Katharine of Aragon: The Wives of Henry VIII (Tudor Saga, #2-4)

ISBN: 0609810251
ISBN 13: 9780609810255
By: Jean Plaidy

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About this book

La princesa viuda reúne la trilogía sobre la reina Catalina de Aragón (Catalina, virgen y viuda, Bajo la sombra de la granada y El secreto del rey) y da inicio a la serie las reinas Tudor. La reciente y cuestionada dinastía Tudor espera fortalecerse al casar al príncipe de Gales con Catalina de Aragón, una de las hijas de los respetados reyes católicos. La joven infanta tiene apenas quince años, y enviuda poco después de la boda; el conflicto político que esto supone la obliga a permanecer en Inglaterra mientras su suegro y sus padres deciden su futuro. Tras una larga espera es desposada por su cuñado Enrique VIII, con quien vive feliz hasta que su imposibilidad de tener un hijo varón la condena al abandono del rey. Con dignidad e inteligencia, la reina enfrenta el repudio del soberano, quien decide romper con el papado y crear la Iglesia anglicana para obtener el divorcio y poder casarse con Ana Bolena. Querida y respetada por la corte y el pueblo inglés, Catalina prefiere la muerte a la deshonra, y hasta el final se considera reina de Inglaterra, y a su hija María, la legítima heredera al trono.

Reader's Thoughts

Ann Canann

There is more history and politics in Plaidy's work than in the other historic novel's I've read, so I was drawn into the book on many levels. Henry the VIII'S first wife won my heart with the gorgeous speech Shakespeare gave her as she faced Henry in court. She had such an interesting life the two novels I have read about her this year hardly overlapped. Plaidy is Brit-based and somewhat difficult to find on this side of the pond, but well worth the hunt.


I really enjoyed this book. It is actually 3 novels in one. They are all about Katherine of Aragon and are about her life from a young girl to her death. It paints Katherine of Aragon as a very strong if not stubborn woman. Filled with historical facts as well as speculations as to how these people really were when alive makes this book well worth reading.

Amy Gilchrist Thorne

So-so. The parts of the book that focused on Katharine, and even on Wolsey, were much more engaging than those focused on Henry, where Plaidy distanced the reader from the action, making things drag a bit.Still, it was engaging enough that I probably will never again confuse Wolsey with Cromwell, at least.

Lucie Hayward

This book is actually 3 of Jean Plaidy's novels about Katherine of Aragon in one. I really enjoyed this! If you like historical fiction, or Philippa Gregory's novels (The Other Boleyn Girl) you'll enjoy this one. Plaidy's Tudor series was originally published back in the 60's, and most of them have been re-released.


This is the first Jean Plaidy book that I have liked. Granted, it is only the third that I have read but saner people would have stopped after the first and never have picked up a book by a disliked author again. Plus, I am not insane over the Tudors....much prefer the Plantagenets. However, so many people have said that this was a good book. I couldn't help but pick it up at the library. Those people were right. This book is a good one and convinced me to keep going with the Jean Plaidy books. Plus, out of all of King Henry's wives, Katherine to me is one of the more interesting ones.


Jean Plaidy is amongst the nobility of historical fiction authors. Her research, particularly for the time, is amazing. This is primarily the story of Katherine, but we also get a good chunk of the story of her sister Juana, and the rise and fall of Cardinal Wolsey. It is clear that Anne Boleyn will have her own time to shine, as in this book she is a shadow in the background and never in the forefront. You can't help but feel sympathy for the position of Katherine.

Victoria Quinn

this is dragging on...


A new twist on the story of Katharine of Aragon. She made Henry III out to be almost too strong, tall and selfish. I've read other books about this. This one wasn't my favorite but I did enjoy it. It's quite long though and took a few weeks to read.


Incredibly well-written and entertaining, and I also learned so much about the history of Europe at this time, including Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. I also was fascinated to read about the equally tragic life of her sister, Joanna of Castile ("Mad Joan"). If you are looking for historical fiction that is also historically accurate, this is it.


Good, but it took me a while to read it (which tells you something since I LOVE to read). Not as good as the same period historical novels by Phillipa Gregory, however, a nice compliment with a different twist on the marriage and divorce of Henry VIII and Katharine of Aragon.


Very good book about the life of Henry VIII's first wife. This book is really 3 books in 1, with the first book beginning with Katherine's coming to England to marry Arthur, who will one day be king when his father, Henry VII, dies. The book continues with Katherine marry Henry when Arthur dies, though it is several years later. Katherine is kept waiting for years in England until Henry finally decides he wants to marry her, basically because all of his advisors warn him not to do so. The marriage is, at first, very loving, with Henry and Katherine constantly being together. They try, unsuccessfully, again and again to conceive an heir. Henry's eye soon wanders to another, Lady Bessie Blount, who proceeds to give Henry a son. Katherine finally gives birth to a daughter, but Henry and Katherine continue to grow further apart. The Roman Catholic Church and the Pope both dislike Henry, and will not grant his request for a divorce. Finally, Henry gets the divorce he wants because he basically makes himself the Supreme Ruler of the Church of England. Katherine is sent away so that Henry can marry Ann Boleyn, who despises Katherine and her daughter, Mary. At the end of the book, Katherine dies with her best friend and former lady-in-waiting. It can be seen that Katherine of Aragon was a proud lady who alwyas tried to do what was best for her country of Spain,and later for both Henry and England, even though it was not always to her benefit. Much sympathy could be felt for Katherine in all of the trials she had to endure, especially with the King's treatment of her once he grew tired of her. This book was a little long, but well-worth the read!


This book strikes a perfect balance – thorough and well researched from a historic perspective, yet engaging and enjoyable to read just as a novel should be. Definitely recommended!


This is the story of Katherine of Aragon, Spanish princess (daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella) and first wife of Henry VIII. She is first sent off to England to marry Arthur (Henry VIII’s older brother); Arthur dies, she is stuck in England, living off the meager allowance Henry VII provides her. She is ultimately married to Henry VIII. They have several children, all of whom, except for Mary, are miscarried or die in infancy/early childhood. Henry VIII needs a male heir and thinks he’d have a better shot with a younger woman. He seeks to have his marriage to Katherine invalidated, on the ground that the marriage is incestuous, because she was previously married to his brother. Katherine insists that the marriage with Arthur was never consummated. The Pope refuses to annul the marriage, so Henry VIII ultimately breaks off and starts his own church and marries Anne Boleyn. What struck me most was Katherine’s attitude - she remained dignified despite Henry’s treatment of her. She didn’t let him disrespect her and she fought for herself, but she didn’t sink down to his level.


I really loved this book. Although it was Historical Fiction, it didn't take any liberties and stuck to the facts. and it also went into detail about affairs oversea's. Historically accrate, it painted an amazing picture of Katherine of Aragon's life and the Sadness that it was. All the crap she went through just to be locked up again in the end. terrible...

Diane Bell

I really enjoyed this book, which was a nice surprise, since I pulled it off the library shelf without knowing anything about it. It is long, but I stayed interested throughout. The author did a terrific job of delving into the workings of the royalty, and was excellent at revealing the personalities of the characters. I appreciated the fact that though sex was a major theme of the story, she did not get graphic about it.

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