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Katharine of Aragon: The Wives of Henry VIII

(Tudor Saga #2-4)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,922 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
For the first time in paperback--all three of Jean Plaidy's Katharine of Aragon novels in one volume.

Legendary historical novelist Jean Plaidy begins her tales of Henry VIII's queens with the story of his first wife, the Spanish princess Katharine of Aragon.

As a teenager, Katharine leaves her beloved Spain, land of olive groves and soaring cathedrals, for the drab, rainy i
Paperback, 661 pages
Published February 22nd 2005 by Broadway Books (first published 1962)
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Nov 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This title actually encompasses a trilogy originally published as 3 separate works: “Katharine the Virgin Widow,” “The Shadow of the Pomegranate,” and “The King’s Secret Matter.” Katharine was the first (and longest) wife of Henry VIII, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella (rulers of Spain).

Without dwelling on the fascinating story of Queen Katharine who was undoubtedly the purest and most deserving of Henry’s wives, I’d rather speak of the author, Jean Plaidy. With the discovery of this author I’
Sara Giacalone
Whew! This is a big, long book (it's really three books in one). I enjoyed it overall, even if it seemed a bit familiar. The characters are well developed (if a bit familiar in their portrayal) and the plot moves along nicely throughout. I will continue reading the series...
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a long investment in time and it would have ranked much higher if it had only been a bit shorter. But it wasn't until after the reading that I learned it is actually 3 books in one. But that is what happens when you read on the Kindle. As I was reading the scale in which I planned to score this went anywhere from a 2 -5. So if you like a lot of history in your Historical Fiction then you will enjoy.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book about the life of Henry VIII's first wife. This book is really 3 books in 1, with the first book beginning with Katherine's coming to England to marry Arthur, who will one day be king when his father, Henry VII, dies. The book continues with Katherine marry Henry when Arthur dies, though it is several years later. Katherine is kept waiting for years in England until Henry finally decides he wants to marry her, basically because all of his advisors warn him not to do so. The marria ...more
Mandy Moody
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 dragge
The Book Queen
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
2.5 stars

I've heard a lot of good stuff about Jean Plaidy's books, and to be honest I was disappointed. I think historical fiction is a very hard genre to write about; you've got to keep the story interesting, but also stay true to the facts. I think Plaidy did a lot more of the latter than the former.

I'm not one of those people who are obsessed with everything in a historical novel being totally accurate; I like it to be more or less true, with more emphasis on the story than the history. That'
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure if it was the translation issue or something else, but this is seriously boring. I did gave it a try, quite a few times and it was really annoying, so I honestly give up on reading it further.
Christine Cazeneuve
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
By far my favorite book on Katharine of Aragon. This is actually three books combined into one and was a page turner. I have read many books on Queen Katharine but I feel I came to know her the best through Jean Plaidy's wonderful novel.
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: purge
Katharine of Aragon, by Jean Plaidy

"Katharine of Aragon," by Jean Plaidy, is actually an omnibus of the author's three previous novels about Henry VIII's first queen. The books are: "Katharine, the Virgin Widow," "The Shadow of the Pomegranate," and "The King's Secret Matter." So this volume is a great deal, as you're really getting three books for the price of one.

Plaidy is an excellent historical fiction writer. I'd seen her recommended several times, and was eager to read something of hers. K
Michelle Robinson
What I really enjoy about Plaidy's work is her respect for the known or documented history of the time that she writes about she faithfully depicts the era in this novel. I enjoyed reading about events that have been documented in nonfiction sources.
I found Katherine to be an interesting and sympathetic subject. I felt sorry for what she was made to suffer but I also was able to see her as an admirable woman who would not easily be victimized. She stood up for herself, as much as she could, aga
Laura Pre
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historicals
God knows I hate to give Plaidy a bad review. She's my role model. At the same time, I have to point out what I big disappointment this book was for me. The main reason is that it focuses very little on Catherine herself. Far too much of it is about her sister, Joan. Joan is a fascinating woman, and C. W. Gornter covered her in a masterful book. But if you title a book about Catherine, give the poor woman her due. Henry VIII passed over her and Plaidy committed the same sin by relegating her to ...more
Dec 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
I have to admit I didn't finish this one. The first section, which would have been book 2 of the series had I gotten them separately, basically just retold the last half of book 1 from a different point of view, and had I known this I would've skipped it altogether. So far my impression of this author is that she tells a good story, but takes a lot longer than necessary to tell it. I just couldn't get through this one.
Apr 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone that likes Historical fiction from the Tudor time period
Shelves: fiction, historical, tudor
I really enjoyed this book. It is actually 3 novels in one. They are all about Katherine of Aragon and are about her life from a young girl to her death. It paints Katherine of Aragon as a very strong if not stubborn woman. Filled with historical facts as well as speculations as to how these people really were when alive makes this book well worth reading.
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Since I'm a big fan of historical novels and especially when writer/author brings in genuine true historical figures like King Henry VIII & his first wife Katharine of Aragon this is a winner. Jean Plaidy brought Katharine to life for me and also evoked much sympathy for her position and her difficult struggles with her husband King.
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jeralyn lovell
Oct 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Loved this fictional account based on her true story. Wow! She's quite the queen.
Victoria Quinn
Mar 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
this is dragging on...
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though written more than fifty years ago this trilogy of novels about Katharine of Aragon is still a highly enjoyable read. I found Jean Plaidy’s telling of the related stories of Katharine’s father, sister and nephew added an interesting European political dimension to this tragic tale, popularised in recent television historical dramas such as “The Tudors” and ”Wolf Hall”. I am very tempted to go on and read the prequels and sequels to this story in Jean Plaidy’s prolific output, but as I have ...more
Quite a long book to get through! But it did provide a detailed look into Katharine of Aragon's rise and fall as Henry VIII's first Queen. I felt this did a good job portraying the main characters in this drama- Henry came across as a petulant, self-centered man while Katharine seemed to be stubbornly loyal and virtuous. A good overview of the King's first marriage while providing some insight into the Hapsburg, French and Spanish courts as well. I found it odd that Thomas More did not have a la ...more
Carla Assor
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sufrí las 661 páginas junto con Catalina, anhelando que su destino repuntara. Sin querer, termine sabiendo mucho sobre las monarquías medievales.
Cynthia T Cannon
I enjoyed this historical. Novel

I have read other biographies of Katherine and this is one of the best for bringing historical facts to life.
Sandra Ferrer  Valero
Una novela preciosa que aborda la trágica vida de Catalina de Aragón.
I'm often lukewarm about Plaidy's books, even though I'd choose her stuff above most of today's HF. Sometimes the prose is too simplistic or there is too much repetition as the same points are brought up over and over again within the span of a few pages. This book was no different on the latter point, but there seemed to be a depth in the character of Katharine that was lacking in her books on Catherine of Valois (The Queen's Secret) and Margaret Tudor (The Thistle and the Rose). Katharine's fo ...more
Loris Bisteni
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Está muy bien redactado, muy interesante, no solo habla de la dinastía Tudor también entra tantito en la historia de los Estuardo y menciona acontecimientos impactantes que sucedieron en esa época y en Roma. Muy buen libro
Sep 23, 2016 added it
Excellent historical fiction!
Lolly's Library
Feb 17, 2014 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

If I'd read this compilation (or the individual novels) about twenty years ago, before I'd studied and read so much concerning Tudor history, I probably would've enjoyed it more. As it is, I just know too much and have too many suppositions and theories of my own; whenever I came upon points of contention, I would say to myself, "Ah, so she went with this version of that event. Okay, so she used this birth date rather than the later one." And so on. So while I can appreciate that Plaidy
Kilian Metcalf
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used to wonder about Katherine of Aragon. Why couldn't she be sensible like Anne of Cleves? Why not just give the king an annulment like he wanted and live in comfort as his not-wife? Part of it was, I think, due to her pride as a Spanish princess. She felt she would be betraying the legacy of her mother, Queen Isabella, and part due to her fears for the future of her daughter Mary. If she allowed an annulment, where did that leave her daughter? In limbo, neither legitimate nor a bastard but s ...more
There are few things I enjoy as much as being immersed in a Tudor historical fiction book, show or movie. This saga, which this three books in one edition doorstopper truly is, fully delivers. Plaidy tells the story of Katherine of Aragon's childhood, arrival in England, and all the travails that ensued as a pawn in royalty game of Tudor era England, until her fall from favor and end of her life. Plaidy weaves in varied alternative points of view to enrich the goings on at the court and around t ...more
Jul 24, 2009 rated it liked it
This is the story of Katherine of Aragon, Spanish princess (daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella) and first wife of Henry VIII. She is first sent off to England to marry Arthur (Henry VIII’s older brother); Arthur dies, she is stuck in England, living off the meager allowance Henry VII provides her. She is ultimately married to Henry VIII. They have several children, all of whom, except for Mary, are miscarried or die in infancy/early childhood. Henry VIII needs a male heir and thinks he’d have a ...more
Arnulfo  Novo
La Princesa Viuda: Catalina de Aragón es el primer libro de la trilogía “Las Reinas Tudor” (La princesa viuda. Catalina de Aragón: Las reinas Tudor I, La dama de la torre. Ana Bolena: Las reinas Tudor II y Una rosa sin espinas. Catalina Howard: LAS REINAS TUDOR III) Este primer libro cuenta la historia real de Catalina de Aragón (hija de los reyes católicos de España: Isabel y Fernando) y su matrimonio con Enrique VIII. Jean Plaidy, la autora, escribió más de 200 libros, 80 de ellos sobre monarc ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 12, 2015 10:09AM  
  • Plain Jane
  • The King's Pleasure
  • Virgin: Prelude to the Throne
  • Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • Mistress Anne
  • Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford
  • The Queen's Mistake (In the Court of Henry VIII, #2)
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • My Enemy, the Queen
  • Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)
  • Vengeance Is Mine: A Novel Of Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, And Lady Rochford  The Woman Who Helped Destroy Them Both
  • By Royal Decree (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #3)
  • The Queen of Subtleties: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • Dear Heart, How Like You This?
  • The Fifth Queen
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

Other books in the series

Tudor Saga (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • To Hold the Crown (Tudor Saga #1)
  • Katharine, the Virgin Widow (Tudor Saga, #2)
  • The Shadow of the Pomegranate (Tudor Saga, #3)
  • The King's Secret Matter (Tudor Saga, #4)
  • Murder Most Royal (Tudor Saga, #5)
  • The King's Confidante (Tudor Saga, #6)
  • The Sixth Wife (Tudor Saga, #7)
  • The Thistle and the Rose (Tudor Saga, #8)
  • Mary, Queen of France (Tudor Saga, #9)
  • The Spanish Bridegroom (Tudor Saga, #10)
“think the Princess should read the New Testament both night and morning, and also certain selected portions of the Old Testament. She must become fully conversant with the gospels. She should, I believe also study Plutarch's Enchiridion, Seneca's Maxims, and of course Plato and Cicero.” He glanced at his friend. “I suggest that Sir Thomas More's Utopia would provide good reading.” 0 likes
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