Synopsis for The Constant Princess:
"As youngest daughter to the Spanish monarchs and crusaders King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Catalina, princess of Wales and of Spain, was promised to the English Prince Arthur when she was three. She leaves Spain at 15 to fulfill her destiny as queen of England, where she finds true love with Arthur (after some initial sourness) as they plot the future of their kingdom together. Arthur dies young, however, leaving Catalina a widow and ineligible for the throne. Before his death, he extracts a promise from his wife to marry his younger brother Henry in order to become queen anyway, have children and rule as they had planned, a situation that can only be if Catalina denies that Arthur was ever her lover."
Jenn: I have to admit I have a fascination with the Tudor court and this book enlightened me on the original Queen to Henry - Katharine of Aragon. Her story is incredibly interesting and intensely heartbreaking. (The things women had to go through!) I have to admit that after reading about her, I can't help but think that Henry was an idiot. She was an amazing woman - especially knowing her later history during the whole Anne Boleyn time period. Like all of Phillippa Gregory's novels, there's a fair amount of speculation - which is why it's historical fiction - but her research comes through so that you can still tell what's fact and what's not. A great read, and one to start with if wanting to dive into that era.