Seeing my obsession with the Showtime series The Tudors, my friend bought me a collection of Philippa Gregory novels for Christmas a few years ago. Forcing myself to put historical inaccuracies and embellishments aside, I finally picked up the first in Gregory’s Tudor series The Constant Princess.
This novel focuses on the life of Catherine, the Princess of Spain, who would eventually become Katherine, Queen of England – Henry VIII’s first wife. I was immediately grateful to find that the novel treats Katherine so gently. On The Tudors, she is overlooked. Her storyline is under developed and she is portrayed as a religious devotee to a fault.
Katherine’s resolve and dedication is almost palpable. While the story is based on heavy historical speculation, it is entertaining and engaging. I found myself getting irritated or feeling heartbroken on her behalf.
Perhaps most rewarding from reading this peace was how pleased I was with Gregory’s writing. She made historical fiction fun and quick – delivering essential details swiftly and full of color. I immediately picked up The Other Boleyn Girl once I completed this book. Can’t wait to see how she carries the readers into Henry VIII’s infamous relationship with Anne Boleyn.