117 of 137 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Constant Princess (Hardcover)
I'm a big fan of Philippa Gregory's novels, but it seems she's writing them too quickly. This one's subject -- Katherine of Aragon's girlhood and marriages to Prince Arthur and Henry VIII -- is potentially fascinating, as is the underestimated Katherine, or Catalina as she is known here. And without spoiling the novel's secret, it is bold of Gregory to make certain assumptions about Katherine's marriages. However, none of the characters is as well developed as in her better novels, such as Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth. The historical events are also presented superficially, with no real sense of the complexity of court intrigue at this time. Henry VII is sketched as a mere dirty old man lusting after his son's fiancee, and Henry as a spoiled adolescent. This novel also lacks the subtle supernatural touches that enliven Wise Woman, the Wideacre trilogy, and The Queen's Fool.
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Initial post: Apr 6, 2008 9:15:15 PM PDT
Amazon Customer says:
I was disappointed as well. I found myself wanting the book to end, which is usually the opposite for me. Good review.
Posted on Jan 18, 2009 10:00:57 PM PST
I actually quite enjoyed the book, and enjoyed the fact that even if it was bold of Gregory to do so, she brought forth what is still probably an unpopular opinion that Katherine may have consummated her first marriage to Arther. And let us be realistic, this is historical fiction. Of course there is artistic license and assumptions made. I look forward to some of the other books I've purchased, but I do agree on one of your points. There could have been a little more depth to Henry VII and Henry VIII.
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