King Henry VIII had six wives. Perhaps you have heard – divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. Author Alison Weir is writing a series of books about each wife.
The first book in the series, Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen, tells of the life of King Henry VIII’s first wife Katherine. We meet her as she is on her way to England from Spain where she is to marry Arthur, Prince of Wales, heir to the throne. We follow her as she weds Arthur, his death and then her courtship and marriage to his brother Henry. We see their marriage, her multiple attempts at having children, and her life as her husband tries to divorce her to marry Anne Boleyn. Throughout these events we see her love and her loyalty for her family, her husband and her religion.
I felt the author did a really good job at presenting the history of Katherine. There was a lot I did not know and I was continually looking up more information about people and events the author depicted. From what I read in outside sources it seems the author was spot on. I learned so much about the history of this time and I also really enjoyed learning more about what every day life was like for Royalty at this time. I also really enjoyed learning more about how England removed itself from Rome and the King became the head of the Church of England.
There were some spots in the novel that dragged on a bit for me and some of it became almost repetitive. There were so many times that the character of Katherine annoyed me. I would often get so tired of her complaining but not really ever doing more than that. I wanted her to do something about some of the situations she was in instead of just complaining about them. Though I also felt so badly for her with the way her husband Henry treated her. In the end I couldn’t decide what I thought of Katherine. Was her loyalty to Henry VIII commendable or was she just to weak to have fought better for herself?
If you like historical fiction based on actual people, English history, the story of Henry VIII and all his wives give this book a try. I’m looking forward to the other books and learning about each of the wives. I’m especially looking forward to reading Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession as I have thoughts about her after reading Katherine of Aragon.