Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen, by Alison Weir
Series: Six Tudor Queens #1
Published by Headline Review, 26th January 2017 (First published 5th May 2016)
Genres: Historical fiction
History tells us how she died. This captivating novel shows us how she lived.
Many know of the six wives of the English King Henry VIII and their fates. But how much do we actually know of the women themselves? This is the story of a Spanish princess, raised to be wife to Prince Arthur, heir to the English throne. Aged sixteen, Katherine travels to England to take her rightful place. As events unfold, it quickly becomes apparent that she must be careful who to trust and must rely on her own courage, faith and determination in order to survive. Until she marries Henry and becomes Queen of England. But, what happens if one day she cannot trust her beloved Henry either?
I really loved this book! I love when authors show the women’s side of famous historical events and I have a particular fascination for the Tudor period of English history. It is one of my favourite time periods to read about and I also really enjoyed the Showtime TV series The Tudors.
I was intrigued when I found out that Alison Weir was writing a series of books, each based on one of Henry’s queens. And I must say that I really enjoyed this first instalment! It is obviously meticulously researched and beautifully written, even including some of Katherine’s original correspondence.
This book really sheds light on Katherine herself and all of her personal struggles from the moment she arrived in England. It shows her thoughts and feelings, her unwavering faith and how powerless and isolated she really was. However, no matter how cut off she became, she remained a strong and principled woman, to whom people remained fiercely loyal.
I also particularly enjoyed the glimpses of future queens Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour. It was very interesting to view these women from Katherine’s perspective, with the knowledge that they would both one day become Queen of England too.
Overall, I loved this book and I am hoping to read the rest of the series soon.
My rating: 4/5