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The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

The Constant Princess

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Katherine of Aragon may be better known as the first wife of Henry VIII but as a young girl she was being groomed to be the wife of a King and she herself was determined to become Queen. She married Arthur Prince of Wales (older brother to Henry VIII) at an early age but when he died her determination to become Queen knew no bounds and her fighting spirit found her betrothed to Henry VIII. But as we find out in this enjoyable historical novel, to get there she told a great lie that was to have massive consequences. As with some of her other novels, Gregory hones her skill yet again on giving a different slant to what one's heard before of this important woman in history. Terrific storyline although perhaps a little too drawn out for my liking.

Similar this month: None but try Isabel Allende.
Comparison: Posie Graeme-Evans, Sarah Dunant, Rose Tremain.

If you like Philippa Gregory you might also like to read books by Rebecca Dean, Anne O'Brien and Ariana Franklin.


The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

Katherine of Aragon is born Catalina, the Spanish Infanta, to parents who are both rulers and warriors. Aged four, she is betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales, and is raised to be Queen of England. She is never in doubt that 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 in her new country 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 Arthurs wife grows ever more bearable. But when the studious young man dies, she is left to make her own future: how can she now be queen, and found a dynasty? Only by marrying Arthurs young brother, the sunny but spoilt Henry. His father and grandmother are against it; her powerful parents prove little use. Yet Katherine is her mothers daughter and her fighting spirit is strong. She will do anything to achieve her aim; even if it means telling the greatest lie, and holding to it.

Philippa Gregory proves yet again that behind the apparently familiar face of history lies an astonishing story: of women warriors influencing the future of Europe, of revered heroes making deep mistakes, and of an untold love story which changes the fate of a nation.


'One of Gregory's great strengths as a novelist is her ability to take familiar historical figures and flesh them into living breathing human beings. The Constant Princess is a worthy successor to her previous novels about the Tudors and deserves to be a bestseller.' Daily Express

'Gregory's research is impeccable which makes her imaginative fiction all the more convincing.' Daily Mail

'Gregory is great at conjuring a Tudor film-set of gorgeous gowns and golden-lattered dining. She invokes some swoonsome imageswhile the politics are personal enough to remain pertinent.' Telegraph

About the Author

Philippa Gregory

Philippa Gregory was our Guest Editor in October 2011 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing.

Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the international bestseller The Other Boleyn Girl, which became a major film starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. Several books later, she is looking at the family that precedes The Tudors in the The Cousins' War series, which was televised by the BBC as The White Queen.

Philippa's other great interest is the charity that she founded nearly twenty years ago: Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for several hundred wells for the primary schools of this poor African country. A former student of Sussex University, and a PhD and Alumna of the Year at Edinburgh University, her love of history is the hallmark of her writing. She lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire.

Author photo copyright: Johnny Ring.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd May 2006


Philippa Gregory

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Harpercollins Publishers


Paperback (b Format)
528 pages


Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Historical fiction



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