Carolly Erickson~~4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews
The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon
St. Martin's Press
As with all of Carolly Erickson's books, The Spanish Queen reads smoothly, factually accurate and interestingly. Catherine of Aragon makes an enchanting and strong subject; she lived a rather tragic life, although she was respected and loved by the public. It would seem her biggest downfall to Henry the VIII was that she could not provide him with a son. Erickson brings the characters and their surroundings to life. I became emotionally invested in how Catherine did in her rather sad life. The story includes many characters and keeping the members of a royal family, their relatives, friends and foes straight isn't always easy.
Catherine of Aragon was a strong-willed, intelligent, yet compassionate, royal who understood the ways of her world. She understood why she must be replaced by a younger, more fertile woman. Much of Catherine's story can be summed up in a paragraph taken from Chapter Sixteen: She speaks to her husband, Henry the VIII, "I fought off the Scots. I lost the child in my womb, I wept. I did what needed to be done, as ruler and guardian of the realm, in your stead. Do you truly believe that Anne could do the same should you become ill and unable to rule any longer? Has she the valor, the strength? Would the soldiers fight for her, if the imperial armies of my nephew Charles invaded England?"
Courageous, intelligent and strong, Catherine of Aragon tells an exciting and affective story through the writing of Carolly Erickson. Erickson has written more than 26 books and this, along with the others, are well worth reading.
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