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Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen

(Six Tudor Queens #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  6,180 ratings  ·  846 reviews
The lives of Henry VIII's queens make for dramatic stories and Alison Weir will write a series of novels that offer insights into the real lives of the six wives based on extensive research and new theories.

In all the romancing, has anyone regarded the evidence that Anne Boleyn did not love Henry VIII? Or that Prince Arthur, Katherine of Aragon's first husband, who is sai
Paperback, 624 pages
Published May 5th 2016 by Headline Review
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,180 ratings  ·  846 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

First betrothed at the age of three to Arthur, Prince of Wales, the young princess of Spain, Catalina, sails to England at sixteen years of age to marry. Because she is the daughter of the esteemed monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, Catalina’s marriage to Arthur is designed to ensure an Anglo-Spanish alliance against France. In an unforeseen twist of fate, Catalina – anglicized to Princess Katherine – is betro
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed by Julie on

‘Katherine of Aragon’ is the first in the ‘Six Tudor Queens’ series by best-selling British author, Alison Weir. Each chapter covers a year or two in Katherine’s life, charting events from her arrival in England in 1501 to her death in 1536.

As the story is based on fact, there is inevitably a large cast but readers with little knowledge of this period shouldn’t be put off, as there are family trees at the beginning, together with a timeline and
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars.
This is a long book, 624p. I think that it does represent a very good representation of Katherine's viewpoint and also what it was like to be a queen 500 years ago. I was raised Roman Catholic and taught that Henry VIII's move to divorce Katherine was based on lust for Anne Boleyn. But the book makes clear Henry's fear that if he did not have a lawful son and heir, his country might descend into civil war when he died. He had an illegitimate son by a mistress, but his sons by Katherine d
Evgnossia O'Hara
My Review is finally up!

Alison Weir managed to describe the inner world, the emotions and the long-suffering fate of Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of the King Henry the eighth. Through her writing and her deep knowledge of history she brings into live the political principles, the values and the games during the Tudor’s domination in England.

To read more click the link below:

Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen | Review
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
They are the family which we never seem to lost interest in – the subjects of endless books, documentaries and television shows. Even now, the Tudors seem larger than life; with Henry VIII the central character, circled by the six women he married. Now, Alison Weir has started a new historical fiction series, putting each wife at the very centre of her own story.

For many of us, the historical facts will be well known. However, whether you are a history fan or not, you will be able to read this
Tony Riches
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must admit a certain empathy for Katherine of Aragon, so I’d been looking forward to this book since I first heard Alison Weir was writing it. Like many, I was failed by my history teachers, who I remember dismissed Katherine’s almost twenty-four year marriage in their haste to get on to the ‘interesting’ bits. That meant it was up to me to learn Katherine’s amazing story of courage, love, loss - and determination.

Alison recently said of Katherine on the Tudor Times website, “As a woman of hig
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful telling of the life Katherine of Aragon, the true Queen and wife of Henry the Eighth. Katherine is presented as a woman of high morals and standards who stood by both the love she had for Henry and the life that she ultimately was condemned to lead. Hers was a sad life, deprived of her husband's love and denied the ability to be and see her daughter. Her loss of so many children while being married to Henry, was so tragic and yet her Christian faith allowed her to continue o ...more
Cora Tea Party Princess
I love British history and I love seeing different interpretations. Whether it be a speculative piece of fiction based on a place name, a tale inspired by vicious court rumour, or a story founded on fact, I love it all.

I'm not kidding when I say that this book is a door stopper. It's over 600 pages and yes, more than a little bit daunting. But the imagery is stunning. Right from the start, the vivid descriptions transported me to Katherine's side.
Nat K
4.5★s for me.

I think that Alison Weir best sums up this book herself:

”I have tried in these pages to evoke the sights, textures, sounds and smells of an age, a lost world of splendor and brutality, and a court in which love, or the game of it, held sway, but where dynastic pressures overrode any romantic considerations. It was a world dominated by faith and by momentous religious change – and a world in which there were few saints. This was Katherine’s world, and we can only understand her prope
I love this book. I am a huge fan of Tudor history and Tudor fiction and so have read many books by many authors! I love the fact that this books follows the whole story of Katherine of Aragon. Very well written and it gave me a new found respect for what this exceptional monarch went through as a wife, mother and Queen. Highly recommend. Full review on my blog:
Book Riot Community
TUDOR ENGLAND, who doesn’t love it. Alison Weir is embarking on an ambitious project here, to write detailed novels about each of Henry VIII’s storied wives (how she’s going to do super-boring Jane Seymour, I do not know). I’ve had a special place in my heart for Katherine of Aragon since The Tudors, and Katherine of Aragon goes it from her excellent point of view. It could be easy to make her seem overly pious and kind of lame, but this is the daughter of ISABELLA OF CASTILE, and she is damn fa ...more
I actually enjoyed this portrait of Katherine from first arrival in England to her death. I'm a fan of the Tudor period. This was well written and easy light enjoyable reading.
Yet, I'm tired of the misogynistic view of Anne Boleyn as home wrecker and Katherine as the helpless ingenue: unwilling to speak ill of either her husband the King or her rival Anne Boleyn. Both seem simplistic portraits of such complex women.
Weir is one of my favorite historians so I'm disappointed in this showing.
Lolly's Library
4.5 stars

A novel told from the perspective of Katherine of Aragon, stretching from those first heady days when she arrived in England as the bride-to-be of Arthur, first-born son of King Henry VII, to her last painful and ignominious hours she spent as the discarded, yet defiant, wife of King Henry VIII.

I must say, the book started off rather slow for me: once the drama of Katherine's marriage to Arthur had passed and she and Henry were married, most of the time was spent wrapped up in Katherine
Kim Kaso
The tragic story of Henry VIII’s first queen, a true royal, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella. Alison Weir’s research is always outstanding, and her affection and compassion for this woman caught between her love for Spain and England, between her love and devotion to God and her husband, and between her love for her husband and her one living child, Mary, is a beautifully told story. I found myself once again deeply immersed in the complex and endlessly fascinating world of the Tudors. Masterf ...more
Brooklyn Tayla
That was all the phenomenal; and more.
Haunting, moving and fascinating, Alison Weir takes us through the life of Catalina of Aragon, or Katherine as she becomes in England. At age 16 she is betrothed to the young Prince Arthur, who of course tragically dies of illness a short time after they wed.
Eventually, Katherine marries his brother, Henry; and it's here where things take a tragic turn, and this Queen's downfall slowly ends. For Katherine could not bear Henry a live son, which leads him to
Roman Clodia
Jun 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this but Weir is not a natural novelist: where her historical writing is often dense and alive to the complications of the period, this fictional rendering of the life of Katherine is simple, uncomplicated and straightforward. It follows her life from the marriage negotiations with Henry VII through till her death and smooths out all the unknowable and, perhaps, most interesting things about her life: so here we know exactly what happened (or didn't) on her wedding night with P ...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Read out of order, Weir's first book in her Wives of Henry VIII series continues to live up to expectations.
Katherine of Aragon is the paragon of virtue betrothed to Arthur, the Prince of Wales. With his death proceeds the ramifications of the Reformation and the rise and fall of one of the most notorious women in England's history.
What becomes apparent in the reshaping of history here is the reconfiguration of Henry's personality, obsessed with the birth of a legitimate male heir, and the zea
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
As she embarks on a new series, Weir pulls on much of her past research to create strong novels based on the six queens of Henry VIII. The focus of this first novel is Katherine of Aragon, who was betrothed to England's Prince Arthur at a young age. When she arrived in England, Katherine found herself unsure of the decision negotiated by her parents, though she understood she was a pawn to forge a necessary political alliance. Upon meeting her future husband, Katherine began to sense the awkward ...more
Jessie Seymour
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I'm just really into historical fiction coupled with Henry VIII right now. Katherine of Aragon was a wonderful read. I've always had a fascination with the British monarchy, so this book only naturally entices me. I first heard of it at the beginning of May - a month before it was released, so I patiently waited for it to come out then immediately when to Barnes & Noble to purchase. I was so happy to find that I enjoyed it as much as I had hoped I would. Totally worth the newly released, har ...more
Rating this book is difficult because it was very much a rollercoaster ride. The highlight of the book was the part where Henry had become infatuated with Anne and wanted to put Katherine aside, only for Katherine to dig her heels in. Yes, this was far from perfect and I did have issues with the characterisation of Katherine the most, but it was the most interesting to read.

Most of the book felt rather dry and lacked the oomph I had seen in the previous fictional books by Weir. I do understand t
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alison Weir is the author of many books pertaining to the Plantagenet and Tudor eras, both fiction and non-fiction. I’ve enjoyed all of Weir’s non-fiction books but in my experience her novels are a little hit-and-miss. This novel however was both well-written and informing and I enjoyed reading it.

Having read many novels of Katherine of Aragon I was pleased to find that Weir’s perspective was one of the best I’ve read so far. She portrays Katherine as a flesh and blood woman, not a saint, nor d
Judy Lesley
I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine Books.

I have never before felt that I know an historical figure as I now know Katherine of Aragon. Following this shy, young Spanish Princess from the time her ship landed in England until her death was truly a fascinating experience. I don't think author Alison Weir necessarily excels in writing fiction, but she certainly does make up for that with her ability to make this historical figure come po
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the story about Katherine of Aragon who became queen of England . Katherine was married to Henry VIII and reading the story about their notorious marriage was impossible to put down.
Katherine was a very devout and dignified young woman when she moved from her home of Spain to England where she was destined to many dark moments in her life . You have to admire her strength , losing so many children and her husbands behaviour towards her would be enough to destroy most other women. Her be
Nov 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t much care for this one, but I went into it with the wrong expectations.

A couple of years ago I read and enjoyed a novel about Catherine the Great. I had the dim idea that this was the same author, who might also make this queen come to life. Turns out it’s not the same author, and of course Katharine of Aragón is not nearly the historical character Catherine the Great is.

Historical fiction is hit and miss with me. This one fortunately lacks the marshmallow fluff around it that some au
Alison Weir does a good job of grafting a personality on to Katherine as she describes a life of waiting. I recently read Three Sisters, Three Queens focusing on the exciting life of Margaret Tudor which makes the comparison to Katherine’s dull life fresh in my mind.

First you first suffer with her as a widowed princess, as she waits to capture the role she was raised to believe was hers – Queen of England. She is vaguely aware of the political currents on which her marriage to Henry depends. You
This book is part of a 6-book series, each one highlighting a wife of King Henry VIII.

Although we know her as Katherine of Aragon, she was born Catalina, a princess of Spain, daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon in 1485. At age three, a marriage is arranged for her to Arthur, Prince of Wales (King Henry VIII's brother) who was the heir apparent to the English throne. They married in 1501, but a scant 5 months later, Arthur tragically dies.

Seven years later she marries Art
"Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen" is one of pop history writer Alison Weir's foray into novel-writing. The good thing about it is that Weir is undoubtedly very sensitive to the period and she's invested a lot of time in her subject. The downside, though, is that while Weir is good for pop history, she's just not a strong historical fiction writer. Characters' speeches read like copy and paste from actual letters/diaries of the time; details are woven throughout the book seemingly to show off ...more
DNF - it isn't that I didn't like it, it's more that I'm just not in the right frame of mind to read a book such as this currently. And I've decided that life is too short to drag myself through books that I'm not in the mood for, especially when I have so much I want to read.
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
Actual review:

After reading Weir's Innocent Traitor, I was very much not pumped for this book. At all. All of Weir's fiction ventures has been a hit or miss with me. Typically, I enjoyed some portions and really hated others, meaning that it was just a wash in the end. The only book that I really enjoyed by her that was pure fiction was her latest, The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I. It was so well developed and it felt like Weir had finally gotten down how to write a work of fictio
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Katherine of Aragon : The True Queen is the first book in a brand-new series about the Tudor Queens by Alison Weir. Now, I have an incredible fascination with that era that I can’t even begin to explain and this author, to me, is the queen of historical Tudor fiction. Suffice to say I could have danced on the table when the postman delivered this book.

This novel starts off with Katherine, or Catalina as she was then, on the ship that will take her from Spain to England to marry Prince Arthur, wh
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Alison Weir is a British writer of history books for the general public, mostly in the form of biographies about British kings and queens, and of historical fiction. Before becoming an author, Weir worked as a teacher of children with special needs. She received her formal training in history at teacher training

Other books in the series

Six Tudor Queens (6 books)
  • Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession (Six Tudor Queens, #2)
  • Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen (Six Tudor Queens, #3)
  • Anna of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait (Six Tudor Queens, #4)
  • Katheryn Howard: The Tainted Queen (Six Tudor Queens, #5)
  • Untitled Catherine Parr Novel (Six Tudor Queens, #6)
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