Six Tudor Queens.Katherine of Aragon; Book review. 

Six Tudor Queens. Katherine of Aragon. By Alison Weir. 

I’ve never been much of a history person, history-particularly the history of our kings and Queens- just didn’t engage me. I knew as much as you learn in primary school about Henry VIII and his wives and had no inclination to know more.  

I’ve never been much of a history person, history-particularly the history of our kings and Queens- just didn’t engage me. I knew as much as you learn in primary school about Henry VIII and his wives and had no inclination to know more. 

Until THIS book came along. 
I stumbled on this book in Waterstones, after a bit of a dry spell with reading (I wasn’t enjoying anything) it caught my eye as part of a buy one get one half price offer, and so I thought why the heck not? 

I haven’t previously read anything by Alison Weir but I’ve discovered that she is an accomplished historian and best selling author. Her books are mostly, historical fact.(I believe). 

We begin with Katherine arriving from Spain, set to wed Prince Arthur, who unfortunately dies just a few months into their (most probably unconsummated marriage). I didn’t know she had married Arthur before Henry! Then we learn about Katherine’s life as a Spanish princess stuck in England with no husband. 

Eventually, following the death of Henry VII Katherine and Henry VIII marry. A marriage that is, to begin with, a very happy one. 

Reading about Katherine losing child after child was heart-wrenching. 

And then of course the part most of us know, as Henry takes Anne Boleyn as a mistress and they set about trying to have the marriage dissolved. 

I had learnt as a youngster, many moons ago that Henry was cruel to Katherine but I had no idea just how cruel. 

I knew very little about Katherine herself, but in this book, which was extensively researched, I learnt that she was an incredibly strong woman, she was a devout catholic and stubborn in her faith-there were times when I felt like screaming at her “Please let Henry go, don’t live this way unnecessarily”. 

I was heartbroken for her at being kept apart from Mary, her only surviving child! 
But most of all I was awed by her strength and kindness in such difficult times. 

For probably the entire last quarter of the book I was so moved that I actually cried several times, it’s incredibly rare for me to cry over a book. I felt absolutely devastated by the end, which I put entirely down to good writing because after all the end was no big shock. 

Alison Weir really does know her stuff, her depth of knowledge shines through in the detail of this book. I say this genuinely- I could close my eyes for a moment while reading and feel as though I were right there. The fact and fiction were so well woven together that it didn’t feel sensationalised but that the gaps were filled in well enough to be interesting and keep the story moving. 

Surprisingly Alison Weir has left me with a hunger to know everything about our past kings and queens. I cannot wait to read the 2nd instalment of Six Tudor Queens (out in May) which tells the story of Anne Boleyn and I have found myself scouring Amazon making lists of all the books I absolutely need (which it turns out is a great many) to read about our royal history. (I’m not even a royalist). 

I absolutely loved this book, I tweeted while reading that if you only buy one book this month, I urge you to buy this one, and I strongly reiterate that. 
I’m giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ because it’s absolutely the best book I’ve read in a long time, by a long way. 

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