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Mostly around the anniversary of my mothers death and my birthday.

Not exactly, or at least not entirely. Prior to arriving in England, Abdul Karim had worked as a prison clerk in Uttar Pradesh, India, which had been under formal British rule for close to three decades. According to the Victoria and Abdul true story, the jail's superintendent, John Tyler, had met the Queen at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition of , where he showcased carpets the inmates had made as part of a rehabilitation program.

The Queen was impressed and asked Tyler to select two Indian attendants to help her at her Golden Jubilee, which marked fifty years of being on the throne. She wanted help communicating with the Indian dignitaries in attendance. In part due to his tallness, Abdul Karim, then 24, was chosen. In the movie, he first presents a newly minted ceremonial coin to the year-old Queen. Yes, this actually happened.

Shrabani Basu, author of the book Victoria and Abdul: Karim told her it would be rotten but she really wanted to try one. Her staff had one sent over, but of course it took six weeks to arrive and went off in the meantime. Shrabani Basu's book Victoria and Abdul provided the basis for the movie.

At the end of notes to her Urdu teacher, Abdul Karim, she would often finish with "your loving mother" or "dearest mother," revealing the closeness of their relationship. Like in the Victoria and Abdul movie, our fact-checking of the true story confirmed that there is no evidence to suggest that her relationship with Karim ever turned romantic.

After author Shrabani Basu was contacted by Karim's family who she had almost given up looking for , they shared his diaries with her in His writings suggested nothing romantic.

However, his friendship with Queen Victoria was still unusually intimate, as evidenced by the correspondence displayed below. The two even spent a night together at Glassat Shiel, a remote cottage in Scotland where she had previously stayed with her late servant John Brown another subject of controversy. Her own children even kept their distance from her. Despite their closeness, Basu doesn't believe that they had a physical relationship.

Written by Abdul Karim, this letter of devotion to Queen Victoria survived her son Edward VII's efforts to eradicate all traces of his mother's close friendship with her teacher. Karim was married to Rashidan Karim. When he expressed that he wanted to go back to Agra to be with his wife, Victoria invited her to come to England to live with her husband. She gave them homes on all of the key royal estates in the United Kingdom and land in India.

She even offered them conception advice, telling Karim and his wife, "She should be careful at the particular time every month not to tire herself. When it comes to historical accuracy, the biggest issue that most critics have with the film is its portrayal of Victoria as a progressive who holds strong anti-racist views.

The movie proposes that her appointment of a Muslim to a key position in the Royal Household was a win for diversity, a cause for which she is depicted as a champion. Certainly the current political climate may have helped to shape this, positioning Victoria Judi Dench as the righteous leader who denounces racism and intolerance. Critics haven't held back, calling the movie's characterization of Victoria "peculiar," "laughable," and "fiction," citing that the film attempts to lecture us about today's Islamophobia.

But what do we know about Victoria and this time period that makes the movie's characterization of Victoria untrue?

This Era in England's history is known as the Raj era, a period that was largely defined by imperial oppression of India and its citizens, who were under the direct rule of Britain. The film ignores the subjugation going on outside of Britain and the palace walls.

Instead, it narrows the focus and keeps our eyes on the relationship between Queen Victoria and Abdul, not the United Kingdom and its colonies, which the Queen oversaw. She had in fact been in power during such events as the Indian Rebellion of , which found rebels in India rising up against Crown rule, which up until that point had been enforced by the British East India Company and its private army.

A good number of Indians were unhappy with steep land taxes and invasive British-based social reforms. Even after the rebellion which the British suppressed , when Britain ruled directly, taxes were still high and the British depleted Indian revenues to fund an inflated bureaucracy including in London.

A great racial divide emerged between Indians and the class-conscious Britons. The divide lasted until the end of the British Raj in , long after Queen Victoria's passing. So if the movie makes her out to be a champion against racial intolerance, it can certainly be argued that she didn't do enough to improve racial equality outside the palace walls. Yet, we must also remember that the Queen, who was known for her high moral standards, had influence but little direct political power since the United Kingdom was already a seasoned constitutional monarchy by that point.

In the movie, Abdul Karim is portrayed as wise and passive instead of ambitious and at times self-serving. In researching the Victoria and Abdul true story, we discovered that, like everyone else, the real Karim indeed had flaws. For example, the movie implies that Queen Victoria introduced the idea of Karim being knighted herself to a shocked Royal House.

In reality, Karim had worked tirelessly to convince Victoria to give him a knighthood. Another less savory side of Karim that the movie turns away from is when Victoria's doctor, Dr. James Reid Paul Higgins , breaks the news to her that Karim, a married man, is riddled with gonorrhea. As Vulture critic David Edelstein noted, the movie pushes too much political correctness for its own good.

Karim Ali Fazal is so saintly that he comes across as two dimensional and boring. This was confirmed in a letter written by her assistant private secretary Fritz Ponsonby, who complained of her preferential treatment of Karim. He concluded by sharing the Queen's thoughts on the matter, "the Queen says it is 'race prejudice' and that we are jealous of the poor Munshi. Author Shrabani Basu stumbled upon this painting of Abdul Karim while visiting Victoria and Albert's former summer home.

Why was Karim, thought to be a servant, dressed as a nobleman holding a book? In fact, it took a full years before journalist and author Shrabani Basu came upon a clue of the forgotten friendship.

While on vacation with her family in , Basu stumbled upon a painting of Karim pictured in Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's former summer home on the Isle of Wight in the U. It struck her that Karim, supposedly a servant, had been painted beautifully in red and gold as a nobleman with a book in his hand.

She discovered two more pictures in Queen Victoria's dressing area, one was of her close friend John Brown and the other was of Karim. After her passing, her family members, along with others in the Royal House, scrambled to destroy all traces of her closeness to Karim. Karim was evicted from the home Victoria had given him and he was deported back to India.

Her daughter Beatrice embarked on the arduous task of erasing all mention of Karim from the Queen's journals, which encompassed more than a decade of her writings since that's how long he had been a part of her life. Obviously, it wasn't merely because they were of a different social status.

Historians note that Victoria's family and staff exhibited both racial and social prejudices. Compounding that was their jealousy of Karim. He was afforded privileges they weren't, such as traveling with her through Europe; honors; titles; personal gifts; a private carriage; and the best seats at banquets and opera houses.

As indicated in the previous question, she also commissioned several portraits of Karim, in addition to recruiting local journalists to write about him. She hosted his visiting family members and even helped Karim's dad secure a pension. Since the passing of her Scottish confidante John Brown in , Karim was the only servant who she welcomed into her inner circle. The idea that he partook in daily duties alongside them was seen as an outrage.

Racism and jealousy fueled the Royal House's dislike of Victoria and Abdul's friendship. Dench starred as Victoria 20 years earlier in the movie Mrs. Brown , which explored the close relationship she had with her Scottish servant and confidante John Brown following the death of her husband Albert.

The movie's title refers to the nickname that other staff members gave the Queen behind her back. Like her friendship with Abdul Karim, her relationship with John Brown, portrayed by Billy Connolly in the film, was not approved of by the royal court.

However, it wasn't nearly as detested, mainly because Brown was a white European and not a dark-skinned Indian. Brown also starred Judi Dench as Queen Victoria. Prior to her friendship with Abdul Karim, the Queen had come under scrutiny for her close relationship with Scottish servant John Brown right , which some believe was romantic. December 9, Birthplace: May 24, Birthplace: June 20, — January 22, October 15, Birthplace: Lalitpur near Jhansi, British India Death: September 18, Birthplace: February 7, Birthplace: November 9, Birthplace: May 13, Birthplace: April 7, , Northampton, England, UK.

Sir Henry Ponsonby Born: December 10, Birthplace: July 26, Birthplace: Jane Spencer, Baroness Churchill Born: June 1, Birthplace: October 19, Birthplace: Lord Salisbury Prime Minister Born: February 3, Birthplace: Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK Death: August 22, , Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK. October 23, Birthplace: June 28, , UK. August 4, Birthplace: March 7, Confidential Attendant of Queen Victoria.

Queen Elizabeth II: The Moment She Became the Monarch | Time

That concern was quashed by her then-lady-in-waiting Lady Ruth Fermoy, who happened to be grandmother to a young Diana Spencer. When Diana visited Charles for a week and the pair got to know each other, the Queen was perhaps even more charmed by Di than Charles was. Similarly, in , while England was plagued by anti-conservative social unrest, the Queen saw the crucial distraction in a royal wedding.

Watched by million people around the world, the ceremony sparked new public interest in what was perceived as a stale monarchy. Or so she thought. And after Diana repeatedly went running to the Queen to express her dismay, Elizabeth learned the new princess had no idea that she was playing a role. Instead, the monarchy was bound by stuffiness and process — both readily apparent in the way Queen Elizabeth had robotically waved to the public since she took the throne at the age of So when the world clamored to be part of Diana-palooza, the Queen and her circle were thrown for a loop.

Any time Elizabeth attempted to rein in her daughter-in-law and show her the royal ways, Diana would end up stealing the limelight. The structural decision to have the two shared perspectives melds together nicely to form the larger picture. Fine skillfully creates a magical realm controlled by a matriarchy who wields fire and ice. Elli is also sexually fluid, whereas Ansa is a lesbian unflinchingly devoted to her love and chieftain, Thyra.

The only concern I had was the lack of explanation as to why the earth craved copper, or blood. That was never explained and seemed more like a device to propel desired plot points. Besides for some moments requiring suspension of belief, The Impostor Queen is an impressive fantasy series, and Fine has a gift for language, character development, world building, and applying nuance.

Not your typical high fantasy, and highly recommended. I finished til the end and I thought the ending was pretty great but view spoiler [ while there is definitely a connection between the two at the end, Ansa and Elli are not on page explicity An Item as I'd hoped.

Yes, Oskar dies, too, so they both lost their partners but I am still a little sour on not getting OTP but having to go through the anguish of Thyra dying. May 05, Ximena rated it really liked it. La misma que el libro 2: Aun asi y despues de dudar varias veces si seguirlo o no , me parece una buena historia y mejor que el libro dos que se centra en Ansa y que tiene muchas cosas rescatables.

Aug 28, Ola Quinn rated it liked it. I can confirm what I said in my review for the previous book in this series: I'm glad I chose to skip book 1. In this last novel of the trilogy we get a dual alternat POV one from Ansa - who I always love, th eother from Ellie - who is pretty annoying and not interesting at all. The plot was repetitive, predictable and the pacing was off: The relationships so diverse and beautiful we had in book 2 were almost not present in this which was too I can confirm what I said in my review for the previous book in this series: The relationships so diverse and beautiful we had in book 2 were almost not present in this which was too bad.

What I appreciatedd immensely were the sacrifices: I always love and adore Ansa as a character and I think she totally overshadows everyone else. Overall this wasn't a bad book at all, but the flaws mentioned surely impaired its rating. Jan 13, Jenni Frencham rated it really liked it Shelves: I really loved the first two books in this series, and although I enjoyed this one, I didn't like it as much as the previous two.

This might be due to the fact that I was reading it on a day when I was staying home sick, but also this is the first book in the series with multiple narrators, and it was difficult for me to keep the two story lines straight as the narrative voices were very similar. I also felt like the ending of this story dragged on a bit more than necessary; I found myself skimm I really loved the first two books in this series, and although I enjoyed this one, I didn't like it as much as the previous two.

I also felt like the ending of this story dragged on a bit more than necessary; I found myself skimming pages to find out what happened. That being said, I LOVE that this is a fantasy world where queer people are accepted as a normal part of society and that this book contains queer characters without being about them coming out or whatnot.

On the one hand, it delivers in all the ways I wanted: Yet it still fell quite flat and is left my least favourite of the trilogy. On a positive note: Fine is a good writer and did a great job of bringing the first two novels together in this finale. Less positively, it took me a solid pages to get into it; having the first series of chapters just alternately recount the same events 3. Less positively, it took me a solid pages to get into it; having the first series of chapters just alternately recount the same events from both sides was super boring and the characters were super annoying , especially Ansa.

Once things got going though, I enjoyed it more. But I also found that the ending was quite sudden? There was so much build, and then it all closed rather quickly. In hindsight, then, I guess the best part was the middle third. Overall, it's not a bad trilogy. I doubt I'll ever read it again, but it was fun and different. May 04, Reina rated it really liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Was the ending a tad disappointing?

Maybe for my standard. Honestly expected them to die regardless of the princess and her to be the one to inherit all of the magic.

Then you have a balanced and controlled queen as one person. The great parts about this book? I Was the ending a tad disappointing? I mean she sacrificed her love to be there for her princess. Anyway I am in the limbo time between books because I picked up my next book and a few chapters in I am still thinking about the True Queen Mar 08, Grendaycita Segovia rated it really liked it Shelves: Me gusto pero no quede conforme con ese final.

Pocos personajes, romance y batalla final, poco desarrolladas, rayando en aburridas. No hay romance EllixOskar tan lindo como antes 3,5. Jan 31, Abigail rated it liked it Shelves: I read this book because I enjoyed the first one, thought the second was OK, and at that point figured I was invested enough to find out how things turned out.

However, I wasn't invested enough to reread the first two, which meant that I had very little memory of the many, many secondary characters, which might have reduced the impact a bit. Also, things turned out almost exactly as anticipated, with a couple twists in the middle. The pacing was breakneck all the way through -- people were const I read this book because I enjoyed the first one, thought the second was OK, and at that point figured I was invested enough to find out how things turned out.

The pacing was breakneck all the way through -- people were constantly kidnapped and rescued, injured and healed. And the environmental and feminist messages were lovely, but pretty heavy-handed at times.

All-in-all, I'm not sorry I read it. I like Ansa and Elli, and in particular enjoyed their individual journeys of coming into power and leadership. Apr 12, Jami Leigh rated it it was amazing Shelves: It took me longer than it otherwise would to get around to finishing this, because my life since November has been one upheaval after another.

And I can't begrude any of it, because I am objective enough to know when the universe is helping me to grow. But I recognize when it's happening and trust that what life is showing me will lead to better things.

I'm a firm believer that there's a meaning to it all, and not in a traditional religious sense. More that, thin It took me longer than it otherwise would to get around to finishing this, because my life since November has been one upheaval after another.

In that context, this book. To sacrifice all that has driven you. To persevere when there is nothing less to lose This book hits that point and doesn't flinch away from it. I would NOT recommend this to someone deeply struggling with loss. But for those who are healing from loss, who are living and striving in its shadow It hurts and heals, and seeing it there makes it sobbingly real. There's always a tomorrow, and this builds that heart shatteringly well.

Mar 18, Jordon rated it it was ok. I loved the first book in this series. But I hated the second book. I thought the third book would be okay because Ellie's in it, but the second book had completely lost me. I wasn't invested in the characters anymore, I didn't really care. I also hated that Oskar and Ellie kept referring to each other as 'My love' etc, it was too much to be honest. I really thought this book would redeem the last book, but it was already too late.

I read it just to see how the series ended. What an absolutely outstanding finale to this series! I can't even think of any criticisms. These were two very different and yet similar women who didn't know whether they were supposed to be enemies or friends. There was so much action in this book and so many tears. I won't give away any spoilers, but not everyone makes it out of this one. It was devastating, but still, I thought the ending was just perfect.

Loved this whole series! Henry and Katherine were married by far the longest out of any of his wives, and this book gives you a blow by blow of their marriage without sinking into tedium. And Anne Boleyn is now out! If you like historical fiction. If not, then maybe do not do that. May 05, Lolly's Library rated it it was amazing Shelves: I must say, the book started off rather slow for me: For instance, the first time Henry is unfaithful, Katherine is shocked and hurt by his behavior.

After all, it's not like love or even affection between royal spouses was the norm, despite the appearance Henry gave of being as in love with Katherine as she was with him. Aristocratic and royal marriages were made for alliances, for power, not for love; adultery, on the man's part, was the accepted norm. So it seemed strange for Katherine, the daughter of Isabella of Aragon, to exist in a cloud of naivety and meekness. But then things start to pick up once the King's Secret Matter, which soon becomes the King's Great Matter, gets exposed and the hurly-burly with Anne Boleyn begins.

Then we see the fire of Katherine of Aragon spark to life as she fights for her husband, her marriage, her title, her daughter, and her entire life and future. This is not an unbiased book, nor should it be. This is a highly personal tale, told completely from one woman's perspective.

Such a singular perspective doesn't allow for an unbiased telling. We see the events of this well-known historical period through a single set of eyes, augmented by the opinions of those in her household who are loyal to her, those who fight for her rights against those of Anne Boleyn. This is not a history book or even a biography. This is historical fiction. Get interested in the history behind the story, but don't get your history from the story, even though this particular story is being told by an historian.

And a good one. Alison Weir thoroughly immerses us in the world of Katherine, her household, her retinues and routines, her high and low fortunes. We are with her every step of the way as she lives through the disappointment of her marriage to Arthur, as she floats through the glorious first years of her marriage to Henry, as she slowly becomes beaten down, small defeat by large, when Henry finds Anne, leaves Katherine, and splits Christendom in two in his quest to satisfy his desire to have a male heir.

By the end of the book, it's quite easy for the reader to loathe both Henry and Anne as Katherine suffers repeated bouts of ill health, living in constant fear from the specter of poisoning hanging over both her and her daughter, Mary's, heads. Each illness of Mary's fills the reader with the same pangs of terror as it does Katherine, despite knowing that Mary survives these years of hell, years which imprint on her character indelibly. However, because we are getting a story from Katherine's perspective, that also means we're getting a Tudor-washed, Ferdinand-washed tale as well, as is to be expected.

In order for Ferdinand to be ruler of Spain, Juana has to be mad. It's a bit hard to swallow at first, but I had to keep telling myself, history is written by the victors. Alison Weir does a good job of explaining the choices she made as a writer in her Author's Note, explaining she changed relatively little in attempting to evoke the sights, smells, and textures of a lost age. She also explains how writing the book from Katherine's perspective granted her a different, more intimate psychological perspective on this amazingly scrupulous, lionhearted, and resolute woman, which in turn allows us to better understand why Katherine wouldn't have knuckled under and given in to Henry's demands, for though the idea of Katherine retiring to a convent and becoming his "sister" might seem reasonable to us now, to Katherine, they were utterly repugnant.

Of course, probably the most famous incident in Katherine's life was her first marriage to Arthur and whether or not it was consummated.

While I have no doubt Katherine would've done everything in her power to protect herself and her daughter, her faith was too strong to allow her to lie about something as crucial as consummation.

View all 3 comments. Aug 12, Lois rated it liked it Shelves: I actually enjoyed this portrait of Katherine from first arrival in England to her death. I'm a fan of the Tudor period. This was well written and easy light enjoyable reading. Yet, I'm tired of the misogynistic view of Anne Boleyn as home wrecker and Katherine as the helpless ingenue: Both seem simplistic portraits of such complex women.

Weir is one of my favorite historians so I'm disappointed in this showing. Henr I actually enjoyed this portrait of Katherine from first arrival in England to her death. Henry chose to divorce Katherine. He then chose to cut off Anne's head. I find the suggestion that she had power over him insulting. Why set her up as the villain when history clearly has Henry repeating this asshole pattern of behavior with multiple people in his life, not just his wives. He has friends and relatives killed as well.

He was a tyrant and he, not Anne, is responsible for the fate of Katherine of Aragon. Dec 10, Kim Kaso rated it it was amazing Shelves: I found myself once again deeply immersed in the complex and endlessly fascinating world of the Tudors.

Masterfully written, very highly recommended. That was all the phenomenal; and more. Haunting, moving and fascinating, Alison Weir takes us through the life of Catalina of Aragon, or Katherine as she becomes in England. At age 16 she is betrothed to the young Prince Arthur, who of course tragically dies of illness a short time after they wed. Eventually, Katherine marries his brother, Henry; and it's here where things take a tragic turn, and this Queen's downfall slowly ends.

For Katherine could not bear Henry a live son, which leads him to That was all the phenomenal; and more.

For Katherine could not bear Henry a live son, which leads him to think their marriage was never blessed by God seriously dude?! Alison Weir has longtime been a favourite of mine; she can do no wrong, I feel. This book is no exception. At pages long though it passes what with the dramatis personae, how cool! And the bibliography this book was never not once boring.

I devoured it, because even though I'm very familiar with the life of Queen Katherine, I had not read a lot about her in fiction. It was a treasure to read something so extensively researched, and I felt like I was right there with Katherine as she became made her voyage to England and mourned her homesickness to her beloved Spain; to when she became Queen, to when she was exiled. I felt like I went through the same emotions as her, too; sheer joy to utter heartbreak. Weir captures the characters perfectly.

I mean, I know it's fiction but I felt like it was all real life! She did stick exceptionally close to Katherine's life, as the records state it, and she just got the character of Henry VIII down pat. I was shocked and disgraced with his behaviour in the book. He was a pure maniac, a beastly tyrant. What's more is this is the first book in a series of six! One book a year, for each wife!

I cannot wait for the second instalment, about my favourite, Anne Boleyn! May 03, Jessie Frederick rated it it was amazing Shelves: Katherine of Aragon was a wonderful read. I've always had a fascination with the British monarchy, so this book only naturally entices me. I was so happy to find that I enjoyed it as much as I had hoped I would.

Totally worth the newly released, hardback price tag. She's clearly a qualified historian, and it reflects in this piece of fiction. I personally enjoy when fiction based off history has some level of accuracy. Though I also like wild fabrications as well.

It is fiction after all, and I'm after a good story. I've watched many documentaries on this period, and it seems that Katherine of Aragon is always glossed over.

It's true that a lot of the juiciness starts when Anne Boleyn comes into the picture, and her wickedness is hard to ignore. But unfortunately, it comes at the expense of Queen Katherine's story.

So I was excited to read this account although it's fiction of Katherine's life from her perspective. It has made me really love the queen, and I'm eager to read more about Katherine, her reign, and her life having now read this book.

As she embarks on a new series, Weir pulls on much of her past research to create strong novels based on the six queens of Henry VIII.

The focus of this first novel is Katherine of Aragon, who was betrothed to England's Prince Arthur at a young age. When she arrived in England, Katherine found herself unsure of the decision negotiated by her parents, though she understood she was a pawn to forge a necessary political alliance.

Upon meeting her future husband, Katherine began to sense the awkward As she embarks on a new series, Weir pulls on much of her past research to create strong novels based on the six queens of Henry VIII. Upon meeting her future husband, Katherine began to sense the awkwardness of the situation, for this was a man who did not show the raw attraction or curiosity she was told to expect. Her marriage to Prince Arthur became one of a friendship rather than an amorous connection, as Weir supports in numerous instances.

Additionally, the controversial 'non-consummation' of their wedding is a historical gem Weir explores in the narrative, a key piece of information that plays a central role in the latter portion of the story. When Arthur became ill and did, Katherine renewed her role as pawn, though not in the same fashion.

Her hand was potentially pledged to King Henry VII, the French dauphin, and Prince Henry the heir to the English Throne at various points, all to secure alliances, but also to keep options open for both Spain and England. Eventually, she married Prince now King Henry and their union seemed full of love, especially after receiving a papal dispensation to unite. Here began the next struggle in Katherine's life, trying to give England an heir.

A number of pregnancies ended in miscarriage or death days after birth, including a few sons. When one child survived, Katherine was overjoyed with Princess Mary, though the Queen realised that she still bore the yoke of producing a male heir. Could this issue be founded in God's displeasure with their union? When Katherine eventually succumbed to menopause, she knew that she has failed Henry, though held firm that she has done all in her power.

Henry refused to show his disappointment outwardly, though plotted with his closest advisor, Cardinal Wolsey, to bring an heir to the throne. Weir does mention an illegitimate heir, from Henry's philandering, but no son around which England could unite. Thus began the delicate shift of dissolving his marriage with Katherine so that he could turn to the young Anne Boleyn, a former lady of Queen Katherine and the new love interest of the King.

As the Queen refused to admit her marriage was anything but legal and the King failed to convince her to divorce, Henry turned to Rome for the pope to invalidate it.

Katherine held firm to the earlier dispensation, hoping it would save her and ensure that she and Mary would never become black marks in the English history books. Katherine was eventually pushed out of her place as Queen, even as Rome refused to recognize Henry's wedding to Boleyn, which caused the largest of schisms and led Henry to create the Church of England to justify his actions.

Vilified by her husband while being supported by the English people, Katherine fought with all she had to keep her name clear and allow Mary her rightful place as heir to the throne. Even in her dwindling years, Katherine found many who spoke in favour of her marriage and against Henry's conniving nature to blot out their marriage, a veritable act of treason to verbalise. A masterful novel that allows English history buffs to bask in Weir's superior writing style that flows so effortlessly, Katherine of Aragon emerges not as a saintly woman, but one of passion who held firm to her personal and religious beliefs during a tumultuous time at the English Court.

While this is considered a piece of fiction, any reader who knows their history or has devoured much of Weir's past work will realise that it is steeped in reality. As I read, I became aware that the 'fiction' moniker was placed there more to validate the detailed dialogue than a shuffling of facts to create a more dramatic story. Weir lays down a powerful narrative that flows effectively throughout Katherine's life and shows that while she was isolated from her Spanish parents, she held firm to protect herself and her daughter from Henry's self-centred approach to life.

While long and highly detailed, Weir offers the reader an insightful look into the life of this first of Henry's six wives, perhaps the strongest advocate of them all. Weir brings Katherine of Aragon to life in this opening novel and leaves readers itching for the next instalment, sure to be filled with as much drama, bridging from the narrative peppered throughout this book. There is surely crossover material to be explored more thoroughly within the second novel, though Weir is able to secure focus on events from Katherine's perspective.

This novel offers everything the reader could expect from perusing its title, with chapters full of anecdotes woven into powerful dialogue.

Kudos, Madam Weir for this exceptional piece of writing that piques the interest of readers from all walks of life. I look forward to the next book in the collection and how you tackle the Boleyn character. An ever-growing collection of others appears at: I enjoyed reading this but Weir is not a natural novelist: It follows her life from the marriage negotiations with Henry VII through till her death and smooths out all the unknowable and, perhaps, most interesting things about her life: That said, there's a lot of detail here, taken from the sources with which Weir is clearly familiar, so we do get a greater sense of Katherine's political importance than is often the case from Tudor novels, and the political manipulations that surrounded her.

Anyone who is most familiar with Katherine as the old, staid wife who gets elbowed out by Anne Boleyn may well find this an enlightening read. Anyone more au fait with the historical sources will find nothing new here. In literary terms, this is certainly more historically intelligent than Phlippa Gregory and that romantic style of re -writing history but it doesn't come near the literary intelligence and flair of Mantel. Katherine of Aragon is the paragon of virtue betrothed to Arthur, the Prince of Wales.

With his death proceeds the ramifications of the Reformation and the rise and fall of one of the most notorious women in England's history. What becomes apparent in the reshaping of history here is the reconfiguration of Henry's personality, obsessed with the birth of a legitimate male heir, and the zea Read out of order, Weir's first book in her Wives of Henry VIII series continues to live up to expectations. What becomes apparent in the reshaping of history here is the reconfiguration of Henry's personality, obsessed with the birth of a legitimate male heir, and the zealousness of Katherine's temper, placing all belief and responsibility of her marriage rights on the Catholic Church and the Pope.

It's obvious that the claims of both of these self-possessed adults had negative effects on their only child, Mary, who grew to become an ill, anxious, tormented young woman preoccupied with the health of her soul and conscience.

Weir does an exceptional job compiling contemporary sources into an emotional narrative. No one is the hero; no one is the savior. I felt like all main players were in the wrong here. Rating this book is difficult because it was very much a rollercoaster ride. The highlight of the book was the part where Henry had become infatuated with Anne and wanted to put Katherine aside, only for Katherine to dig her heels in.

Yes, this was far from perfect and I did have issues with the characterisation of Katherine the most, but it was the most interesting to read. Most of the book felt rather dry and lacked the oomph I had seen in the previous fictional books by Weir. I do understand t Rating this book is difficult because it was very much a rollercoaster ride. I do understand that this is fiction but I was really looking forward to reading this.

Having read The Constant Princess a few years ago, I couldn't help but draw comparisons and although this book was better in some aspects, it lacked that something that made me really like, respect, sympathise and root for Katherine that I did in The Constant Princess. With the next book being about Anne Boleyn, I'm interested to see how Weir tackles one of the most infamous of Henry's Wives May 17, Judy Lesley rated it it was amazing Shelves: I have never before felt that I know an historical figure as I now know Katherine of Aragon.

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