Katherine comes to the court of Edward III at the age of 15. The naïve convent-educated orphan of a penniless knight is dazzled by the jousts and the entertainments of court. Nevertheless, Katherine is beautiful, and she turns the head of the King's favourite son John of Gaunt. But he is married, and she is soon to be betrothed. A few years later their paths cross again and this time their passion for each other cannot be denied or suppressed. Katherine becomes the prince's mistress, and discovers an extraordinary world of power, pleasure and passion.
©1954 Anya Seton (P)2009 ISIS Publishing Ltd
It was with great pleasure that I spotted "Katherine" in New Releases. I first read this book as a teenager and have re-read it many times since - I even took a copy of it with me on my honeymoon. If you like Sharon Penman and Philipa Gregory you will love this. The narrator is excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting yet another old friend courtesy of Audible.
....brilliant. I have read this book several times since I first bought it some forty years ago. That alone says how good it is !! I have never read any other book more than once, It was only recently that I realised that it was available to download, and having listened, can honestly say that despite knowing the story well, I still found it amazingly addictive. Probably not for the historical purist but still an informative and very well written novel. It was also very well narrated. I highly recommend this book.
I was delighted to find 'Katherine' by Anya Seton on Audible after it being recommended to me so often by my mum, for whom Anya Seton is one of her favourite authors. I promptly downloaded it as my trial membership, the 24+ hours of listening would keep me occupied for a month or so, I thought. How wrong I was! I listened long into the night when I should have been sleeping and consequently got through the book in just over a week. That's how enjoyable I found the book!
It is beautifully read by Diana Bishop, who does a wonderful job with characters and accents, and little smatterings of French and Spanish here and there. It isn't until you hear a truly terrible narrator that you can really appreciate just how well some narrators do. I appreciated Diana Bishop all the more after listening to some samples in preparing my 'wish list' for when my full Audible membership commenced.
The tale itself is based on the real Katherine Swynford and the Duke of Lancaster, the ancestors of our Royal Family, and the love story between them. Anya Seton researchers the time well for historical accuracy and it really was a pleasure to listen to, so much so that I can see myself listening to it repeatedly, but at a slower pace next time in order that I can savour it!
If you enjoy Historical Fiction/Historical Romance, and the works of Jean Plaidy et al, then I think you will enjoy this book and I heartily recommend it.
I would love to see more unabridged works of Anya Seton on here please Audible, hopefully read by Diana Bishop again or another equally talented British voice!
I recently read Alison Weir's Katherine Swynford in which she refers to this novel as being, on the whole, historically accurate and, having never read it, was delighted to find it Audible.
I loved it; the characters are beautifully described and believable, even the minor ones, and Diana Bishop's reading brings them fantastically to life. It tells the story of the young Katherine from her arrival in London to the legacy of her children. The characters have such depth, none of the good man / bad man nonsense that I've found in other historical novels. They become as real as your friends and family, and the reality of poor living conditions and harsh treatment isn't skipped over in favour of romance.
It is passionate and romantic but it also tells the story of a turbulent time that drew me in so that I found it hard to switch off, and I felt I was there in a plague-stricken castle or at the burning of the Savoy.
John and Katherine's love is the spinal cord of the story but you will also find the fingerprints of heralds and pages and the voices of maids and lords and minstrels in this book.
This was a joy to experience again! A favourite old book, beautifully read. I started to ration my listening time to prolong the pleasure. More Anya Seton NOW, please, from the same reader. The Winthrop Woman would be my choice!
Addicted to Audible!
A lengthy and enjoyable story. It obviously has it's basics in fact but the writer has brought the characters and places to life, she has spent time on them and it appeals to your visual imagination. Very well narrated by Diana Bishop.
I have been a fan of historical fiction for some years now and have exhausted Phillipa Gregory's supply of books. Somehow I had missed Katherine until I saw it reviewed on Audible. I loved it. I couldn't wait for a long drive or the chance to do some boring household chores so that I could listen to this incredible story. A love story, it began when Katherine was young and naive, what a beautiful true story of a love that spanned some 30 years. Weaving through the extremely challenging times, illness plague, war. The true love of Richard of Gaunt the kings son, Katherine somehow steadfastly navigates her way through adultery, murder, cruelty and betrayal, she is the mother of some of Richard's children. Half way throught the book I went to Wikipedia to check what became of these children only to discover that they are the ancestors of most of the British Royal Family.
The end will leave you with a sigh.
You will want more but sadly Katherine is Anya Seton's greatest masterpiece there is no more.
So good I have listened to it 5 times
John of gaunt.
Nope. It was fab
55yr old married to my wonderful husband. Had a stroke 5 yrs ago but I am fine apart from weakness I loved to read but now can't!
The gripping storyline made for a enjoyable listening with a good voice too
Could have been a Philiipa Gregory novel. Not a historic novel but thrilling anyway!
I laughed and I cried. It is emotional and fun too. It starting in a convent then in the royal courts with a lot beside!
This is my favourite book of all time. I first read it in my teens and have read and re-read it ever since with the same pleasure. The story is one of true love between the mighty Prince John of Gaunt and the enduring love he had for a commoner. Gripping all the way through.
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