Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Constant Princess

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So a few weeks ago I posted my review for The Other Boleyn Girl, and I promised in that review that I would post a review for the other King Henry books by Philippa Gregory.  I am here to partially fulfill that promise by reviewing The Constant Princess.  Whenever I read a novel by Philippa Gregory I really become lost in the history, I become much more educated by the time I am finished with one of her stories because I am always on Wikipedia looking up some diplomat or lady at Court, or prince, or princess I had never heard of before.  I feel like each of her books become a personal history lesson for me.  My husband (being a history major) is amused and maybe slightly irritated by my conversations beginning with "did you know..." about some person or event I am reading about in Gregory's books.  When I started reading The Constant Princess the only thing I really knew about Katherine of Aragon was that she was King Henry VIII first wife (and that she didn't have her head chopped off), but from there I couldn't tell you  much of anything else.

A lot of what I know (pre reading) about the life of King Henry VIII and his wives, I had learned from the Showtime Series The Tudors (you must tune into this show if you would like to see a very sexy version of the reign of King Henry VIII, though I would imagine that his reign was even spicier than the TV show depicts).  In this TV show they show Kathrine of Aragon as an older lady with a VERY strong Catholic faith that never stopped loving Henry until the day she died.  In The Constant Princess you get to know Katherine as a strong willed little girl that grew up on the battlefields of Spain, as a young woman married to Aurthur prince of Wales, and finally as a cunning woman who becomes the Queen of England and tries to hold onto her position.

Out of all the books by Gregory I think that The Constant Princess has been my least favorite.  Her writing style drew me in as always but it took me A L-O-N-G time to read this book.  The characters didn't really capture my attention.  I loved to hate Henry in the other books but in this one he was so young he just annoyed me.  And I really enjoyed the love story between Katherine and Aurthur but after he died I wasn't too into the rest of the book.  I would say absolutely read this book if you want to get the real story of the whole King Henry mess   reign, it will only educate you or inspire you to learn more about this great time in history.

The Constant Princess 
by Philippa Gregory

If you liked this book then read: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory


  1. Great review! I have actually never raed any of Phillipa Gregory's books, but now I must certainly go out and get them!

    I have always been very interested in King Henry VIII and his 8 wives, so this review has definitely caught my attention!

  2. I can't say enough how much I love Philippa's Tudor-era books! I read this one last, so it was interesting to go back to the beginning and get the story from Katherine's point of view.

    OMG, I LOVE the show The Tudors!! Is the third season still on? I have to wait for them to come out on DVD. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is amazing!

  3. I'm taking a class on the Tudors this term and I love it - before I've stuck to mainly 18th, 19th and early 20th century history, but this quarter I've gotten into Early Modern. It's just such a fantastically different time. And I also saw the showtime series for the first time and was hooked.

  4. The time period is so interesting. It was truly the dawn of a new era both secularly and religiously! Even though King Henry VIII was a little off his rocker and a total spoiled brat he did change the course of history.

    Thanks for the comments! Keep them coming!