The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
She had such a very sad life. Born to Isabella of Castile, who was Queen of Castile in her own right and lead troops into war as well as financed her husband's crusades Catalina was used to the idea of a woman as a strong ruler. Thus she was incapable of understanding Henry's despair over not having a son to inherit the throne, as she viewed their daughter Mary as a viable heir.
Betrothed to the Prince of Wales since babyhood Catalina was brought up to be Queen of England, when Arthur dies shortly after their "marriage" she pins her hopes on a marriage to his younger brother Harry. But Henry the VII wants her for himself and after Elizabeth of York's death he proposes marriage to her. A marriage that offers her no advantage as her children would never sit on the throne and she would be forced to live in her Mother-in-law's shadow.Her refusal enrages Henry VII and he determines that she will never marry anyone. He betroths her to Harry so she is not free to seek another marriage, but plots to marry Harry to Princess Eleanor (the daughter of King Philip and Queen Juana, Catalina's sister). When Henry VII dies Harry chooses to honor his betrothal to Catalina and they are married.
Henry VIII has little interest in actually ruling his Kingdom and leaves all the work to Katherine of Aragon. While Henry is away in France, Katherine rules as regent and leads a great battle against the Scots. But when they fail to have a son who lives past infancy he turns to Ann Boleyn for a solution.
View all my reviews