The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. In her new novel, the first in a series of six, Alison Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon, the King’s first wife, drawing on new research and keeping closely to the historical record. She approaches her tale from Katherine’s point of view, which affords an intimate psychological perspective on this indomitable, courageous and principled woman. Was Katherine’s union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts and the allure of an ambitious woman?
Alison Weir evokes a court peopled by the luminaries of the early Tudor age – Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and the magnificent figure of Henry VIII himself – a young, and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment. They live in a lost world of splendour and brutality, dominated by faith and by momentous religious change – a world in which there were few saints. This was Katherine’s world, and we can only understand her properly within its context.
Alison Weir is the top-selling female historian in the United Kingdom, and has sold over 2.7 million books worldwide. She has published seventeen history books, including Elizabeth the Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Lady in the Tower and Elizabeth of York, and five historical novels. Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen is the first in a series of novels about the wives of Henry VIII.
A truly marvellous book – never falters, never fails to deliver. – H.R.H. Princess Michael of Kent
The great thing about Alison’s work, be it fiction or factual, is that it is always underpinned with her tremendously detailed knowledge of the characters and the period she writes about. Her research is impeccable – Mavis Cheek
…Alison Weir brings Katherine of Aragon dazzlingly to life. Based upon extensive new research, it is a portrayal that shatters the many myths about Henry VIII’s long-suffering first wife. Far from being the one-dimensional victim of history, she emerges as a charismatic, indomitable and courageous heroine whose story never fails to enthrall.
– Tracy Borman, historian, writer,and joint Chief Curator for Historic Royal Palaces