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Splendid and sumptuous historical novel from this internationally bestselling author, telling of the early life of Katherine of Aragon. We think of her as the barren wife of a notorious king; but behind this legacy lies a fascinating story. Katherine of Aragon is born Catalina, the Spanish Infanta, to parents who are both rulers and warriors. Aged four, she is betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales, and is raised to be Queen of England. She is never in doubt that it is her destiny to rule that far-off, wet, cold land. Her faith is tested when her prospective fahter-in-law greets her arrival in her new country with a great insult; Arthur seems little a boy; the food is strange and the customs coarse. Slowly she adapts to the first Tudor court, and life as Arthur's wife grows ever more bearable. But when the studious young man dies, she is left to make her own future: how can she now be queen, and found a dynasty? Only by marrying Arthur's young brother, the sunny but spoilt Henry. His father and grandmother are against it; her powerful parents prove little use. Yet Katherine is her mother's daughter and her fighting spirit is strong. She will do anything to achieve her aim; even if it means telling the greatest lie, and holding to it. Philippa Gregory proves yet again that behind the apparently familiar face of history lies an astonishing story: of women warriors influencing the future of Europe, of revered heroes making deep mistakes, and of an untold love story which changes the fate of a nation.
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Splendid and sumptuous historical novel from this internationally bestselling author, telling of the early life of Katherine of Aragon. We think of her as the barren wife of a notorious king; but behind this legacy lies a fascinating story. Philippa Gregory is now one of the most successful historical novelists writing today THE VIRGIN'S LOVER has sold 50,000 hardback copies to date and has been a bestseller in the UK, the US, and Number One in New Zealand Film versions of THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL and THE QUEEN'S FOOL are in development Extensive publicity across all media guaranteed The author is well known for her appearances on TV, as a Tudor expert and a regular on Time Team, and her frequent participation on Radio 4's Round Britian Quiz Competition: Sarah Dunant; Rose Tremain; Hilary Mantel; Deborah Moggach

About the Author

Philippa Gregory is an established writer and broadcaster for radio and television. She holds a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. She lives in the North of England with her family.

Reviews

As youngest daughter to the Spanish monarchs and crusaders King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Catalina, princess of Wales and of Spain, was promised to the English Prince Arthur when she was three. She leaves Spain at 15 to fulfill her destiny as queen of England, where she finds true love with Arthur (after some initial sourness) as they plot the future of their kingdom together. Arthur dies young, however, leaving Catalina a widow and ineligible for the throne. Before his death, he extracts a promise from his wife to marry his younger brother Henry in order to become queen anyway, have children and rule as they had planned, a situation that can only be if Catalina denies that Arthur was ever her lover. Gregory's latest (after Earthly Joys) compellingly dramatizes how Catalina uses her faith, her cunning and her utter belief in destiny to reclaim her rightful title. By alternating tight third-person narration with Catalina's unguarded thoughts and gripping dialogue, the author presents a thorough, sympathetic portrait of her heroine and her transformation into Queen Katherine. Gregory's skill for creating suspense pulls the reader along despite the historical novel's foregone conclusion. Agent, Melanie Jackson. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

'The contemporary mistress of historical crime fiction is Philippa Gregory. Her novels are filled with strong, determined women who take their fate into their own hands!Gregory brings to life the sights, smells and textures of 16th-century England.' Kate Mosse, Financial Times Acclaim for Philippa Gregory THE VIRGIN'S LOVER: 'A book to lose yourself in...a simmering mixture of intrigue, lust and betrayal at the court of Elizabeth I, it breathes new life into the suspected love affair between the young queen and Robert Dudley' Daily Mail 'Convincing and entertaining' Daily Telegraph 'Historical fiction at its best' Choice 'An enjoyable read, and Gregory's energetic writing carries one along' Sunday Telegraph 'A fascinating new take on a story we thought we knew' Eve THE VIRGIN'S LOVER: 'Highly readable, highly enjoyable' Manchester City Life 'History has a sexy makeover in an erotic account of Elizabeth l's relationship with the married and tantalisingly unavailable Robert Dudley' Glamour, Books of the Year 'Gripping and often moving' Image 'Packed with court intrigue and sumptuous detail' Dublin Evening Herald 'Gregory's success lies in restoring humanity to her historical figures' Daily Mail 'Gregory vivdly portrays court life - all the political intrigue, divided loyalties, love and betrayal' Woman and Home 'Gregory is one of the best chroniclers of the ups and downs of the turbulent Tudors...This superbly plotted drama unfolds like an exquisitely embroidered Tudor ruff' Sainsbury's Magazine 'Queen of the historical novel' Mail on Sunday 'Gregory creates an intriguing tale with many an unexpected twist' Glasgow Herald

Best-selling historical novelist Gregory returns to the world of Tudor England that she explored in books like The Other Boleyn Girl. This time, her subject is Katherine of Aragon, the 16-year-old daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Katherine knows from a very young age that she is promised to marry Prince Arthur, heir to the English throne, and she never wavers in her conviction that she will one day become queen. That determination is sorely tested, however, upon Arthur's premature death after two years of marriage. Although she loves her husband (a passion that is kept hidden from the court), Katherine agrees to his dying wish that he be declared impotent so that she can marry his younger brother, Henry, and eventually reign as queen. This fascinating portrait of a proud, intelligent, and passionate woman captures the political turmoil of the era; a secondary plot involving Katherine's single-minded filial devotion to her parents makes her an even more vulnerable and complex character. An excellent choice for historical fiction collections.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State Univ., Mankato Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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