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

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.


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.


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...


This is a very readable, historically-accurate trilogy about Katherine of Aragon (Henry VIII's first wife). Plaidy sticks as close as possible to historical facts and seems to have done her research well. I am inspired to read more of her books. Plaidy also does a great job of placing Katherine in history so the reader gets a better understanding of historical context in which Katherine based her decisions. This gave the novel greater depth and helped me to have a better understanding of that period of English history. Additionally, Katherine is a likable person, and an incredibly brave one to be able to deny Henry VII his wish for a divorce. It is also interesting to ponder the fact that we still live with the outcomes of their decision today.

Mandy Moody

Katherine of Aragon is actually a trilogy of books that were originally published separately, but have now been combined into one volume, with each book representing a separate part. As I read it, I thanked God that it had been combined like it was.At times I really loved this book, at times I really hated it. The first part was incredibly slow for me. The period between Katherine arriving in England and marrying Arthur, the period between Arthurs death and Katherine marrying Henry - both dragged on for ages. When it finally wrapped up and I realized that the slow begining of this book had been an entire stand-alone novel at one point I wondered how anyone had ever read it as that!The second part was my favorite - maybe because it was about the portion of Katherine's life when she was actually happy. I thought Plaidy's knowledge of the time period and Katherine's relationship with Henry was outstanding.The third book started off very well, but ended up even slower than the first book. Katherine and Henry's estrangement (the time between when he attempted to divorce her and the time that he actually married Anne Boleyn) in real life lasted about 8 years. Reading about it felt like three times that.Jean Plaidy seemed to be very sympathetic towards Katherine, so much so that I'd be interested to see how she portrays Anne Boleyn. Overall, I think it was a good, solid portrayal of Katherine's life. I would have rated it 3.5 stars were half stars allowed :)


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!

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.

Jeralyn lovell

Loved this fictional account based on her true story. Wow! She's quite the queen.


I give it 3 stars because of the author's great grasp of history. Usually, historical novels are so over-the-top on pageantry and the show of royalty, they forget that these royals are flesh-and-blood people, and that high rank carried high responsibilities and a heavy personal cost. Sometimes, there are flashes of brilliance, in the descriptions of Arthur's gentleness or Henry VII's calculations. I would have given it 2 stars for the cardboard cutout nature of the characters, and the continual repetition of important themes: Henry VII's tightfisted unloving nature, Henry VIII's lust for life, Elizabeth's silent suffering. There are entire paragraphs that should have been cut out, or revised to make these people more real. However, if you skim it, it could be 4-star material.Having said that, I didn't finish this book.


Katharine of Aragon, by Jean Plaidy"Katharine of Aragon," by Jean Plaidy, is actually an omnibus of the author's three previous novels about Henry VIII's first queen. The books are: "Katharine, the Virgin Widow," "The Shadow of the Pomegranate," and "The King's Secret Matter." So this volume is a great deal, as you're really getting three books for the price of one.Plaidy is an excellent historical fiction writer. I'd seen her recommended several times, and was eager to read something of hers. Katharine happens to be a favorite figure of mine, but Plaidy has written novels on just about anyone you could want to read about in English history. "Katharine, the Virgin Widow" focuses on the young princess and her first marriage to Henry's brother, Arthur. The book starts with Katharine's journey from Spain to England; I would have liked to see Plaidy write some scenes from the princess's life before England - references are made to her "previous" life quite a bit, and it would have been nice to read some of them, rather than just get a line or two of memories. But otherwise, a great book, that introduces readers the different players in the English monarchy and politics. "The Shadow of the Pomegranate" continues Katharine's story after her marriage to Henry VIII, and focuses on her difficulty to conceive an heir. "The King's Secret Matter" finishes Katharine's sad tale, recounting Henry's efforts to divorce his wife and marry Anne Boleyn. Plaidy captures Katharine's dignity and fight to remain a queen through all of Henry's machinations to set her aside. Plaidy pens an engrossing story of Katharine of Argaon, one that fans of historical Tudor fiction will surely enjoy. I'll definitely be picking up more of her novels, because I think they are great introductions for periods or people I'm unfamiliar with. 4/5.


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.

Sara Giacalone

Whew! This is a big, long book (it's really three books in one). I enjoyed it overall, even if it seemed a bit familiar. The characters are well developed (if a bit familiar in their portrayal) and the plot moves along nicely throughout. I will continue reading the series...

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.


Incredible! Plaidy writes Henry VIII better than anyone! Start with this one, and then work to her others. My sister got me into "Princess" novels about a year ago, and I can't stop reading them...this was my first, and is the best I've read so far.


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.

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