Norah Lofts’s tales of royal Britain have stood the test of time.
This international bestseller powerfully tells of the life of Katharine of Aragon, from her childhood in Spain to her reign and downfall in England as the first wife of Henry VII. A princess by birth and a queen by marriage, Katharine always held the highest aspirations for her life, never doubting a vision both she and her mother, Isabella of Spain, had of her becoming one of the great rulers of Europe.
The story of tyrant king Henry VIII is told from the perspective of his first wife, Spanish princess Katharine of Aragon, in this re-released 1969 novel. For many years Katherine enjoys the love of her husband and the people of England, until Henry's selfish nature and obsession with young Anne Boleyn threaten Katherine's reign. Her stubborn Catholic views won't allow her to give in to Henry's demand for a divorce, and this same sense of piety ultimately destroys her. While not a page-turner (there's a reason many historical novelists focus on Anne Boleyn rather than Katherine), Lofts's period details are vivid and precise. Despite a somewhat choppy narrative (Anne and Henry's four-year affair is treated more like an afterthought), Lofts drums up such sympathy for Katharine that even though the ending is certain, readers will find themselves praying right along with the queen for Henry's change of heart.