.

Through h
The beauty of going into a book with low expectations is that they are quite often exceeded. I was told by several trusted literary friends that this was a weak installment by Philippa Gregory and should be skipped. Unfortunately, I have this awful OCD quirk that simply does not allow for series to be read out of order - it's just forbidden. Maybe it is because of these low expectations, or maybe it is because I am woefully ignorant of the Tudor history and therefore had no preconceptions of wha ...more
I ♥ Bookie Nookie (
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Although “The Constant Princess” has never been recommended to me specifically, the enthusiastic response to “The Other Boleyn Girl” – Gregory’s most well-known novel – was enough to encourage my purchase of it a couple of years ago. She is touted as a fabulously emotive historical fiction writer, and yet my initial response was to discard it after I had read the first couple of pages. Roll on 18 months, and my recent second attempt at ploughing my way through was barely underway before I rememb ...more
Kristen "Kirby"
Let me start by saying this: If you hated The Other Boleyn Girl for it's lack of exciting events and boring pace, good luck getting past page 100 of The Constant Princess.

Now, I'm no fan of Philippa Gregory. To be honest, I HATE the way she writes. She spins in circles, repeating the same crap over and over again. She includes tons of unneeded fillers. Ugh. I simply read her books because I like the history.

After enjoying The Other Boleyn Girl, I went on to the Boleyn Inheritance, finally decidi
Sara Giacalone
I enjoyed this view of a younger, more passionate Katherine of Aragon. While I know better than to assume it is historically accurate, I enjoyed this tale. I especially enjoyed reading about Granada and the Moors. Although, I think the author should have gone forward to the end of Katherine's life. I know her later days have been well covered, but it was a bit of a cop out to leave out so much of her story.
Esta foi uma dupla estreia: por um lado, porque foi o meu primeiro livro desta autora, por outro, porque, até ao momento, ainda não tinha lido nada relacionado com a dinastia Tudor.

Foi uma leitura com os seus altos e baixos, não haja dúvida. Se por um lado a história parecia estar bem documentada e que nos dava um retrato realtivamente fiél da vida na corte durante os reinados de Henrique VII e Henrique VIII, creo que, em determinados aspetos, estava demasiado romanceado. Toda a história de amo
Who is this woman, whose fame rests on her inability to produce a male heir for Henry VIII? In this book the author attempts to envision her life.

The first part is credible. The author describes how Catalina, the child of Spain's powerful co-monarchs, could have developed a belief in her destiny. From this seed, Ms. Gregory builds the case for a steely purposeful woman who affects all the airs of the monarch she aspires to be and exudes its sense of entitlement. This is the attitude and the outl
Sabrina Van Goethem
In this first book in the Tudor Court series, the author takes us into the life of Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife. We get to know her as a child growing up in "el Andalus" and as a young woman coming to England to marry Prince Arthur. When Arthur dies, her desire to become Queen of England is threatened and only through marriage to Arthur's younger brother Henry can she hope to acquire the crown.
I have been interested in the Tudor court for a long time and Katherine of Aragon has A
Brittany B.

3.5 stars. The novel has issues, one of them being the irregular shift of perspective from 1st person told by Katherine to 3rd person. Phillippa Gregory has a habit of shifting perspectives at random times. (Same trouble with The White Queen) The other thing is that Katherine is not that likable of a character. She believes herself entitled to things because if her birth. She also believes she is adored above others in God's eyes.
I think the author took extreme liberty when depicting Katherine
I have not read many Philippa Gregory books, but this is my favorite so far. I love the story of Katherine of Aragon, however embellished it may be. I love the lusciousness of Philippa's imagination bringing a completely believable story to the unknown crevices of Katherine's life and then setting it on the gorgeous backdrop of the Tudor time period. It was excellent.
Estefânia Botelho
A História relativa à dinastia Tudor de Inglaterra sempre me despertou muito o interesse e, por isso, quando descobri a saga da Phillippa Gregory fiquei toda empolgada e comprei logo este primeiro volume. O certo é que, como muitos outros livros que tenho na prateleira, este ficou à espera de ser lido durante algum tempo! Mas como o tema do desafio do Mês de Outubro era "Romance Histórico" disse para os meus botões: é desta que pego neste livro!!!!E foi o melhor que poderia ter feito!
Depois de t
Aug 28, 2012 Adrianna rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Romance Lovers
Recommended to Adrianna by: Cafe Libri
I have read and heard many positive critiques about Philippa Gregory, so I was really excited to finally read one of her books. Unfortunately, the hype did not live up to my expectations.

Fellow readers claim that this book takes a new approach to Katherine of Aragon's life with a predominant focus on her marriage to Prince Arthur. Yes, this is true. It does focus on that five month period but at what cost? This is not the most fascinating part of Katherine's life, especially considering all that
I really, really enjoyed this book. I know absolutely nothing about the Tudor era, but this series of books was recommended to me (because I mentioned to a friend I was interested in reading about Marie Antoinette, she thought I might like this series as well). I'm reading them not in the order Philippa Gregory wrote them, but in the order of succession of Henry's wives. I love that it's fiction, but based in much of the story is true, who knows, but still it was entertaining.

Cristina Delgado
Há muito tempo que tinha a Philippa Gregory "debaixo de olho" por vários motivos, sendo o principal a minha paixão por romances históricos. Resolvi pegar neste porque a história dos Tudors sempre me cativou e não conhecia muito bem esta primeira esposa de Henrique VIII, a princesa Catarina de Aragão.

Foi com alguma expectativa que comecei a ler, mas depressa me apercebi que a leitura ia ser um tanto ou quanto arrastada. A narrativa é feita em duas perspectivas: por um lado, um narrador que conta
3.5 stars rounded up.

I'm not sure I liked how Catherine of Aragon was portrayed in this novel. She's very conniving and ambitious in this book. I also didn't care for the amount spent on the Arthur and Catherine relationship, the author gave them this grand romance and that just didn't appeal to me. She spent so much time on Arthur and Henry VII, that it shortchanged the story of Catherine and Henry VIII. I enjoyed the last part of the book best that dealt with Catherine's and Henry's marriage a
This is the story of Henry VIII first wife, Catherine of Aragorn, and her rise to become the queen of England.
With a rich subject matter like that,this book could (and should) have been good but unfortunately it just wasn't my cup of tea. I didn't quite believe this never-ending love Catherine apparently had for Arthur, neither did I believe that Henry wasn't really cut out to be king. In addition, the Catherine in this book seemed to be quite unlikable to me. The story itself dragged along in
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interesting 7 71 Jan 22, 2014 04:36AM  
Catherine's first marriage 9 125 Jan 10, 2014 10:14AM  
Graphic Love Scenes 13 196 Feb 27, 2012 06:43PM  
Eh.... 4 104 Mar 19, 2008 03:12PM  
  • Mary, Queen of France (Tudor Saga, #9)
  • The Lady Elizabeth
  • The Last Wife of Henry VIII
  • The Queen's Governess
  • The Secret Bride (In The Court of Henry VIII, #1)
  • Mademoiselle Boleyn
  • Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • The Queen's Lady (Thornleigh, #1)
  • The Virgin Queen's Daughter
  • The Last Queen
  • Daughter of York
  • Secrets of the Tudor Court
  • Plain Jane
Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acc ...more
More about Philippa Gregory...
The Other Boleyn Girl (The Tudor Court, #2) The White Queen (The Cousins' War, #1) The Queen's Fool (The Tudor Court, #4) The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3) The Virgin's Lover (The Tudor Court, #5)

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