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Catherine of Braganza: Charles II's Restoration Queen Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Once again Watkins manages to introduce me to someone I’ve heard of but knew very little..and it’s a very compelling tale indeed.. Catherine didn’t have things easy in her life.
The years with Charles were tough..he wanted an heir that she just couldn’t provide and the author manged to convey the struggle she must have been going through. Charles’s treatment of Catherine at times was harsh and scandalous but at others he showed his loyalty to her.
Catherine does her best to fit in at the English court despite the obvious hatred some held for her, she must have been a very strong woman indeed.
Overall it’s a very captivating tale. There’s plots galore and mistresses as you’d expect from the time but the tale really does open your eyes to someone we should really know more about..too many people in history are overshadowed..Catherine should not be one of them.
If you enjoy fact more than fiction give this book a go and if indeed you prefer fiction I still suggest you read the book. I never would have thought I would enjoy a tale such as this, a biography, “where’s the action” I always thought..but how wrong I was. It’s full of excitement and so much more.
Sarah-Beth Watkins definitely makes me want to read/learn more history.. there’s so much out there to explore.
My thanks go to Chronos Books for providing a copy of the book for review.
When she wasn't dealing with domestic hardships she had her detractors to contend with, particularly those who wanted to rid themselves of a Catholic queen. Even though the king stood by her during her most difficult times it seems true happiness may have come at long last when she was able to return to Portugal, where she was to rule as regent for João V.
I recommend this well written book for anyone who wants to know more about Catherine's role as queen and her life at the English court.
Thanks to Chronos Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Catherine of Braganza was a princess of Portugal. She was a devoted Catholic throughout her life. Charles II secured his marriage with Catherine in exchange for a large dowry, which he never received. Catherine arrived in England, but she didn’t speak any English. She was immediately unpopular because of her Catholic faith. Charles also did not meet her upon arrival because he was with his mistress. Yet, despite these setbacks, Charles still decided to marry her anyway, both in a secret Catholic ceremony and in a Protestant one.
The beginning of their marriage became tumultuous. Charles wanted to make his mistress serve his wife. Catherine refused. This biography showed that Catherine was temperamental, stubborn, and passionate. It also showed that Charles was also hot-headed and stubborn, and that both the king and queen were used to getting their own way. This became a strained marriage, and Catherine became neglected. It wasn’t until after she relented and treated Charles’s mistresses with respect that Charles began to pay more attention to her.
Throughout her marriage, Catherine had to tolerate Charles’s mistresses. She also had to deal with the failure that she never produced an heir and the king’s counselors advising the king to replace her. Despite these problems, Charles never divorced his wife. He supported her. When the Popish Plot of 1678 threatened her, Charles stood by her side and declared he wouldn’t impeach her. Their relationship became closer. Charles spent more time with her and gave her more attention.
After Charles’s death, she lived in seclusion in Somerset House and witnessed the reigns of James II and William and Mary. Eventually, she returned to Portugal and was appointed regent for her nephew. She was a successful regent, but her time was short. She died in December.
Overall, this biography portrays Catherine in a sympathetic light. Her life was a series of tribulations. I felt sorry for Catherine and her difficulties. Yet, she managed to overcome them with the help of her husband Charles II. This biography also shows a more complex portrait of Catherine. She is portrayed as temperamental, stubborn, loyal, and politically adept. Because we see how capable Catherine is as regent, we only wonder how good of a queen she would be if Charles relied on her more often. This biography was short and it is very readable to the general reader. Those who have never heard of Catherine will find her story compelling and will want to learn more about her. Thus, Catherine of Braganza: Charles II’s Restoration Queen shows Catherine to be a woman who had the potential to be a great queen, but was never given the chance during her marriage to Charles II.
(Note: I read an ARC copy of this book in courtesy of Netgalley.)
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