Monday, November 12, 2007

Katharine The Virgin Widow by Jean Plaidy.

Author: Jean Plaidy
ISBN: 0-09-949314-4
Historical Fiction.

"Widowed within months of her marriage to the frail Prince of Wales, Arthur Tudor, Katharine of Aragon's virginity is the subject of much speculation. A pawn between the Spanish and English monarchies, the question of whether her marriage to the Prince was ever consummated decides both her fate, and England's. Her life has become a far cry from what she knew as an Infanta of Spain and Princess of Wales. But in the wings awaits Henry, Arthur's younger, more handsome brother, the future King of England and her only escape from poverty. He alone has the power to restore her position, but at what sacrifice?"

I had wanted this book for ages, and so when I got it I was thrilled! Queen Katherine of Aragon was my favourite Queen of the Tudors. I've only ever read one other book of Jean Plaidy's Saint Thomas's Eve. I think I'm coming to a decision that Jean Plaidy isn't one of my favourite authors, as although I enjoyed this novel for the historical content. I didn't connect with any of the characters, and I didn't feel a part of the book. I just didn't get a sense of the surroundings or any emotion. I also didn't like the fact that Katharine's marriage with Arthur was rushed, whereas with Philippa Gregory's The Constant Princess, Philippa turned it into a beautiful love story, and I loved that.

I wanted a little bit more of detail in Jean Plaidy's book, but I felt like she was skimming through it, and not delving deep into the character and bringing them alive.
It's been mentioned to me before that Jean Plaidy's books are more like History lessons, and I have to agree. Some people love her books, but for me I much prefer Philippa Gregory, as I feel Philippa brings her characters alive. I'm not saying Jean Plaidy was a rubbish writer, just that her books aren't for me.

My rating, OK if you want a book that isn't exciting but, you want to read for the historical facts.


Daphne said...

I've read all three of Plaidy's books on Katherine and this one was my least favorite. I agree that some of Plaidy's books aren't the most exiciting books to read, but they do provide a very good, basic storyline which has helped me understand other books better.

Clare said...

I've not read this yet but, I do like Jean Plaidy and her writing is so different to Philippa's, in some way I find Jean Plaidy much better, and get more of a feel of the Tudor court with her books.

heather (errantdreams) said...

"I didn't connect with any of the characters, and I didn't feel a part of the book. I just didn't get a sense of the surroundings or any emotion."

I really like to connect emotionally with a book, so this would be a deal-breaker for me.