The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon



➽ [Reading] ➿ The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon By Carolly Erickson ➲ – E17streets4all.co.uk When young Catherine of Aragon, proud daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, is sent to England to marry the weak Prince Arthur, she is unprepared for all that awaits her early widowhood, the When young Catherine of Aragon, proud Queen: A PDF/EPUB ä daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, is sent to England to marry the weak Prince Arthur, she is unprepared for all that awaits her early widowhood, the challenge of warfare with The Spanish Kindle - the invading Scots, and the utimately futile attempt to provide the realm with a prince to secure the succession She marries Arthur s energetic, athletic brother Henry, only to encounter fresh obstacles, chief among them Henry s infatuation with Spanish Queen: A Epub Þ the alluring but wayward Anne Boleyn In The Spanish Queen, bestselling novelist Carolly Erickson allows the strong willed, redoubtable Queen Catherine to tell her own story a tale that carries her from the scented gardens of Grenada to the craggy mountains of Wales to the conflict ridden Tudor court Surrounded by strong partisans among the English, and with the might of Spanish and imperial arms to defend her, Catherine soldiers on, until her union with King Henry is severed and she finds herself discarded and tempted to take the most daring step of her life.The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon

Distinguished historian Carolly Erickson is the Queen: A PDF/EPUB ä author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, The First Elizabeth, Great Catherine, Alexandra and many other prize winning works of fiction and nonfiction She lives in Hawaiitp uscmillan author caroll.

The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of
    The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of craggy mountains of Wales to the conflict ridden Tudor court Surrounded by strong partisans among the English, and with the might of Spanish and imperial arms to defend her, Catherine soldiers on, until her union with King Henry is severed and she finds herself discarded and tempted to take the most daring step of her life."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 276 pages
  • The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon
  • Carolly Erickson
  • English
  • 19 December 2018
  • 1250000122

10 thoughts on “The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon

  1. says:

    I ll read just about anything about Henry VIII and his wives, Catherine of Aragon especially I feel like The Spanish Queen did a great job bring Catherine s voice to life from the beginning she radiated a quiet sort of strength, exactly what one would expect from the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella What I really loved about Erickson s Catherine, though, was that there was a petty and vengeful side to her that I haven t seen a whole lot of in what I ve read Given the fact that Catherine wa I ll read just about anything about Henry VIII and his wives, Catherine of Aragon especially I feel like The Spanish Queen did a great job bring Catherine s voice to life from the beginning she radiated a quiet sort of strength, exactly what one would expect from the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella What I really loved about Erickson s Catherine, though, was that there was a petty and vengeful side to her that I haven t seen a whole lot of in what I ve read Given the fact that Catherine was pushed aside and forced to watch herself be replaced and, to add insult to injury, by a mere commoner I feel that this side of her was appropriate and realistic.Something that could ve been developed better, though, were a couple of the central conflicts in the book Catherine s conflict with her half sister, Maria Juana, enters the fray within the first twenty or so pages, and plagues her throughout the book as Maria Juana seeks to undermine Catherine, but it s never really developed fully We know the reasons Maria Juana hates Catherine, but at the same time, it s all just surface level reasons Maria Juana is never really developed as a person, just as an obstacle that Catherine occasionally has to deal with We never truly see how this conflict impacts either woman as a person.Similarly, the conflict between Catherine and Anne Boleyn We see a lot of Catherine s thoughts on Anne, but we never really see them interact I feel like I might ve found Catherine s antipathy toward Annerealistic if we ever actually saw the two women interact As I said, I liked the pettiness Catherine shows, but at the same time, I wish the reasons behind it had been developedThe biggest flaw in The Spanish Queen is there s a lottelling than showing going on where the characters are concerned.One thing Erickson excels at is creating the atmosphere The story starts in Spain and moves pretty quickly to England, and both places are effortlessly brought to life The way we re shown the setting is the greatest strength of the book, and the reason I keep reading Erickson s books Even better, these settings are easily accessible to people who aren t as familiar with history.If you re looking for a book with well developed characters, this might not be the one for you If you re looking for well developed settings, though, this one might be worth checking out

  2. says:

    Also on my blog, Luthien ReviewsCarolly Erickson deserves credit for putting a disclaimer at the end of her novel that it is a historical entertainment Since she often stretches or completely disregards the facts, this was a very important distinction to make.Up to page 150 or so, I could have given this book three stars despite its occasional flights of fancy and fictionalized nonsense such as the inclusion of Catherine s spiteful and illegitimate half sister.Then Anne Boleyn was introduce Also on my blog, Luthien ReviewsCarolly Erickson deserves credit for putting a disclaimer at the end of her novel that it is a historical entertainment Since she often stretches or completely disregards the facts, this was a very important distinction to make.Up to page 150 or so, I could have given this book three stars despite its occasional flights of fancy and fictionalized nonsense such as the inclusion of Catherine s spiteful and illegitimate half sister.Then Anne Boleyn was introduced, and the book lost its way.Full disclosure Anne is by far my favorite of Henry VIII s wives, so maybe I m biased But I ll get to that later.The book started off well I liked young Catalina s interactions with her mother, the famous Isabel of Castile, and I thought Erickson did a much better job bringing the Spanish setting to life than the later British ones Her relationship with her fiance husband, Arthur, was also sweet At first, it reminded me of The Constant Princess, the only PGreg novel I ever enjoyed But even that fell victim to Erickson s apparent inability to create multidimensional characters.She portrayed Arthur quite predictably as a sickly, feeble young man who never had a real chance of surviving into adulthood She made Henry VII so paranoid and neurotic that it was hard to understand how he could have remained in control of the kingdom I m no fan of H7, but it was kind of ridiculous And on it went Almost none of the supporting characters, Catherine s second husband Henry VIII included, had a real personality to speak of Most were defined by a few select traits.I did appreciate that Henry and Catherine s marriage wasn t portrayed as perfect and blissful in the beginning It was pretty refreshing to see H8 act like a dick in small ways before he became a complete, unforgivable asshole But even his behavior little overblown Every time Catherine miscarried or one of their babies died, including in the first few years, Henry would go off in a huff and tell Catherine, I should never have married you even though the real Henry appears to have felt genuine affection for Catherine and did not begin considering an annulment until their daughter Mary was already seven or eight.Pacing was also a major issue The novel is pretty short for being narrated by Catherine of Aragon To say her life was eventful would be putting it mildly Short though it was, some sections dragged, while others flew by I was never sure how much time had passed since the last part of the narrative It was all very muddled and confusing even for someone who, like me, who has a solid grasp on the historical events.There was a lot of telling not showing going on as well Catherine claimed to care deeply about her daughter Mary and in reality, she did but they had all of two scenes together here They never exchanged any letters, nor does Catherine ever mention having spoken with or seen her daughter This happened with many of the frequently discussed characters in the book Elizabeth Boleyn was one of Catherine s most trusted ladies in waiting early in the book, but after Henry shows interest in Elizabeth s daughter Anne, she is never mentioned again Towards the end, Catherine said that Anne s aunt, Elizabeth Howard, had been her trusted lady forthan twenty years but that was the first time she was ever mentioned This narrative shortcoming of Erickson s struck me as laziness, and it weakened the inter character relationships, making most of them quite unbelievable.The book was also riddled with inconsistencies When Mary was born, Catherine wanted to name her Isabella Even when Henry, angry that Catherine bore a daughter, refuses, Catherine claimed she would always think of Mary as Isabella anyway, but she only calls her Isabella again once After showing Henry being unimpressed by and disinterested in Mary as a baby, Catherine claimed that Henry as is documented later paraded Mary around court, showing her off and bragging about her There are dozens of other examples, small ones, but frustrating and annoying all the same.As for Catherine herself, she had her moments Erickson could have done so muchwith her She was famously religious, yet the depth of her faith were never delved And while I have no doubt that Catherine would have done anything to protect her daughter, that she was under a great deal of stress, and that she probably had a temper, sometimes she could be quite cruel and vindictive She seriously considered poisoning Henry s baby bastard son, Henry Fitzroy and later, doing the same to Anne Boleyn and her unborn child She took pleasure in others suffering Anne s in particular and wished harm on innocents.Maybe this made herhuman, but it seemed unnecessarily nasty and out of character.She did have one quite touching moment with Henry I wrote the words, We will hold fast It was the message Henry and I had exchanged many years earlier, when we were both young and besieged by difficulties We had been drawn together then, we had become allies in our season of distress.I asked Philip to give the paper to the king, once the solemnities ended.When next I looked up, I found that Henry was standing beside me, looking as vulnerable as I had ever seen him He stood there, gazing down at me, and I struggled to stand, coughing as I did He hesitated but only for a moment then offered me his arm His chivalry was stronger than his pride Without saying a word, he led me out of the chapel Heled me into the sunlit chapel garden, full of the scent of flowers and new mown grass.We had not spoken for many months The silence between us was awkward I dared to break it We made a pact once, I said softly, you and I We agreed that whatever others said or did, we would not let it sunder us I could see that my words pierced his heart, torn as he was by strong emotions just then grief, loss, perhaps even regret He shook his head He did not look at me, not even when I coughed and faltered as we slowly walked past the flowering stalks and bushes I remember well, he muttered under his breath 230 1 If only there had beenmoments like that between Catherine and the other characters And now, the Anne Boleyn issue.I hate to make half of my review of a book about Catherine of Aragon about Anne Boleyn, but Erickson s caricature of Anne really spoiled the entire second half of the novel I doubt Catherine liked Anne much, and we know that the Spanish ambassador and Princess Mary loathed her Would it kill authors to portray both women fairly, though Why is it always Saint Catherine and devilish, slutty Anne, or dull, frumpy Catherine and misunderstood, martyred Anne Here are just some of the adjectives Catherine uses to describe her rival in this novel sullen, unruly, scrawny, disheveled, unappealing, defiant, prideful, brazen, willful, unchaste, moody, querulous, demanding, harsh, impatient, bitter, fearsome, insolent, loose, unworthy, careless, wayward, fickle, contrary, and domineering.Just alittle over the top, right Despite having made Henry out to be an unfaithful womanizer from the first, Erickson does everything in her power to paint Anne as a temperamental, unattractive, and promiscuous troublemaker.Look I know Anne Boleyn was no angel She had a temper, could be cruel, spoke her mind, was ambitious and flirtatious, and she enjoyed parties, music, and dancing, perhaps in excess But I also know she was well educated, as pious as Catherine, kind to those she loved, charitable to those less fortunate than herself, that she loved the English people, and that she was a loving, devoted mother No one is all good or all bad.And oh, was she shown as being all bad here.Erickson s Anne was sent away from the prestigious court of Archduchess Margaret of Austria for the sin of lust, for which her would be fiance Jamie Butler also rejects her This is utter nonsense Anne was never banished from Margaret s court In fact, Margaret seemed fond of la petite Boulin, and she told Thomas Boleyn that Anne wasso presentable and so pleasant, considering her youthful age, that I ambeholden to you for sending her to me, than you to meShe clearly did not leave the Netherlands lack ing polish and self assurance, as Catherine claimed, nor did she return to England afterward Rather, she left to accompany her sister Mary to France, where she eventually served in Queen Claude s strict and religious household During her time there, Anne became fluent in French and adopted French fashions, which along with her dark complexion, hair, and eyes made her seem exotic when she finally went to serve Queen Catherine in England.It just gets worse from there No mention was ever made of Anne s doomed romance with Henry Percy Cardinal Wolsey forbid Percy to marry Anne, leaving both young people heartbroken Only after this did Henry begin to actively pursue her.But as soon as he did, the fictional Catherine vilified her even further Though Anne lived in her apartments as one of her ladies and though she had watched Henry pursue other girls for twenty years, rather than be pursued by them she blamed Anne and Anne alone for her husband s betrayal Instead of considering that Anne may have demanded marriage as a way of protecting her virtue of course, Catherine assumed Anne had none , she even repeated rumors that Anne might have been pregnant already.In short, Anne is here in her traditional mold the arrogant, insolent, shrewish homewrecker who captured Henry s obdurate heart The possibility that she was a virtuous girl who had no desire to follow in her sister s footsteps by becoming the king s temporary mistress was never entertained.Catherine observes that Anne did not love Henry Of that I was certain She did not show him any of the kindness or constancy or even simple fondness that women in love cannot help but show.Instead she was harsh and impatient and filled with bitterness When Henry came to seek her out, there among the women of my chamberthey quarreled Anne accused him of failing to keep his word and end his marriage to me, of cowardice, of forcing her to squander her precious youth and sacrifice her good repute And all for nothing 191 2 I know this is set in the sixteenth century and all, but would it have been absurd to consider that Anne whether she loved Henry or not had been chased and courted by her king and, conscious of her honor and good repute, did what any sensible girl would do tell him that if he liked it, then he should put a ring on it But no Anne could only have been a greedy, power hungry, insert adjective from the list above slut.Worse, though, is that Erickson also perpetuates the myth that Anne was promiscuous even after her marriage to Henry Catherine saysAnne was proving to befearsome and demanding than he had expected And less pure.The duchess was certain that my husband was sleeping with Anne But according to Charles Brandon, Anne was keeping company with another man as well.My prayers were being answered Anne s true nature was showing itself 207, emphasis mine Dear historical fiction writers Anne Boleyn was falsely accused of adultery, for which she was executed The charges were trumped up as an excuse to get rid of her Stop pretending like there was any merit to them Looking at you, Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel Other negative things about Anne said by Catherine and others included that she is not beautiful or young She lacks the grace to walk like a baroness, much less a queen That she flaunts and shames herself That she is unmannerly and brazen, rude and braggardly, and without a shred of modesty or dignity That her ill behaved style and loose, sensual attitudes and tastes are ill suited to the dignity necessary in a queen That she raved and shrieked and taunted and shamed Henry Most outrageous of all, Catherine claimed that Anne tried to have Henry Fitzroy killed something that Catherine herself had seriously considered just one hundred pages earlier and that she ought to have been punished.Would it not be farcompelling and unique to have Catherine, as angry and hurt and perhaps bitter as she must have been, recognize that her rival replacement was human, too to describe an Anne Boleyn who was not the ugly, ill natured whore who bewitched Henry, but a witty and well intentioned young woman caught up in something bigger than herself I guess that s wishful thinking.Again, I apologize for going on for so long about Anne in this review, but her dreadful characterization really ruined the book for me Instead of wasting so much time belittling Anne, I wish Erickson had spenttime on Catherine and her actual experiences What did she do and why did she do it how did she feel whom did she see Sadly, the last third of the novel gives us only hints of these things.Better characters,character interaction, and better pacing could have made The Spanish Queen a three or three and a half star book As is, I give it a grudging two

  3. says:

    Definitely not historically accurate but entertaining still

  4. says:

    Erickson returns with another great tale about one of the six wives of Henry VIII On this novel, we tackle Catherine of Aragon, Henry s first and longest serving wife Born to Ferdinand and Isabella, famed Spanish monarchs of Columbus fame Erickson paints young Catherine as one who seeks to match her mother s war prowess, even as a young princess Sent to marry Prince Arthur, Crown Prince of England Their marriage proved to be less than she hoped and turns out to be the key to her later life, Erickson returns with another great tale about one of the six wives of Henry VIII On this novel, we tackle Catherine of Aragon, Henry s first and longest serving wife Born to Ferdinand and Isabella, famed Spanish monarchs of Columbus fame Erickson paints young Catherine as one who seeks to match her mother s war prowess, even as a young princess Sent to marry Prince Arthur, Crown Prince of England Their marriage proved to be less than she hoped and turns out to be the key to her later life, as many Tudor fans will know When Arthur dies, Catherine is left in limbo, neither Spain nor England happy that no prince came from the union Through some tricky negotiating, Prince Henry is offered up and their union is sealed by the nympho prince Erickson takes the reader through the many perils of the marriage from the miscarriages that plagued the couple, to Princess Mary s healthy birth which galled Henry as he had no male heir , and eventually the ongoing affairs that Henry undertook as king With the arrival of Anne Boleyn, the affair moved from an issue to a catastrophe Boleyn, one time lady in waiting, becomes a major issue when Catherine discovers Henry seeks to make her his new wife Through battles with Rome, Henry scoffs at the Church and its laws in order to serve his desires Catherine yields nothing and has the backing of the Vatican and her own fellow Catholic countries, but Henry understands no defiant act Through the latter half of the book Erickson shows the triangular battle in which Henry and Anne are sure they can prevail Taking the reader through the ups and downs of Catherine s life, while offering much insight into her struggle to be treated so poorly while coming from royal blood A cast of characters that keep the story moving and the plot multi faceted, Erickson does well to present this well known historical tale.Being a great Tudor fan, both the family and the television program, Erickson does a wonderful job putting into words the trials and tribulations of one of England s most talked about families Using her historical knowledge and fiction abilities, Erickson makes the story come to life As a reader who enjoys both fiction and its non cousin, I might have liked some filler story within the long marriage of Henry and Catherine I felt as though some years were wrapped up in a single sentence, focused around a miscarriage or Boleyn antic Other than that, it has been a great read with much to enjoy and loads about which to ponder.Kudos, Madam Erickson for your splendid novel Always a pleasure to delve into someTudor soap opera story lines

  5. says:

    This review is from The Spanish Queen A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon Kindle Edition Lackluster fictionalized biography of Catherine of Aragon, Henry the VIII long suffering first wife Cherished by her mother and tolerated by her philandering father, Catherine is asked to attend her mother in her wedding dress before she departs for her new home, thus setting the stage for bad luck to follow her on the trip to England She is cursed by her father s mistress as she goes overboa This review is from The Spanish Queen A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon Kindle Edition Lackluster fictionalized biography of Catherine of Aragon, Henry the VIII long suffering first wife Cherished by her mother and tolerated by her philandering father, Catherine is asked to attend her mother in her wedding dress before she departs for her new home, thus setting the stage for bad luck to follow her on the trip to England She is cursed by her father s mistress as she goes overboard in stormy seas, and left with the care of her bastard half sister surely setting the stage for further misfortune Carolly Erickson is faithful to recorded events and she represents all the key players, however, they appear one dimensional She recounts Catherine s life, describing her reaction to her sickly husband, the limbo she is left in when he dies, but we never really getthat a recounting of her life Henry is not the larger than life renaissance man, but a spoiled boy who ravages her on their wedding night He is threaten by her popularity and her lack of bringing forth a son Catherine was the daughter of one of the most powerful women of her time Her siblings married royalty She was groomed to be queen her entire life She held England together as a regent when Henry left for France The queen that Carrolly portrays does not do justice for the proud personage of the historical Catherine

  6. says:

    Carolly Erickson is a master storyteller, and her new novel is not an exception in this sense I have to admit I found it quite entertaining even though I had already read other books about Henry s first wife, both fiction and non fiction At the same time, the book didn t add a newer, novel perspective to what is already known about Catherine as a historical figure Catherine s character is strong, and her first person voice certainly evokes emotion although other novels have created her lyrica Carolly Erickson is a master storyteller, and her new novel is not an exception in this sense I have to admit I found it quite entertaining even though I had already read other books about Henry s first wife, both fiction and non fiction At the same time, the book didn t add a newer, novel perspective to what is already known about Catherine as a historical figure Catherine s character is strong, and her first person voice certainly evokes emotion although other novels have created her lyrical portraits well already The Constant Princess by Phillipa Gregory and the excellent Katharine of Aragon by Jean Plaidy come to mind immediately Catherine is typically described as a devout Catholic and a mother in fact, according to some historians, she could even be called dogged The role of the Catholic faith that drove her life is not described well here Catherine s relationship with Mary was also one of the most significant forces in her existence The abandoned queen and her daughter suffered greatly after Henry prevented them from seeing each other It was one of her greatest sorrows as Catherine was dying, but in the novel, Catherine s relationship with Mary is not portrayed well To readers, who are truly curious about Catalina Catherine, I strongly recommend the non fiction book Catherine of Aragon The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII by Giles Tremlett, which is not only thoroughly researched but is also fun to read

  7. says:

    Well written, well researched and very entertaining novel of Catherine of Aragon first wife of Henry the Eighth A must for any fan of the Tudor era.This was my first book by Carolly Erickson, and I was very favorably impressed I ll definitely seek outby her.I received this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway Thanks

  8. says:

    I have a fondness for Catherine of Aragon of all of Henry s wives and this tale of her s was quite pleasurable I love the awful portrayl of Anne Would have likeddetail of her and Henry when they first met but tis okay I still enjoyed the read.

  9. says:

    The Spanish Queen is a novel written by the novelist Carolly Erickson about the early life of Catherine of Aragon and continues into her marriage with Prince Arthur, and then her marriage to Henry VIII, which leads up to his infatuation with Anne Boleyn and eventually, Catherine s death.Everyone knows Catherine of Aragon as Henry VIII s long suffering first wife, but she was a fascinating person in her own right She was the daughter of the most Catholic monarchs Isabella of Castile and Ferdi The Spanish Queen is a novel written by the novelist Carolly Erickson about the early life of Catherine of Aragon and continues into her marriage with Prince Arthur, and then her marriage to Henry VIII, which leads up to his infatuation with Anne Boleyn and eventually, Catherine s death.Everyone knows Catherine of Aragon as Henry VIII s long suffering first wife, but she was a fascinating person in her own right She was the daughter of the most Catholic monarchs Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, the aunt to Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor Most people imagine Catherine as this old wife, who Henry VIII wants rid of, but she had such an interesting and fascinating story to tell, and this is exactly how the author presents the story, as Catherine writing down her trials and tribulations throughout her long life.Catherine s story begins in her childhood country of Spain, where from an early age, she understands that women have to put up with a lot throughout their lives, and her godly mother, who was known as a warrior queen, was no exception Her mother had to put up with her husband s infidelity with his mistress, who believes herself to behigher up than anyone else, but also Catherine has to put up with her half sister, Ferdinand s illegitimate daughter, who is just as high and mighty as her mother.The author uses the idea of a curse to explain why Catherine of Aragon suffered over her many years, but I found this plot line very weird It occurs when view spoiler Catherine and her party were sailing over to England for her marriage to Prince Arthur, there is a terrible storm and her father s mistress is thrown over the side and is holding on for dear life, whilst calling out for Catherine to help her, but Catherine tried her best but the mistress was thrown over a board whilst cursing Catherine However, throughout the novel, Catherine s half sister the mistress s daughter uses her mother s death as a way to try to turn courtiers against Catherine and constantly explains to many people that she is cursed hide spoiler For me personally, it is a good idea, but it was only mentioned now and again throughout the book and by the nasty half sister who liked to threaten Catherine and use her mother s death against Catherine and use it to torment her, but I felt that it didn t seem to fit in with the rest of the book.There were two characters in this novel that you could not really connect with, and that is probably how the author wanted to portray them in comparison with Catherine, and they are Henry VIII for obvious reasons and Anne Boleyn dramatic music dun dun dunshocker.not really When Catherine first encounters Henry as a prince, he is depicted as hated by his father and restricted in what he is allowed to do However, as a prince, he is shown as caring for Catherine and wants her as his wife, but when he becomes king and marries her, he shows a change in personality and not for the better After Catherine gives birth to a stillborn daughter after her first pregnancy, Henry becomes quite rude and horrible to Catherine, which really surprised me and angered me whilst reading Henry s dialogue with Catherine I don t often get angry with characters this only happens if I become really drawn into the story but with Henry, knowing what he will turn out to be like in the future, I began to actually hate him throughout the story His comments towards Catherine throughout the novel, just made me hate Henry every time he said something Although, with Catherine being the mean character, you tend to have sympathy for her, so Henry will look like the villain throughout the novel which is the case in history anyway, with how he treats Catherine.The case with Anne Boleyn, is the fact that when a novel is written about Catherine, she becomes the protagonist that you pity and want to protect, but of course Anne Boleyn is the homewrecker and a woman who is grasping for power, no matter who she hurts in the process This book is no different Anne s personality comes across as a rude, obnoxious, demanding and abrasive individual, who Catherine meets before she was sent to the French Court for shameful behaviour However, Catherine was unsure of Anne in her early life, but when Anne presents herself at court during the 1520 s, it is clear that Anne s personality has not changed and Catherine begins to detest Anne as she becomes close with Henry.Be that as it may, I have one massive pet peeves with historical fiction and that is when the most impossible thing in history is made possible in a novel, but before anyone says something, I completely understand that the novel is a work of fiction, but you ll find out what I mean view spoiler In the novel, Mary Tudor, Henry VIII s sister dies in 1533, and her funeral is being held in Bury St Edmunds, where she is still buried till this day, but here is where I struggle to comprehend, both Henry and Catherine of Aragon attend the funeral They both attend the funeral They both attend the funeral The reasons that it bugs me is 1 Henry would never attend funerals as it would bring round the fact of the monarch dying, which was a big no no in Tudor times, which would lead to treason and 2 I am literally 100% sure that if Catherine asked permission to go to her sister in law s funeral that Henry would say no, but also I highly doubt that Henry would allow Catherine to leave The More hide spoiler However, despite some of the flaws, I could enjoy the book for what it was, a historical fiction novel I liked the book, but I didn t fall in love with it I did feel like at times the book was being rushed, and I would have found it helpful for when a new chapter started to have the year at the top of the chapter so I could follow the events Although, I do think that it was nice to read a novel about Catherine of Aragon for a change to Anne Boleyn who I love though and there will be many people that would enjoy this novel

  10. says:

    Carolly Erickson s THE SPANISH QUEEN is a fictionalized autobiography of Catherine of Aragon Erickson recreates Catherine s departure from Spain to England and we spend our time in Tudor court.As a sixteen year old, Catherine of Aragon makes the journey from Spain to England but prior to her departure, Queen Isabella asks her to wear her wedding dress Everyone around her says it will bring bad luck, but Catherine complies Shortly afterwards, Catherine is told she s cursed after a series of ev Carolly Erickson s THE SPANISH QUEEN is a fictionalized autobiography of Catherine of Aragon Erickson recreates Catherine s departure from Spain to England and we spend our time in Tudor court.As a sixteen year old, Catherine of Aragon makes the journey from Spain to England but prior to her departure, Queen Isabella asks her to wear her wedding dress Everyone around her says it will bring bad luck, but Catherine complies Shortly afterwards, Catherine is told she s cursed after a series of events prevent her departure from Spain She decides to continue with her travel plans and arrives in England where she ll marry Henry VII s son, Arthur Her marriage to Arthur doesn t last long and finds herself developing a friendship with Henry VIII She waits quietly in the wings unsure of her fate and doesn t begin to blossom until her marriage to Henry VIII In Erickson s THE SPANISH QUEEN we see the birth of a queen along with her achievements and struggles.Narrative is first person via Catherine and Erickson gives us a narrator that we can trust It s difficult for an author to give a historical figure an authentic voice and Erickson does a superb job In THE SPANISH QUEEN, we see Catherine s vulnerabilities and what her thoughts and desires are We experience her pain at not being able to bear a son to having to contend with a jealous half sister Erickson does gloss over a few known historical facts in this narrative She focuses primarily on Bessie Blount and her son Fitzroy Wolsey s downfall is also glossed over and I got the feeling Erickson s Catherine still viewed him as an ally instead of the man who supported Henry s quest for an annulment Then we have Anne Boleyn fans of Anne you ll want to skip this one since she s not pictured in the best light, but you can feel Catherine s betrayal regarding Anne Here we are presented a young girl whose parents cannot keep her under control and Catherine councils and molds her In the end, Anne s portrayal is exactly what you d expect and you can t help but feel the sting of betrayal It s Henry s portrayal that is the most interesting He never seems to grow up and is portrayed as a boy who pouts in the corner because his wife issuccessful on the battlefield than he is It s quite easy to dislike him and dismiss him from the narrative.It s always interesting to read how someone else interprets a historical figure I ve always had a soft spot for William Blount, Baron Montjoy because he commissions John Blount no proof they were related to translate Nicholas Upton s DE STUDIO MILITARI Upton s chivalric text would have been interest to Montjoy especially since he was made a diplomat and Upton s book goes into detail regarding the legality of war Heraldry and chivalry enjoyed quite a boost under Henry VIII and imagine the prominence Montjoy could enjoy by presenting such a text or knowledge to Henry My master s thesis was on Upton, but used Blount s translation and that s my personal connection to Erickson s The Spanish Queen I enjoyed Erickson s portrayal of Blount even though her version isn t exactly what I know of Blount, but that s okay It was still fun to have a moment of discussion with a friend about this.What I really enjoyed about Erickson s THE SPANISH QUEEN is the life she gives Catherine It s easy to like her and take her side in all matters that you want to tell her what you know of history She also makes you pause for a bit to reflect on the historical timeline especially the way the book ends Anne Boleyn dies a few months after Catherine and one can t help but wonder what Catherine would have made of Anne s fate And yet, the narrative goes back to Catherine being told she s cursed in a subtle way Your heart will break for a woman who doesn t pause for a moment to think of the possibility and yet, she endures I wish Erickson would have addressed this in some format I know if I had been told I was cursed and bad things happen, I would have toyed with the idea Then again, I have to remind myself that Catherine was a religious woman and in Erickson s book, she believes in God s intervention and his judgment which leads to the appropriate punishment as deemed by God.While not perfect in terms of historical accuracy, Carolly Erickson s THE SPANISH QUEEN was nevertheless is a delightful read Do keep in mind that is historical fiction and some liberties were taken.This revieware posted at Literary, etc

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