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The Queen's Secret (Queens of England, #7)
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The Queen's Secret (Queens of England #7)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  698 ratings  ·  56 reviews
At the power and mercy of the court her life was a struggle to keep the Queen's Secret.

Katherine of Valois is born a princess, the daughter of King Charles VI of France. But by the time Katherine is old enough to know her father, he is called "Charles the Mad," given to unpredictable fits of insanity. Aged 19, she marries Henry V of England in what was a happy but tragical
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by Broadway Books (first published 1989)
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Oct 06, 2008 Michele rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans.
Recommended to Michele by: historical fiction forum
For many fans of historical fiction, Jean Plaidy's books are a treasure. For me, they are like a favorite blanket: perhaps a little dated and not on the cutting edge of a fad, but something familiar and comfortable.

The Queen's Secret, originally published in 1990 by G.P. Putnam's Sons and then reissued by Three Rivers Press in 2007, was one of Plaidy's later works and tells the story of Katherine of Valois, wife of Henry V, mother to Henry VII and by virtue of her second marriage to Owen Tudor,
Stacie (MagicOfBooks)
I will also do a video review here at my channel:

"The Queen's Secret" by Jean Plaidy tells the story of Katherine of Valois, daughter of King Charles VI of France, wife of King Henry V, mother of King Henry VI, and grandmother to King Henry VII. Katherine grows from a princess to a queen and witnesses the wars between France and England and the inspiration of Joan of Arc.

My first Jean Plaidy novel. I've heard nothing but good things about her historical ficti
This was the first Plaidy book I'd read in years, ever since high school actually. I remembered loving her stuff back then, but as I read this one & The Sun in Splendour, I had the sense that the books were copiously cribbed histories with a minimal effort at dramatizing the whole thing. (No doubt a reason why she was so prolific.)

I still like Plaidy, and will go to her first before a wealth of other HF authors (including such hyped stars of today like Elizabeth Chadwick and Sharon Kay Penma
Mandy Moody
The story of Katherine of Valois, from her childhood in France to her death. I really loved this book, it's my favorite Plaidy so far.
I did find the writing a bit formal and stilted feeling, but that didn't take away from the story. I felt like it actually made Katherine come alive more - as if it was her upbringing and strict manners that influenced the writing.
This book clears up where the Tudor claim to the throne came from...and boy was it tenuous! Not that it ended up mattering, but it was
H. A. Mims
This was a fantastic retelling of the life of Katherine, wife of Henry V and later mother to the Tudor dynasty. One thing I particularly enjoyed about her story is that unlike the majority of other women you read about in this genre, she wasn't particularly concerned with power or advancement. Nothing wrong with those stories either, of course, but I do enjoy a little variety in this respect. I found it lovely to read about her devotion to her family and enduring love for Owen Tudor.
Jean Plaidy isn't one to disappoint.

Even though her historical accurancy is now somewhat disputed, at the time she held great accordance with the known facts of the time. This novel explores the life of Katherine of Valois, a daughter of France neglected by her mother and disturbed by her father's mental health. She goes on to become of Queen of England, marrying Henry V and bearing him one son, Henry VI before his untimely death. When her son is raised without her, she seeks comfort in Owen Tu
Gail Amendt
Jean Plaidy is known for making royal history interesting by fictionalizing it and making it a personal story. Her work is not fancy and her character development is somewhat lacking, but she makes history very readable. This is the story of Katherine of Valois, a French princess who was married to England's King Henry V for political reasons and widowed at a young age, her young son becoming King in infancy. Her place in history would probably be largely forgotten had she not married a second t ...more
The book was actually good - my beef is that the 'teaser' pretty much gave away the whole plot. So reading the book was just finding out the details to what I already (sort of) knew. My English history isn't so great (I'm re-learning a lot thru novels like these) and I would love to know which novel (of hers) comes next to pick up the beginning of the Tudor dynasty.

Another thing that's interesting with any of these royal historical fiction (Plaidy or others) is this: the royals are either power
Unlike most of Plaidy's books, I don't feel like I learned anything new about the motives of her subject, which is surprising since I didn't think I knew much about Katherine of Valois. The broad historical outlines are all there, along with the author's great attention to detail and the realistic psychology of people in unusual circumstances. But somehow the story just left me flat, almost "so what?" Maybe I'm being unfair and there isn't anything new to be learned about the story of the wife o ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A fictionalized account of the life of Katherine of Valois, a French princess who lived in the 15th century. Katherine was married off to King Henry V of England, and luckily, she and Henry apparently were a good match. Strategically, the marriage between the English and French royal houses helped solidify King Henry's conquest of France. Sadly, Henry died shortly after their first son was born. This left Katherine in the difficult position of being the "Dowager Queen" when she was barely 21. As ...more
Finding this book sitting of my Grandmother's bookshelf, I gravitated towards it because it involved the wife of Henry V, and so Henry himself, who I am perhaps a little obsessed with.

It is written in the 1st person from the perspective of Katherine de Valois herself (Henry's wife) in the form of a diary of sorts. The details of Katherine's early life were interesting, and the subject of her father's madness was treated sensitively. I utterly despised her sex- mad megalomaniac mother, Isabeau o
I was really excited to begin my first Jean Plaidy book, as I had heard such good things. The book wasn't very well-written, but I plowed ahead, until I realized that every other page was full of abused ellipses. When used sparingly, I don't mind them, but when the pages are coated with ellipses and mediocre writing, I don't have much motivation to continue reading.

We are told Katherine's mother can be coy and cunning and then burst into fits of anger, so Katherine won't speak up against her. Ho
I thouroughly enjoyed this novel. I'm a sucker for historical characters and I always liked Shakespeare's Henry V -this is about his wife, Kathrine (or Catherine) of Valois. It was a very easy read, not deep, but the story line kept me interested. A little repetitive in the complaints/fears of Katherine's voice (first person narrative) but still fun to read and very innocent - unlike some other novels about the Tudor family (it doesn't hide indiscretions, but doesn't dwell on them or get graphic ...more
So super pysched I found out this book is a series about queens (must find the rest) and I enjoyed this quick tale of Queen Katherine, mother of Henry VI and her role in the fascinating Tudor dynasty..I quickly breezed through this historical drama/romance and knew the author was familiar and recognized the writing style right away as Phillippa Gregory, one of my favorite authors...Gregory has a way of giving you the direct storyline and surrounding politics brilliantly and before you know it yo ...more
Mirah W
I think over the years Plaidy wrote so many novels about the royals that she started to repeat herself. This novel could have been about so many other princesses/queens and the story would have been the to someone for family power, dealing with the gossip of the royal court, others always wanting to take the power away. It just gets boring. I think if the story would have been more about Katherine's life with Owen instead of the broad overview of her life it would have been more inter ...more
before there was Phillipa Gregory, there was Jean Plaidy. Before the Tudors and Plantagenet, there was a French princess who became an English queen. this is the story of henry 8's great grandmother and gave a great refresher on backstories of the English monarchy
This was my first time reading Plaidy and I wasn't disappointed. She brought to life the grandmother of the Tudors and their history of mental illness.
I was really disappointed with this book. I'm usually a big fan of Plaidy's work but this just wasn't up to scratch for me.
I felt that as the reader, I didn't get to know any of the characters at all. I've used the knowledge I already have of this period and the people involved to imagine the story.
For me, the story never really got started. It just seemed that Katherine was permanently pregnant yet without any details, dates, timescales etc. I like to imagine that Katherine and Owen's story i
A pleasant and enjoyable historical novel about an era and person about whom and I didn't know much. It made me think of the lives of the "royals" as they're called nowadays, in a different ways. The one thing that Katherine reiterated often was how nice it would have been to have been born as an "ordinary" person who would have been allowed to live her life as she wanted to, in peace. But of course then, she would have been working at a time when life for ordinary folks was difficult. Her life ...more
#7 in series - #2 in historical order

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I was really going to give it only 2 stars but it picked up towards the end, earning itself 3 stars.

I'm actually glad I read this book because it goes further back in history then I've read before which helps put everything in perspective with what happens next. It's also nice to figure out who all these people were and what role they played in history. I really should have read the #1 in historical order
Alexis Erlbaum
great read on Henry viii
Kally Sheng
"There is ofte as much strife in holding what one has gained as in taking possession of it. To have is important, but it must not be forgotten that one must hold." - King Henry V, Pg. 112

People were as they were, and to attempt to change them could prove fatal to any relationship. - Pg. 134

Great planners only took risks when it was necessary to do so. - Pg. 137

"Be happy in the moment." - Guillemote, Pg. 190

"One country's victory must be another's defeat." - Katherine of Valois, Pg. 183
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This chronicles the life of Katherine of Valois, the English queen who started the Tudor dynasty by running off with a lowly Welshman named Owen Tudor. This was a quick and easy read. I usually rate Plaidy's queen series higher but Katherine was frankly irritating. She was constantly commenting on how they were going take her son away. I felt like I was reading the same conversation over and over.
Julie Vaughn
Very pleasant and easy to read. It gives quite a bit of historical information about a period that is not as frequently found in literature, but had had a great impact for generations to come. The book is about Catherine of Valois, the great grandmother of king Henry VIII. This period in history is somewhat convoluted, but the book helps in untangling some of the events of that time.
Mar 20, 2008 Robin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: English history fans
An interesting read. I like this author and her take on these historic figures. I've always been interested in the Henry V story and this focuses on his French bride, Katherine. The only thing I would change would be the ending...I'd really like some more information; it just kind of stops. She follows historical events well and really adds to them.
If you want to read a touching story about love in various forms,read this. If you want to learn more about royal families, particularly those of England and France, read this. If you want to read a good work of historical fiction that combines both, then DEFINITELY read this. Special thanks to Sara for giving this to me on my birthday.
Claire Eastin
This seemed written on a juvenile level. It was just a little too "cheesy" for my tastes. Although billed as historical fiction, so much of the book is contrary to the history books of this time period. I am not sure I am interested in reading more by this author, even though I had very high hopes.
Laura Johnson
I semi-finished this book. As much as I love Jean Plaidy, I found it hard to read once everything when wrong. This was mainly because I knew she didn't have a happy ending and never ended up with the man she truly wanted. Call me a sucker for happy endings, even though I know history writes itself.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 12, 2015 11:38AM  
  • Eleanor the Queen
  • Lady of the Roses: A Novel of the Wars of the Roses
  • The Forbidden Queen
  • Harlot Queen
  • The Queen of Last Hopes: The Story of Margaret of Anjou
  • A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • The Perfect Royal Mistress
  • To the Tower Born: A Novel of the Lost Princes
  • Blood Royal
  • The First Princess of Wales
  • The King's Damsel (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #5)
  • Within the Hollow Crown: A Reluctant King, a Desperate Nation, and the Most Misunderstood Reign in History
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • Secrets of the Tudor Court
  • Duchess of Aquitaine: A Novel of Eleanor
  • Vengeance Is Mine: A Novel Of Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, And Lady Rochford  The Woman Who Helped Destroy Them Both
  • The Favored 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

Queens of England (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Myself, My Enemy (Queens of England, #1)
  • Queen of This Realm (Queens of England, #2)
  • Victoria Victorious: The Story of Queen Victoria (Queens of England, #3)
  • The Lady in the Tower (Queens of England, #4)
  • The Courts of Love (Queens of England, #5)
  • In the Shadow of the Crown (Queens of England, #6)
  • The Reluctant Queen: The Story of Anne of York (Queens of England, #8)
  • The Merry Monarch's Wife (Queens of England, #9)
  • William's Wife (Queens of England, #10)
  • The Rose Without a Thorn (Queens of England, #11)
The Lady in the Tower (Queens of England, #4) Murder Most Royal (Tudor Saga, #5) Katharine of Aragon: The Wives of Henry VIII (Tudor Saga, #2-4) The Rose Without a Thorn (Queens of England, #11) To Hold the Crown (Tudor Saga #1)

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