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Katharine, the Virgin Widow (Tudor Saga #2)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  619 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Katharine of Aragon was sent to England to become the bride of Arthur, Prince of Wales. But when her frail husband died, a fateful question loomed: Was the marriage consummated, or was the young widow still a virgin? On that delicate point hinged Katharine's--and England's--future.
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Published August 1st 2008 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1961)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,727)
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Kerrie
Jean Plaidy was my absolute fave in historical fiction those many years ago when I discovered Henry and Eleanor (Peter and Kate) in Lion in Winter and went absolutely Plantagenet-crazy throughout high school. I read her Plantagenet trilogy and began to expand into the Tudor era but somehow I overlooked this one. As time has passed, I've noticed the quirks of Plaidy's writing in recent years (mainly the dryness and repetition of the prose) and consequently she's no longer my favorite when it come ...more
Donna
I enjoy reading ‘Tudor’ historical fiction and was pleasantly surprised when this author showed up on a reading list that I am trying to get through (my last reading list for this year). So I wholeheartedly looked forward to this series by Plaidy.

I was surprised that I was a little disappointed though. This book was just okay for me. I just didn’t feel drawn in. It was written well, but it just seemed like a regurgitation of facts. I wanted more relationship building and more info on the people
...more
Tracy Fenwick
This is not my normal choice of genre for books, however it was this month's choice in the Book Club that I go to. Within this I get to read books that I wouldn't generally pick and sometimes they're a gem of a find and I really enjoy them. Unfortunately this was not one of them. I rarely read historical fiction and this reminded me as to why that is.

This is the tale of Katherine of Aragon, beginning with her departure from her family in Spain and arriving in England to be married to Prince Arth
...more
Yvette
A most excellent way to learn a bit about the history of the British monarchy! Thank goodness for Plaidy doing all the research and then putting it in an easy to read and understand form for the rest of us!! Read it on the heels of "To Hold the Crown" so some seemed a bit redundant, but I guess history doesn't change, even if the title of a novel does!
Allie
The first in the Katharine of Aragon trilogy, this is an easy to read novel that even though it was originally published in 1961, holds it own with modern historical fiction. It's easy to feel sorry for her during all the trials and tribulations she endured but I did enjoy the stories of the other characters as well - notably Juana, who I haven't read anything about. The characters of the various ambassadors, maids and The Tudors themselves were interesting and Plaidys's novels are a simple way ...more
Jonari Herondale
Hace mucho que no leía una novela histórica. A pesar de que es ficción (según Wikipedia) muchas cosas que pasaron la autora las agregó. No le puse las 5 estrellas por el simple hecho de que Catalina era muy estúpida e ingenua. A pesar de que Enrique maquinaba planes horribles para divorciarse de ella, siento que le faltó dar pelea. Pero en general la narrativa es genial y te llegas a encariñar con algunos personajes. Definitivamente comprare el siguiente libro para ver como matan a la perra de A ...more
Kari
This is the second in Jean Plaidy's Tudor series and I really enjoyed it! Although the story predominately focuses on Katharine of Aragon, Plaidy also explores the lives of some of the key players around her at the time. The voices of Henry VII, his wife Elizabeth, Dona Elivra Manuel and many others shine through and help bring to life the rich and intriguing world of Tudor England. Most stories focus on Katharine's marriage to Henry VIII so it was refreshing for this one to concentrate on the p ...more
chucklesthescot
Katharine is relieved when she meets the kind and quiet Prince Arthur, imagining a good life together as Prince and Princess of Wales before Arthur becomes King. But tragedy strikes when Arthur dies five months after the wedding and Henry VII is not interested in her welfare as his alliance with Spain flounders. Struggling for money, she endures a long wait to find out if she can marry the new Prince of Wales, the young Henry.

Another good Tudor read, similar in story to Philippa Gregory's 'The C
...more
Richard
The first in the trilogy about Katherine of Aragon, the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, king and queen of a united Spain. This is also book two in the Tudor Series and goes through a similar period of time but this book tells it from Katherine's view.

I thought it would be a bit boring, although I love this type of genre, as there is little about Henry VIII and his father Henry VII. What is does detail is the political intrigue and skullduggery between kings, queens, ambassadors, bishops, co
...more
Theresa~OctoberLace
In the past year I’ve read a number of novels in the historical fiction category that focus on British royalty during the Plantagenet and Tudor eras. This book is the second of Jean Plaidy’s Tudor Series, telling the story of Katharine of Aragon from the time she left Spain at 14 through her marriage to Henry VIII. It was Henry’s frail older brother Arthur that Katharine had come to wed, but Plaidy follows the theory that the marriage was never consummated before Arthur died of illness shortly t ...more
June Louise
"There are times.....when I believe that kings and ambassadors do not think that it is necessary for a princess and her household to eat. She is merely a figure to be used when the state needs her. She can marry. She can bear children. But eat! That is not considered at all necessary."

This sequel to Uneasy Lies The Head traces the melancholy life of Katharine of Aragon following the death of her first husband Prince Arthur, right up until her marriage to Henry VIII. Plaidy describes the years of
...more
Barbara Spencer
I realized on setting out to read this story that styles of writing have totally changed since it was written. Yes, maybe brilliantly researched and factual, but for me it rarely if ever came to life, with page after page of people walking on and saying their lines. Having said that, I always find the Tudors quite fascinating and so not an entirely wasted read.
Rebekah
“I see that all traitors should be hanged.” ~ Henry VIII, as a child. Such foreshadowing.

She constantly references the young princes buried in the tower. I wonder if she ever wrote a novel about them.

I Love how Henry only wants to marry Katherine because his father does not want him to. And marries her to spite the speculation that he will marry to France or other powerful countries in Europe and not to Katherine.

Her sister Juana is a much more pitiful creature then Katherine could ever be. P
...more
Tatjana
I read this book almost 10 years ago. It had some really visual descriptions of the characters and events, almost cold and too realistic. However, I loved it. The book prompted me to search for more books about Tudors, and thats how I ended up with Phillipa Gregory's books, which I absolutely adore.
CJ
I love Plaidy's historicals in the main. There was much more on Katherine's sister, Juana, than I expected, but those detours detailed the political considerations that shaped Katerine's first decades. A bit drier than, say, most of the Queens of England series, but still an enjoyable read.
Galleta Shirahime
Me encanta que el comienzo de esta saga sea tan esperanzador y parezca que todo va bien para la protagonista cuando en realidad todos sabemos como termina Catalina de Aragon.

Me ha gustado el hecho de que se incluyan un montón de personajes y la situación política de las potencias de la época. El personaje de Juana me es de mis favoritos porque la autora no intentó crear a su propia Juana y procuró quedarse con especulaciones sobre muchas de las cosas que ocurrieron con ella. Aunque claro, eso n
...more
Selkie
This book was all right, but it tended to harp on the issue that Katherine was plain, when in fact all contemporary descriptions of her state that she was quite beautiful prior to middle-age, & the misfortune of numerous miscarriages.
Eva
Katharine the Virgin Widow (Tudor Saga #2)
by Jean Plaidy

Focusing on the years prior to her marraige to King Henry VIII, this is the early story of Katharine of Aragon, a pampered and favored princess of Spain, sent to England to become the bride of Arthur, Prince of Wales by her royal parents, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand.

The young infanta, soon finds her frail, young husband dead, and questions of the marriage validity and her place in the court mounting. Prince Henry alone has the powe
...more
Itasca Community Library
Tuki says:

Very interesting to read about the machinations of the royal families in England and Spain during that period of time and how marriage alliances were made to secure political clout.
Kori
If you have already read Philippa Gregory's "The Constant Princess" than you can skip this one; it is the same story with only a slightly different point of view. The author seems to stand on he side of those historians that believe Katharine's marriage to Arthur was not consummated, but there isn't much of a storyline attached to that here.

Plaidy wrote two more books about Katharine's life, and presumably this POV is relevant later on. If you are only going to read one of these books, I sugges
...more
Nancy
Katherine of Aragon has come to England to marry Arthur the heir apparent of Henry VII. However Arthur is a somewhat sickly boy and does not survive. So what is to become of Katherine? Henry VII wrangles over the money to be paid for her dowry with her father the King of Spain. In the mean time the wives of both kings die leaving the whole situation worse than before. If you like history and want to read about people in charge who put today's politicians to shame this is the type of book you'll ...more
Shannon
This is the first Tudor series that has formed a love story with Henry the 8ths brother, Arthur (who was king for a few years before Henry).

It was cute and believable, but I'd actually forgotten that I read it a few years ago until my sister asked me about it.

Well worth the read for lovers of historical fiction, with a focus on historical accuracy. I wouldn't reccommend it to anyone who can't handle an ending that isn't exactly happy.
Rebecca
This book tells the same story as the previous book, except from the perspective of Katharine of Aragon ("Uneasy Lies the Head" focuses on King Henry VII of England). I couldn't get into the book until I was about halfway through it, since the beginning was a repeat of the first book. The writing is a bit stodgy, but this series tells the stories of the Tudor dynasty in a much more accessible way than a non-fiction book or textbook.
Gretchen
Another lovely novelization of the saga of the wives of Henry VIII. I believe this is the first one in the series and it was captivating, as was the first one I read, "The Lady in the Tower." I will definitely be reading this entire series and then going back to the Plaidy well and reading her other sagas based on the history of Great Britain. She has a powerful voice which makes history spring to life, which is delightful.
Kimmy
Pretty good, I never really knew Katherine of Aragons story before x
Karen Galber
This is Jean Plaidy at her best who tells the story of Katharine of Aragon coming over to England to marry Arthur Prince of Wales. Arthur unfortunately dies 6 months later. Katharine is left a widow in penury.
What is really interesting is the back story of Juana, Katharine 's sister.
This book although written over 50 years ago has stood the test of time
theelfqueen
I listened to the audio version of this book. At one point I realized that the previous-library-user had placed two disks out of order... I guess I was so uninterested in the book that the giant gaping hole from 1/8 of the story really meant nothing to me... because after realizing this, I didn't go back and listen to it.
Katie
Oh, Jean Plaidy novels. I can't stop reading you, but I don't like you very much, either.

As always: dialogue to the dullest effect, dragging plot, more biography than historical fiction. Always interesting to read about the politics of the times, but Plaidy just never really knew when it stopped being interesting.
Debbie
Just finished it...2 days before it was due! I think that is a record for me...it was only 200 pages, but still a record! This is about Henry VIII's first wife, Katherine, before she became his wife. It also talks of him when he was a child and his brother, who Katherine was married to before Henry.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 12, 2015 10:20AM  
  • At the King's Pleasure  (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #4 )
  • A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • Elizabeth, Captive Princess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #2)
  • The King's Pleasure
  • Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • The Queen of Subtleties: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • Catherine Howard: The Queen Whose Adulteries Made a Fool of Henry VIII
  • The Fifth Queen
  • Anne Boleyn: Henry VIII's Obsession
  • Coronation of Glory: The Story of Lady Jane Grey
  • Mistress Anne
  • My Enemy, the Queen
  • Secrets of the Tudor Court
  • Elizabeth and Essex
6590
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)
  • 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)
  • Gay Lord Robert (Tudor Saga, #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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