Nancy Schober's Reviews > The Constant Princess

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
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's review
May 13, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: series-tudors

Made me really respect Katherine of Aragon.[return][return]On the weather;[return] "It gets far worse than this," he said cheerfully. "Far colder, it rains or sleets or snows, and it get darker. In February we have only a couple of hours of daylight at best and then there are the freezing fogs which turn day into night so it is forever gray."[return][return]Sure they're not speaking of Holland?[return][return]On fake it 'til you make it?[return][return]"We are all pretenders until we win. When we win, we can rewrite the history"[return][return]"True obedience can only happen when you secretly think you know better, and you choose to bow your head. Anything short of that is just agreement,"[return][return]On a mother withholding approval and validation;[return][return]I fold the letter carefully, matching the edges one to another as if tidiness matters very much. I think that if she knew of the despair that laps at the edges of my mind like a river of darkness, she would have written to me more kindly. If she knew how very alone I am, how grieved I am, how much I miss him, she would not write to me of settlements and jointures and titles. If she knew how much I loved him and how I cannot bear to live without him, she would write and tell me that she loves me, that I am to go home to her at once, without delay.[return][return]I like being queen. I like having pretty things and rich jewels and a lap dog, and assembling ladies-in-waiting whose company is a pleasure.[return]Well, duh.[return][return]On enlightenment in the medical profession. Here she's talking about a Moorish doctor in Tudor times. But the same could be said of someone consulting an alternative practitioner today.[return][return]They are prepared to think anything, to consider anything; nothing is taboo. These people are educated where we are fools, where I am a fool. I might look down on him as coming from a race of savages, I might look down on him as an infidel doomed to hell, but I need to know what he knows.[return][return]What moors & Quakers have in common?[return][return]"I was brought up to hate no one," he said gently. "Perhaps that is what I should be teaching you before anything else."[return][return]On doing your own thinking;[return][return]They were wrong, my mother and father. Finally, I say the unsayable, unthinkable thing. Soldiers of genius they may have been, convinced they certainly were, Christian kings they were called--but they were wrong. It had taken me all my life to learn this.[return][return]A state of constant warfare is a two-edged sword: it cuts both the victor and the defeated.[return][return]I think to some extent we use the tools we know. The whole idea that when you have a hammer everything looks like nails. Maybe the world is bigger than we can imagine.[return][return]Words have weight. Something once said cannot be unsaid, meaning is like a stone dropped into a pool; the ripples will spread and you cannot know what bank they wash against.[return][return]My goodness! Do I believe that! Many times someone has come up to me and said, 'Do you remember saying to me/telling me...?' I don't. But they were moved and changed by my throw away comments. How scary!

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