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Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen

Narrated by: Maggie Mash
Series: Six Tudor Queens, Book 1
Length: 27 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (241 ratings)

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Summary

The lives of Henry VIII's queens make for dramatic stories, and Alison Weir writes a series of novels that offer insights into the real lives of the six wives based on extensive research and new theories.

In all the romancing, has anyone regarded the evidence that Anne Boleyn did not love Henry VIII? Or that Prince Arthur, Katherine of Aragon's first husband, who is said to have loved her, in fact cared so little for her that he willed his personal effects to his sister? Or that Henry VIII, an overprotected child and teenager, was prudish when it came to sex? That Jane Seymour, usually portrayed as Henry's one true love, had the makings of a matriarch? There is much to reveal....

Alison writes about the wives in the contexts of their own ages and of the court intrigues that surrounded these women and - without exception - wrecked their lives. She will transport listeners into a lost and vivid world of splendour and brutality: a world in which love, or the game of it, dominates all.

©2016 Alison Weir (P)2016 Headline Digital

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Fabulous

Ive always been fascinated by the Tudors. At first, when I realised there were 35 chapters I wondered if I would last until the end but Alison Weirs superb storytelling kept me enthralled and gave me a much greater insight to why the main characters behaved as they did. Dear Katherine of Aragon what a woman! I cannot wait for the next instalment to be released in audio format.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Katherine of Aragon

Loved this thorough narration of Katherine's life. Alison is an excellent historian but hearing this book read really does draw you into each dramatic chapter. Can't wait for the next book in this series!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Interesting detail, an epic book

I was interested to see how much more detail Alison Weir would add to this book, so much is known already. It did seem to drag on at times but the detail required it. Looking forward to the rest of the series particularly the one about Jane Seymour. Narrator was good generally and clearly tried to portray the early life of Catherine when English was difficult for her, male voices not great, but other than using male and female narrators as a lit of more recent books and Audible dramas do
it’s often difficult to get it right.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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very enjoyable!

thoroughly enjoyable! it has a good story, includes interesting history and is very well read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Truly Epic Work

Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen is a truly magnificent work. Fictionalizing any historical figure isn't an easy thing to do. History has plenty of documentary evidence from which to build the framework of this story but it's the blanks between the documented areas that Weir expertly bridges. Weir's deep knowledge of the subject matter and her innate writing ability and skill at filling these gaps makes for an incredible feat of story telling. Weir perfectly connects all data points along Katherine's known life so credibly that it is hard to separate the facts from the fictionalized fillers. Weir thus creates a seamless and smooth flow that is beautifully as well as masterfully written.

I have read some of Weir's non fictionalized books but it is this that really makes historical figures into flesh and blood people. It so humanizes all the players in this story that real personality is imbued into them by Weir and done in such a wonderfully plausible, consistent and viscerally real way. In this story, the reader gets a real sense of the hopes and fears of Katherine in a way that non fiction historical analysis cannot provide. One really feels by the end of this book that we have followed Katherine on her life journey as an unseen witness.

We see Katherine as a person rather than just an historical figure, her Spanish accented voice brought perfectly to life by the excellent narration of Maggie Mash. Mash is a perfect choice for this book with her excellent rendering of various accents and voices. I did think, however, with some amusement that her early male voices did sound a little like those of someone who talked too loudly due to them being mildly drunk though! I would have liked to see Mash narrate the other books in this series to provide a familiar voice throughout the Six Queens collection.

I did notice two or three odd production glitches with a sentence here or there not finished with dead air between that and then resumption. Thankfully, these were very rare but somehow slipped through the production oversight process.

I cannot stress enough what an epic work this book is. It is perhaps Alison Weir's Magnus Opus. Katherine's loyalty and devotion to Henry, her husband, despite her treatment by him was moving and Weir beautifully portrays this aspect of her character. The book takes the reader right to the end of Katherine's difficult life and her death bed scene was a truly poignant and moving one.

Yes, this is a very long book but it means that there is a full and proper treatment of Katherine's life laid out here for those who are prepared to invest the time to give this the attention it deserves.

Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen is a story that will leave you thinking about Katherine and her sad life for a long time afterwards. A superb and highly recommended read to which this review does not do justice to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The first of what promises to be a great series.

If you could sum up Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen in three words, what would they be?

Slow to start, great middle and slower to finish. The novel is written from the perspective of the Queen from her arrival from Spain to marry Prince Arthur until her death. Accordingly her life did not make for such exciting reading throughout, as it does when the Boleyns arrived. I liked however how the novel does include the lesser well known periods of her life; Katherine it would appear truly was a great Queen.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen?

It would be easy to say the Boleyn moments; for me her confinement post Queen Ann on the throne was particularly appauling. I'd previously considered with knowledge of the fate of other wives that Katherine got off lightly. Now I'm not so sure.

Which character – as performed by Maggie Mash – was your favourite?

The performer grew on me. Her portrayal was "queenly" as suits the novel and other reviews have commented they did not care for the presentation. I was unsure to start with as Katherine is presented in a halting English accent as she is obviously grasping a new language. This took me a while to get used to, but overall I found myself really liking the presentation. I think the whole reading will stay with me for a while, it is certainly powerful.

Any additional comments?

Ann Boleyn comes across as quite the nasty bitch. Alison Weir says as much in her interviews about the book. The second in the series I am awaiting with eager anticipation! There were sufficient villainous Ann Boleyn moments in this novel to make me long for the next!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Review

Where does Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This audio book is a really in depth account of Katherine of Aragon. It portrays her life as the tragic victim of circumstance she was, but also illustrates her intellect and desire to be a good queen.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Henry, as always his character is multidimensional and this book gives an insight into his early life and the tragedies that helped shape him.

What about Maggie Mash’s performance did you like?

I disagree with some of the unkind comments made about Maggie's narration. Whilst it is true she does read some dialogue more slowly, this is to add dimension to some of the foreign characters. Her style does not detract from my enjoyment of the book and I have liked other books she has read previously. I look forward to the next five volumes of this series and hope i don't have to wait too long!

Any additional comments?

The download wasn't the best quality; the dialogue jumps I places and fades in and out occasionally. A good historical fiction book which sticks closely to the known events.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 12-05-16

Stop using Maggie Mash I beg you.

Bookwise I was hoping it was to Alison Weirs usual non-fictional, fact filled novel style of story telling but this is much more of a romantically written (as romantic as it can be for a queen who got dumped) more fictional story. I can forgive this as having actually read the book aswell as listening to it, it flows so well and the story in general is great but I've said it before and sadly having to say it again, Maggie Mash is absolutely dire.
Why, oh WHY does she read characters dialogue so slowly like she's struggling? I know that she isn't as she reads the rest of the book just fine but the dialogue quality is unforgivable. Davina Porter gave an outstanding performance in The Life of Elizabeth the first, as did Simon Prebble and Judith Boyd in other Alison Weir works but sadly this is now the third book by Maggie Mash that's just going to sit in my library and wasting my credits which is such a shame as the authoress has such a knack to tell vivid stories.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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terrible narration

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

the characters are meant to be nation influencing minds and characters - but each time the narrator speaks their lines it sounds like some terrible panto

i couldnt listen to it

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Maggie Mash?

jimmie krankie would have been better

Do you think Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

id really like to get the rest of the series - but please dont use maggie mash again - OR if its the producers fault that it was played like a bad childrens story then dump the producer

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Another good book from Alison Weir

I am really interested in history and particularly this period. This was informative and compelling to the end.

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  • Bjerkana
  • 20-10-16

Live the story

It's so easy to gloss over the amazing events of Henry VIII's life with a sentence or two. Katherine of Aragon is often dismissed with a few words as Henry's first wife yet she shared more than twenty years with him, had six pregnancies of which only one produced a surviving child, Princess Mary, and she died as a virtual prisoner when he decided to get rid of her to marry Ann Boleyn. In this remarkable book, Alison Weir brings her story to life, through careful research of contemporary sources, so you feel as though you live through the whole saga at Katherine's side. A great addition to her body of historical work and a really engaging audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-07-19

As close to the true story as you are going to get

Tells the story behind the story and brilliantly narrated! A history boff's must. Highly recommended for anyone fascinated by King Henry and the Tudor ways.