Andrea Guy's Reviews > The Constant Princess

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
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Mar 17, 12

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bookshelves: 2012-reads, historical-fiction, supportyourlocallibraryreadingchall
Read from March 16 to 17, 2012

I love the Tudor period in English history. I'm slowly working my way through Gregory's books about the wives of Henry VIII. The Constant Princess is about Henry's first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

Having read several of Gregory's books, I think I'm catching on to a pattern. She likes history, but she obviously doesn't like the historical people she's writing about. In this book, it is very hard to like Catherine, she comes across as really arrogant, and the lie she tells so that she can rightfully become Queen of England.

I know this is historical fiction but she did play fast and loose with history when it came to Arthur's death by the "sweating sickness." I've read many places that Catherine had the same disease. This isn't even touched on in this book. Instead Gregory gives us a flowery romantic deathbed request from Prince Arthur. I found this a little hard to take.

I also found her treatment of Henry to be a little nasty...ok a lot nasty. Most accounts show they had a good marriage, even if Henry wasn't faithful. (That is until those Boleyns entered the picture)

Gregory's writing seemed a bit erratic, as well. She skipped over years of Catherine's life, and ended the book rather abruptly. I'm not sure if that was because Catherine was part of "The Other Boleyn Girl" or because she just didn't want to go on with her story.

There was so much of Queen Catherine's life that was left out. Heck, she didn't even write about the birth of Princess Mary.

I have to say, I was a little disappointed in this book, mostly because of her portrayal of Catherine and her tampering with history. If you can get past that, it is a good read, but sadly it bugged me to much.
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Reading Progress

03/16/2012 page 114
29.0% "OMG Phillipa Gregory really doesn't like Henry VII much."
03/17/2012 page 265
67.0% "Does Phillipa Gregory make all of her historical characters so unlikable? For a woman fascinated with the Tudors she hates Henry VIII"

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