Mandy Moody's Reviews > Katharine of Aragon: The Wives of Henry VIII

Katharine of Aragon by Jean Plaidy
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Mar 30, 09

bookshelves: english-royalty, historical-fiction
Read in March, 2009

Katherine of Aragon is actually a trilogy of books that were originally published separately, but have now been combined into one volume, with each book representing a separate part. As I read it, I thanked God that it had been combined like it was.
At times I really loved this book, at times I really hated it. The first part was incredibly slow for me. The period between Katherine arriving in England and marrying Arthur, the period between Arthurs death and Katherine marrying Henry - both dragged on for ages. When it finally wrapped up and I realized that the slow begining of this book had been an entire stand-alone novel at one point I wondered how anyone had ever read it as that!
The second part was my favorite - maybe because it was about the portion of Katherine's life when she was actually happy. I thought Plaidy's knowledge of the time period and Katherine's relationship with Henry was outstanding.
The third book started off very well, but ended up even slower than the first book. Katherine and Henry's estrangement (the time between when he attempted to divorce her and the time that he actually married Anne Boleyn) in real life lasted about 8 years. Reading about it felt like three times that.
Jean Plaidy seemed to be very sympathetic towards Katherine, so much so that I'd be interested to see how she portrays Anne Boleyn. Overall, I think it was a good, solid portrayal of Katherine's life. I would have rated it 3.5 stars were half stars allowed :)
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