Friday, August 13, 2010

The Constant Princess

The Constant Princess

Philippa Gregory

Catalina is daughter of two of the greatest monarch's Europe has seen. She has known since she was three that in addition to being an Infanta of Spain she is the Princess of Wales and will one day be Queen of England. Nothing will stop her from claiming these titles that she see's as her birth right. Not the death of her first husband Arthur, her parents refusal to pay the rest of her dowry or her inability to secure a betrothal to Arthur's younger brother, Harry.

I'm a Gregory fan, for the most part. There are always things about her novels that make them slightly irritating, but that rarely effects the breakneck pace I read them at. The Constant Princess was no different. I really enjoyed Catalina/Katherine's thoughts and life as she journeyed from Spain to England. Her life is usually thought of as the First wife of Henry VIII, the woman set aside for Anne Boleyn, and the mother of 'Bloody" Mary I.  It was nice to see her young and in love, even if her first, love filled marriage is short.

Her time waiting to become princess again is a bit long. Catalina's italicized thoughts take up pages and pages where before they book up a page at the very most. Her waiting and scheming would be very irritating if you didn't know she would be successful. All the odds are against her and her attitude, as well as Henry VII and his mother Margaret Beaufort are irritating.

Her actual reign as Henry's queen is  more interesting and gives a lot of insigt into a time I didn't know much about. She was a much stronger woman that I would have previously given her credit for. I'd been putting off reading The Constant Princess because Katherine didn't interest me as much as Henry's other wives/other historical women, but I'm glad I did pick it up. A very enjoyable read.


Coffee and a Book Chick said...

These are the types of books I enjoy reading when I really want to get swept up -- great review!

Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I love Philippa Gregory, but I have not read this one. I will have to check it out. I love the covers of her books. Great post!