Katharine, the Virgin Widow
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Katharine, the Virgin Widow (Tudor Saga #2)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  524 ratings  ·  46 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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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
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
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
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
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
Ashlee
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.
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.
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.
Barbara
As a stand alone book it would have been interesting and that is why I gave it three stars. It is however not a stand alone book but one in a series and as that it is dull since it repeats a lot already said in part 1. Can't say I look forward to reading part 3 as I am afraid the same will occur.
Carrie
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.
Nancy
Certainly not as exciting as Phillippa Gregory's version, but it did have a good deal more detail about Katherine's family and the people who surrounded her as she waited in poverty to see what would become of her after her husband, Arthur died.
Jirinka (sony08)
Really like this book. Easy and quick to read, it's great to read the story of Henry VIII's first wife from her point of view and read more about the goings on in Spain at that time and her sister Juana.
Kaytee
Not bad. It gets a little long winded at times and throwing names in that I was not familiar with so kinda breezed through those sections especially since it didn't really matter in the plot line anyways.
Elizabeth Moffat
This is the second in jean plaidys Tudor series and a very enjoyable read, although i am a little confused over why plaidy focused on her plainness so much, wasn't she supposed to have been beautiful?
Michelle Robinson
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I really appreciate the great respect that Plaidy had for historical accuracy in her work.

Really fascinating I was easily engrossed in her work.
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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...
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: The Story of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York (Queens of England Series, #11)

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