Beth's Reviews > The Constant Princess

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
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Aug 20, 07

bookshelves: historicalfiction
Read in August, 2007

I'm going to start out by saying 1) I love historical fiction and 2) I loved Margaret George's, The Autobiography of Henry VIII with notes by his fool Will Sommers (one of my fave books of all time).

So when I have the opportunity to go back to Kind Henry VIII's court I do! I've read the Other Boleyn Girl, I've read Elizabeth I by Rosamund Miles to learn about the time after Henry VIII, etc.

Therefore I was really looking forward to learning more about Henry's first wife, Katherine of Aragon.

The Constant Princess, is the story of Katherine of Aragon or Catalina, Infanta of Spain. It covers Catalina's childhood in Spain, her betrothal to Arthur (Henry's older brother), their marriage, his death, her agonizing wait to convince the King of England that marrying her to his 2nd son was the best solution to all the problems of dowry, etc, and the early years of her marriage to Henry and her rule as Queen of England.

I found the beginning part about her childhood and her marriage to Arthur interesting. Her wait to marry Henry was as agonizing for the reader as it was for her (this section became very repetitive), and then the end was incredibly rushed. The author took 400 pages to cover her life up until her 3rd pregnancy and then skipped 13 years of her reign and the turmoil that became her relationship with Henry as he decided to divorce her and marry Anne Boleyn (I think that would have been very interesting material to read about) and then devoted 1 1/2 pages to the court hearing about annulling her marriage to Henry. It was almost as if she got tired of writing about her....

All in all I thought this book was just OK.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Janet I totally agree with you. So much was missing.


Arielle I understand what you are saying, and I definitely would have liked to read more about her reign and the development of her relationship with Henry. I think that Gregory might have chosen not to conintue writing about her because this stage of her life was covered in the Other Boleyn girl... although it wasnt in Catalina's perspective.


message 3: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Thanks for the book recommendation!


Kaushalya Completely agreed...


Monica I agree. I've been stuck on page 368 for weeks. I can't bring myself to finish this. I keep thinking there aren't enough pages left to finish the story. I also enjoyed Margaret George's book on Henry VIII and I enjoyed Gregory's other works. I just don't feel strongly about this one.


Rachel Agreed. Her time with Arthur and even up to her waiting to marry Henry was interesting. I was upset with the ending, all of a sudden she had defeated the Scots and then it skipped forward a decade + ? Unfair.


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