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Patience, Princess Catherine Paperback – January 1, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
Book 4 of 6 in the Young Royals Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up–Meyer gives voice to Catherine of Aragon as she recounts the story of her betrothals and marriages. The political and economic gains and machinations upon which these unions were based are clearly chronicled in this carefully researched offering. Catherine's dramatic narrative begins as she embarks, at the age of 15, on the arduous journey from Spain to England to become the wife of Prince Arthur, a match made for her when she was only three. She tells of her life in England, moving from the enviable position of a future queen to that of a young girl far from home who is beholden to the generosity of the king of England. After six months of an unconsummated marriage, Catherine is widowed. Diplomatic negotiations rule her life as she is betrothed to his younger brother, the future King Henry VIII, but the path to that marriage is strewn with international agreements that are made and revoked. Once Prince Henry becomes king, he marries Catherine and this union lasts some 24 years until he turns to Ann Boleyn. Through it all, Catherine is a pawn. Meyer seamlessly provides details about customs and beliefs in bringing history to life. Her Catherine develops from a callow young girl into a woman who fights for her rights as much as the times permitted. As in Mary, Bloody Mary (Harcourt, 1999), the author's rich prose style draws readers in as her skill at characterization creates a protagonist who evokes compassion.–Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. This rewarding historical novel opens in 1533, as Catherine of Aragon once again refuses to release King Henry VIII from their marriage, renounce her title, or recognize Anne Boleyn as queen. Imprisoned in a "moldering castle" and allowed no visitors and no contact with her daughter, Mary, Catherine reflects on her experiences, beginning with her voyage to England at age 15 to marry young Prince Arthur. Their unconsummated marriage lasts six months until his death in 1502. Over the next seven years, Catherine lives with increasing poverty and decreasing prospects of marrying England's new crown prince, Henry. Though younger readers may be puzzled or disturbed by Catherine's reference to sprinkling sheep's blood onto the sheets of her first marriage bed, this is a small part of the larger story. The novel creates a vivid portrayal of Catherine, her difficult life, and her brief periods of happiness with Arthur and Henry. Catherine's sympathetic narrative mentions two figures, her daughter, Mary, and rival, Anne Boleyn, who told their stories in Mary, Bloody Mary (1999) and Doomed Queen Anne (2002). Catherine's account enlarges the intricate tapestry of Meyers' Young Royals series. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1030L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Gulliver Books Paperbacks; 1 edition (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152054472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152054472
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Catherine of Aragon was a young Spanish princess known as Catalina when she left her home in the summer of 1501 to sail to England. Catherine had known since childhood that she was betrothed to Prince Arthur, heir to the throne of England, and that one day she would have to leave Spain to marry him. Now that she is fifteen, that day has come. Arriving in England, Catherine has hope for her future. Arthur appears kind, and it seems they will at least be friends. But due to Arthur's poor health, their marriage is in name only. And just six months after the wedding, Arthur suddenly dies. Now Catherine finds her once-certain future in question. As a woman she is utterly powerless to make decisions about her own life, and can only wait while those in power determine her fate. Will she be returned to Spain so that her parents can negotiate a new marriage for her elsewhere -- or will she be married to Arthur's younger brother Prince Henry, the new heir to the throne of England?

Carolyn Meyer brought the world of Tudor England to life in this novel. Catherine is portrayed as a real young woman with hopes and dreams, making her ultimate fate seem all the more tragic. Readers who enjoyed the author's other books in the Young Royals series won't want to miss this one. It will also appeal to readers of the Royal Diaries series, and teens who enjoy historical fiction about royalty.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Patience, Princess Catherine is Carolyn Meyer's YA retelling of Catalina of Spain's early years in the Tudor Court, her marriage, teenage widowhood, and subsequent years-long struggle to see her promised betrothal to her one-time brother-in-law, Prince Henry, realized. Framed by chapters where an older Catherine, victim of King Henry's attempts to see their marriage dissolved, Patience, Princess Catherine is a diary-like reminiscence of Catherine's arrival in England, interspersed with brief passages from Henry's point-of-view.

Having just finished Philippa Gregory's The Constant Princess, I sadly found this fictional retelling of Catherine's life sorely lacking. While Meyers does an adequate job sticking to the historical record in that Arthur is viewed as weak and sickly, his marriage to Catherine left unconsummated, facts alone do not a compelling story make. Meyers' incarnation of Catherine is curiously lifeless -- there is no suggestion of the vibrant queen who reigned at Henry's side for over twenty years, who fought for her marriage and position. Catherine here is immature, easily swayed, and -- thanks to the diary-like format of most of the novel -- frankly boring as there is no well-formed narrative, only a dry recitation of events punctuated by fictional insight into Henry's psyche.

Given the inevitable tragic conclusion of Henry and Catherine's marriage, the insight Meyer's attempts to provide into Henry's youthful view of Catherine suggest -- in this context -- that Henry harbored a passion for his first bride. Whether or not this is in fact the case, Meyer's writes Henry with the voice of a man much older than ten years of age when the book opens.
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The Young Royals series is terrific. I've purchased them all for my daughter, and I'm reading them too so that I can discuss them with her. They are a fast read (for an adult), and they portray the historical periods well. Meyers's rendering of the protagonists is insightful, and she makes her reader care about each of them, even when their choices are unsavory. Each of the books -- Catherine, Anne, Mary, Elizabeth -- presents a different perspective on similar events, so I recommend reading them all. These books are a great way to get your daughter interested in history.
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I read the first book in 5th grade, now leaving 6th grade entering the world of 7th, this is a great series. I didn't know it was a series in till now, today to be exact. I've fell in love with the olden times and this shows that, no madder how much you think princess and princes have a good life, they come with great responsibilities and sacrifices. I recommend this series to middle school students and early on high school students (endless you are like me and you are progressing faster then an average student. I'm a 7th grader and I read at a 11th grade level)!!!
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By S. Roth on October 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book was great! I loved how you saw Catherine and Henry. They were both fun to watch and see how they interacted with each other and with the people around them. It was great to see how much historically accurate information was included. It took me about 20 pages to get into it, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. This is a GREAT book for people of all ages.
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Format: Paperback
This series has turned out to be a pleasant surprise! We have been studying the Middle Ages this year, and while looking for additional reading material I found these books. Told from the perspective of a young person, these stories captivate young minds(and old ones). My kids, 12 and 9, have enjoyed reading these. We have all learned so much more about these individuals, and of the time and world they lived in than we ever did from a dry textbook. History came to life between the pages of this Young Royals Series. I cannot recommend them enough. Now, if only they were available for Kindle and Audible!!! :)
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