The first book in Philippa Gregory's "Tudor" series
Katherine of Aragon, or Catalina as she was known to her family, was the youngest daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Her parents were two of the most powerful rulers in Europe, so their children were destined to rule as well. At the age of 3, Katherine was promised to the English Prince Arthur whom she married at the age of 15. Katherine and Arthur were very much in love, but their marriage lasted a very short time because Arthur died young, leaving Katherine a widow and ineligible for the throne. On his death bed, Arthur made Katherine promise to marry his younger brother Henry, claiming that their young marriage was never consummated. This was the only way she could become queen, have children as heirs to the throne of England, and rule the country which was her destiny.
This richly detailed fictional portrait of Henry VIII’s first wife follows her through the years of waiting in exile and poverty until Henry was of age to marry and all the political pawns were in place for Katherine to reclaim her rightful title as Queen Consort; her surprisingly happy marriage to Henry and very capable ruling of England beside him; and finally the divorce that led to Henry VIII’s second famous wife, Anne Boleyn
Gregory paints a compelling picture of Katherine of Aragon as a woman of indomitable spirit, unwavering faith and extraordinary strength. The historic accuracy, suspense, political intrigue and rich dialogue help to pull the reader along to the well-known conclusion.