Monday, July 04, 2011

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
Historical Fiction

Ever since she was born, Catalina the Infanta of Spain knew she was betrothed to Prince Arthur of England, set to become the Queen of England. She watches her parents fight against the Moors and drive them out of Spain, pulling from their strength when she is sent to England at the age of 16. She marries Arthur and becomes the Princess of Wales and the two learn to love each other after a rocky start. However Arthur dies after only five months of marriage and Catalina has to find a way to still become the Queen of England.

This is a very interesting look at what things may have been like for Queen Katherine. Many suspected that her marriage was consummated with Arthur and this novel tells the story of a woman in love with her husband who makes him a promise on his deathbed to become the Queen.

I found the first 50 pages of this book to be quite slow and I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy the book. Once Catalina got to England, things started to get more interesting and I got in to the novel. The book focuses on her marriage to Arthur and her fall from grace after that. Once she marries Henry, it seems that Gregory no longer has any use for the story, skips a bunch of details, and then ends the book. This novel is definitely an interesting read but is not Gregory's best.

First Line: "There was a scream, and then the loud roar of fire enveloping silken hangings, then a mounting crescendo of shouts of panic that spread and spread from one tent to another as the flames ran too, leaping from one silk standard to another, running up guy ropes and bursting through muslin doors."


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