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The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon
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The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  681 ratings  ·  97 reviews
When young Catherine of Aragon, proud daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, is sent to England to marry the weak Prince Arthur, she is unprepared for all that awaits her: early widowhood, the challenge of warfare with the invading Scots, and the utimately futile attempt to provide the realm with a prince to secure the succession. She marries Arthur's energetic, at ...more
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by St. Martin's Press
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3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  681 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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I’ll read just about anything about Henry VIII and his wives, Catherine of Aragon especially. I feel like The Spanish Queen did a great job bring Catherine’s voice to life; from the beginning she radiated a quiet sort of strength, exactly what one would expect from the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella. What I really loved about Erickson’s Catherine, though, was that there was a petty and vengeful side to her that I haven’t seen a whole lot of in what I’ve read. Given the fact that Catherine wa ...more
Also on my blog, Luthien Reviews
Carolly Erickson deserves credit for putting a disclaimer at the end of her novel that it is a “historical entertainment.” Since she often stretches or completely disregards the facts, this was a very important distinction to make.

Up to page 150 or so, I could have given this book three stars—despite its occasional flights of fancy and fictionalized nonsense (such as the inclusion of Catherine's spiteful and illegitimate half-sister).

Then Anne Boleyn was introduce
Dawn Monahan
Definitely not historically accurate but entertaining still!
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Erickson returns with another great tale about one of the six wives of Henry VIII. On this novel, we tackle Catherine of Aragon, Henry's first and longest-serving wife. Born to Ferdinand and Isabella, famed Spanish monarchs of Columbus fame. Erickson paints young Catherine as one who seeks to match her mother's war prowess, even as a young princess. Sent to marry Prince Arthur, Crown Prince of England. Their marriage proved to be less than she hoped and turns out to be the key to her later life, ...more
Carole P. Roman
Dec 17, 2013 rated it liked it
This review is from: The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon (Kindle Edition)
Lackluster fictionalized biography of Catherine of Aragon, Henry the VIII long suffering first wife. Cherished by her mother and tolerated by her philandering father, Catherine is asked to attend her mother in her wedding dress before she departs for her new home, thus setting the stage for bad luck to follow her on the trip to England. She is cursed by her father's mistress as she goes overboa
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Carolly Erickson is a master storyteller, and her new novel is not an exception in this sense. I have to admit I found it quite entertaining even though I had already read other books about Henry's first wife, both fiction and non-fiction. At the same time, the book didn't add a newer, novel perspective to what is already known about Catherine as a historical figure. Catherine's character is strong, and her first-person voice certainly evokes emotion although other novels have created her lyrica ...more
Althea Ann
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well-written, well-researched and very entertaining novel of Catherine of Aragon (first wife of Henry the Eighth). A must for any fan of the Tudor era.

This was my first book by Carolly Erickson, and I was very favorably impressed. I'll definitely seek out more by her.

I received this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Thanks!
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: b-n, own
I have a fondness for Catherine of Aragon of all of Henry's wives and this tale of her's was quite pleasurable. I love the awful portrayl of Anne. Would have liked more detail of her and Henry when they first met but tis okay I still enjoyed the read.
'The Spanish Queen' is a novel written by the novelist Carolly Erickson about the early life of Catherine of Aragon and continues into her marriage with Prince Arthur, and then her marriage to Henry VIII, which leads up to his infatuation with Anne Boleyn and eventually, Catherine's death.

Everyone knows Catherine of Aragon as Henry VIII's long-suffering first wife, but she was a fascinating person in her own right. She was the daughter of the most Catholic monarchs; Isabella of Castile and Ferdi
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
After spending a great deal of time and no little amount of thought on the matter, I am remorse to review this book with only three stars. For all her work in the field of historical fiction, I must say that Carolly Erickson is good at her job and breathes life into characters long dead to the world. However, the life she gives them isn't one I'd likely return to as I do with some of my perennial favorites such as "The Danish Girl" by David Ebershoff or "Victoria" by Daisy Goodwin.

Erickson sets
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book presents a sympathetic portrayal of Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife. Erickson definitely paints a portrait of a strong and capable woman thrust into a society where she has no chance of having her accomplishments recognized unless she gives birth to a male offspring. Giving birth to a son is her primary purpose and nothing else matters. Since during the time of Henry VIII's it was still thought that women determined the sex of the baby, she was blamed for failing to provide ...more
Pop Sugar Challenge 2018: book based on a real person

It's been a while since I read a book by Erickson and I forgot how much I love her writing style. I read 75% of this book in one day (a snow day, no less!). She has a way of drawing you into the story while still maintaining (a majority) historical accuracy. I also enjoy Tudor fiction and liked to learn more about Catherine. With anything during this time period I always hand it to women because it takes a strong, strong woman to deal with the
Nicole B
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of Catherine of Aragon
"The Spanish Queen" was an adequate read, but it suffered by trying to recount too much of Catherine's life. As a result, most events are given in brief and superficial detail. I never felt like I truly got to "know" or understand the characters, and certain relationships are established only to disappear randomly throughout the novel. In fact, Catherine barely seems to interact with anyone - there is very little conversation, it's mostly memories and recollection. Overall, this "entertainment" ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I really enjoy historical fiction as well as the Tudor period of British history but I am unsure as to how much I enjoyed this book. I almost wish it was completely fictional about kings and queens who weren't real but only loosely based on real people and events. The writing was good and intriguing but with a note that states "fresh interpretations and their circumstances are offered, and traditional ones laid aside" it is hard to really accept or recommend this book. I am glad I only paid $1.0 ...more
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Ms. Erickson's books are always entertaining. They are always based on real events, and if some details are not exactly as history has reported them, the reader is usually convinced that, well, things might have happened that way.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
My mom grabbed this for me from the library because back in high school I was fascinated by the Tudors. I still find the topic interesting, but I did not enjoy this interpretation as the characters felt very inauthentic.
Jeramie Sumalpong
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
My heart broke after I finish the story. Though it is a reimagine, I enjoy reading it.
Jessica Risser
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was ok. I'm usually a fan of the tudors, castles, queens etc. this one just wasn't there for me but I'm not sure why. It read like a diary written by Catherine.
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-review, arc
Carolly Erickson’s THE SPANISH QUEEN is a fictionalized autobiography of Catherine of Aragon. Erickson recreates Catherine’s departure from Spain to England and we spend our time in Tudor court.

As a sixteen year old, Catherine of Aragon makes the journey from Spain to England but prior to her departure, Queen Isabella asks her to wear her wedding dress. Everyone around her says it will bring bad luck, but Catherine complies. Shortly afterwards, Catherine is told she’s cursed after a series of ev
C. J.
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I originally reviewed this on my website C. J. Leger Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an avid fan of anything Tutor related, and most especially, anything related to the great Catherine of Aragon, King Henry VIII's first wife.

Carolly's book is subtitled "A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon" and of the many books related to the tutor dynasty, is the first I have encountered that encompasses the story between Henry and Catherine pre-Anne Boleyn.

While Henry, in all his glory, left beh
It was the hiss and crackle of the evening camp fires that I remember most vividly, when I think of my childhood.

As a teenager, Catherine of Aragon is sent to England, a distant and foreign land, far from her native Spain to marry the sickly Arthur, Prince of Wales. When Arthur dies, Catherine unites with his younger brother, Henry, against the tyrant Henry VII. The attraction between the two of them leads to a marriage soon after Henry succeeds to the throne as King Henry VIII. But love quick
Kelly Buchanan
This was...okay. Loses more points if you're looking for something that closely follows the real events. I am a great lover of historical fiction, and I know that liberties always are, and in some cases must be, taken. The real problem for me in this novel was less the liberties taken and more the fact that I feel the book just didn't get at the depth of the subject matter. Catherine of Aragon is a fascinating figure at a pivotal point in English history, and the story seemed in this book to be ...more
Sep 29, 2014 rated it liked it
I am a big fan of Historical fiction. This book gave me the fix I needed. Catherine of Aragon, whose parents were King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella, a warrior princess, is sent to England to marry Arthur, who is a weakly prince & leaves her a young widow. It is then decided for her to marry his brother, Henry, an athletic & energetic young man. These were times when a son ensured a strong & lasting dynasty, & all but one child of Catherine & Henry survived, that being a gir ...more
Sep 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: english-court
The story of Queen Catherine, the wife of Henry VIII of England, the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabela of Spain, doesn’t tell much about her life in Spain. It starts with her voyage to England. This part was drawn out and there was not enough background of her life in Spain to show who she was. It was more about her father and mother, who they were.

There were some stagnant descriptions, not moving the story forward. And there were some that there were very interesting, for ex. the sto
I feel bad for rating “The Spanish Queen” so low. I honestly thought I may like it, even though I did not like Carolly Erickson's “Rival to the Queen.” The characters in “The Spanish Queen”, save for perhaps Queen Catherine herself, lack any dimension. In historical fiction, I crave dynamic, multi-dimensional characters. I understand portraying a minor character as static, but the way Erickson denies, say, King Henry any depth really bothers me (and I'm not even a fan of King Henry VIII). I also ...more
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
It's good Carolly Erickson calls these "historical entertainments" because this veers so far from the truth that the disclaimer should be in the front, and even recommend some non-fiction biographies so the reader doesn't get the wrong impression. I know this is fiction, but when Catherine is present at the birth of Elizabeth, I had to yell at the book. I actually liked the writing, but the distortions of facts were distracting. When an author combines minor characters, moves a date, adds minor ...more
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
As a reader of many novels based on the lives of Tudorian figures, I have to say I was very much impressed with this novel. I have only read Erickson's nonfiction works prior to this, but am now intrigued to read more of her fictitious works. Having read about Catherine's life from the viewpoints of authors such as Plaidy, Meyer and others, I have to say I enjoyed this above the others. Catherine's voice is very prominent in this telling and we as readers see parts of Catherine that have not bee ...more
This was different. I'm so used to Allison Weir and Philippa Gregory. First of all, there is hardly any mention of Princess Mary (Catherine's daughter, simply a few sentences here and there about her arranged marriages. Catherine never says much about missing her, and seems to be more concerned about being usurped by Anne Boleyn.

I love historical re-imaginings more than the next girl, but this one seemed so contrived. I didn't feel like I was reading about the Catherine of Aragon with the steel
Jun 04, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Why did I pick up another book of Erickson's? I know, because it was about my favorite Queen Consort, Catherine of Aragon. Just no! No! Another tale that seems to be too comedic (I don't find anything funny about what happened to her) and far fetched facts, like Katherine giving birth to a child after the Field of Cloth of Gold which occurred in 1520! And this half sister of hers who keeps popping up and causing trouble was pathetic! Henry, I didn't think he could get worse, but he was the cowar ...more
Kristin Lyon
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I like how this book had Catherine as vengeful, sly and cunning. that side of her hasn't really been explored in other books about King Henry. I really love the Tudor period so I will gladly read any of these books. This one doesn't have as much imagery-the music the dresses and jewels, they are there But they don't take up 50 pages and I like that. There's also not as much scandalous lovemaking going on as some of the other books about Tudors. So if you aren't into that then this would be a rea ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 05, 2015 10:16AM  
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Distinguished historian Carolly Erickson is the author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, The First Elizabeth, Great Catherine, Alexandra and many other prize-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. She lives in Hawaii.
“Yet every time I saw Arthur my heart sank.” 0 likes
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