Review: The Constant Princess, Philippa Gregory

The Constant Princess Philippa Gregory cover
Katherine of Aragon is betrothed at the age of three to Prince Arthur, son and heir of Henry VII of England. She is raised to be Princess of Wales, and knows it is her destiny to rule that far-off, wet, cold land.Her faith is tested when her prospective father-in-law greets her arrival with a great insult; Arthur seems little better than a boy; the food is strange and the customs coarse. Slowly she adapts to the first Tudor court, and life as Arthur's wife grows ever more bearable. Unexpectedly in this arranged marriage, a tender and passionate love developsBut when the studious young man dies, she is left to make her own future: how can she now be queen, and found a dynasty?

Philippa Gregory was born in Kenya. She is a former student of Sussex University and receive a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University, her love for history and her commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing.
Her other great interest is the charity she founded nearly twenty years ago; Gardens for The Gambia. Gregory lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire, where she keeps horses, hens and ducks.

I came across a lot of Philippa Gregory reviews on both my Goodreads and various blogs I follow. I was not really familiar with her though I had heard of "The Other Boleyn Girl" and as all the reviews where positive I decided to give it a try. I started of with the first book in the Tudor Series "The Constant Princess" I am not sure if that is necessary but I like to read series in order. I liked the book. I can totally understand why people would say they love it but I did not really feel that enthusiasm with this book. It was clear that Gregory did her research very well. I loved how she placed people in the court and the description where enough to form images in my head of the surroundings and the buildings. I liked the message of acceptance and understanding between countries and enemies which came forward at several occasions.
The main character Catalina the Infanta of Spain, Katherine the Queen of England gave me a little mps while reading. She is a very strong character and it is clear where she gets her ideas from but it was a little on the edge of insanity. This made that it was easy in some parts of the book to connect to her and in others she scared me. I did get a message though that if you really set your mind to something you might be able to get what you want. I felt totally sorry for Henry/Harry though. He was very much abused by her. I love these intrigues though so I have very much enjoyed the story too and how King Henry put her in her place at some point.
Some of the quotes from the book I liked a lot are

"They say that at the mountain pass he looked back at his kingdom, his beautiful kingdom, and wept, and his mother told him to weep like a woman for what he could not hold as a man."

"Just because one man calls him Allah and another calls him God is no reason for believers to be enemies"

"Words have weight, something once said cannot be unsaid. Meaning is like a stone dropped into a pool; the ripples will spread and you cannot know what back they wash against."

The Constant Princess
Author: Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Touchstone
ISBN-10: 0743282485
ISBN-13: 9780743282482
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Series: The Tudor Court #1
Touchstone: eBook | Hardcover | Paperback | Unabridged Audio

3 star review
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30 March, 2013 delete

I LOVE this author! My favorite might have been The Queen's Fool, but all of the ones that I read were great so I can't promise that!

31 March, 2013 delete

I have heard good things about her and have seen good reviews for her books! I think I have one or two on my TBR list!