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Katherine (Rediscovered Classics) Paperback – May 1, 2004
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"Seton breathes life into this little-documented historical fact a glorious example of romance in its most classic literary sense." -- The Austin Chronicle
From the Back Cover
A glorious example of romance in its most classic literary sense: exhilarating, exuberant, and rich with the jeweled tones of England in the 1300s. Austin Chronicle
Katherine is an epic novel of a love affair that changed history that of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the ancestors of most of the British royal family. Set in the vibrant fourteenth century of Chaucer and the Black Death, the story features knights fighting in battle, serfs struggling in poverty, and the magnificent Plantagenets Edward III, the Black Prince, and Richard II who rule despotically over a court rotten with intrigue. Within this era of danger and romance, John of Gaunt, the king s son, falls passionately in love with the already-married Katherine. Their affair persists through decades of war, adultery, murder, loneliness, and redemption. Anya Seton's vivid rendering of the lives of the Duke and Duchess of Lancaster makes Katherine an unmistakable classic.
Anya Seton (1904 1990) was the author of many best-selling historical novels, including The Winthrop Woman, Avalon, Dragonwyck, Green Darkness, Devil Water, and Foxfire. She lived in Greenwich, Connecticut.
" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Seriously, I can't believe so many people wrote what I was going to say! This is one of those books you will want to read many times. I'm on #4 but it's the first time on Kindle. I am an English history buff, and reading Katherine was like nirvana! It even helped me when I got to college and took English History for a grade! I remember so much more from this novel than from any history book!
It is the most romantic, obstacle ridden love story I have ever read, with the possible exception of Scarlett and Rhett. It is long book but you won't want it to end. I spent many a night reading my aunt's hard copy by flashlight under the covers back when I was a teen with a bedtime!
It's set during the time of Edward III, and against the backdrop of the Wars of the Roses that followed his death. History books will mention the importance of John of Gaunt in being the progenitor or the Tudors, through his Beaufort daughter. Katherine is rarely mentioned, other than as his mistress. This is her story. Meticulously researched and written in a style that brings the history alive!, it is compelling as any I've ever read. world lost a true talent when Anya Seton left it.
Her description of the hovels, castles, ascetic religious dwellings and every sort of place people live even lets us SMELL what the average traveler might experience in a local tavern, whether on a roadside in the country or a close, dark establishment in Greater London, or the horrific fires started by the revolt of the outraged common folk that burnt up so many marvelous castles and noble residences.
Following the twists and turns of actual British history. this novel takes on a story that required unusually difficult research, taking place in the 14th century. Ms Seton has done a masterful job of capturing what must have been some of the feelings of a passionate love affair of that time, including the frustrations of a class society that allowed men to have affairs, but saw women in that position as whores, whose children were forever bastards, lacking the ability to improve their status. The period is a very rich one to mine, and Ms. Seton has done so very effectively, supplying readers with a fascinating picture of the politics, interpersonal relationships of the many distinct classes of people who interacted at that time, including an author still read today, Geoffrey Chaucer, who is a character within the novel.
Even after six decades, this fiction stands up pretty well to critical scruitany, and our book discussion group thoroughly enjoyed the book and the discussion of it.
It's not a quick read, but it is a very rewarding one. This reader had trouble putting it down.
There were a lot of facts I learned that I hadn't known before; thus my choice of there being plot "twists."
I used "thoughtful" to describe the mood of the book as there was a great deal of thought put into its writing and also the characters are described as appearing thoughtful.
I described the pace as "slow" because it is. It is a rather long book (593 pages) but there is a lot of events to cover and a lot of descriptions. And I like "slow"; to me slow is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the writing is good and holds my interest. I don't care much for novels that are "sketchy;" that are fast reads but contain little character development and few descriptions.
I describe the characters as "developed" as I believe the author did the best she could do when dealing with real historical persons who lived 700 years ago.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Katherine is one of the best books I have ever read and I read a lot. It is a beautifully written story and I am now on the Anna Seyton's next book.Read more