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Catherine of Aragon Biographies

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Catherine of Aragon Biographies

Post  Duchess Lylia on Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:45 pm

I'm currently reading the Garrett Mattingly biography of Catherine of Aragon and am tremendously impressed by it. His intricate knowledge of the subject matter, and the beauty and "flow" of his writing, are so impressive. He weaves a most compelling story and (in contrast to so many other biographies I've hacked and struggled my way through) I can actually retain information about the multiple personalities and highly complex political and interpersonal circumstances Mattingly describes. Has anybody else read this biography and, if so, what are your thoughts?

Also, I'd appreciate information about other Catherine of Aragon biographies that fellow forum members have read and enjoyed. She was a remarkable woman who displayed such grace and loveliness in the face of terrible adversity.

As an aside, has anybody read any of the writings of Catherine Marshall (author of "Christy" and many other wonderful books)? I'll never forget reading about how she and her husband made a daily practice of forgiving grievances -- letting go of the "aughts and the anys" -- and how Henry VIII was towards the top of Ms. Marshall's list of people she was infuriated with and needed to forgive. I must that that I can relate!

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Re: Catherine of Aragon Biographies

Post  Elena on Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:17 pm

Yes, Lylia, I remember reading that in a Catherine Marshall book. I try to forgive Henry VIII, too. Catherine of Aragon is one of my favorite Queens. I loved how she is depicted in Alison Weir's book The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Since Henry was married to Katherine of Aragon the longest, there is more about her and I learned more than ever before about that stubborn, passionate, implacable queen. The loss of so many of their children cast a pall upon their once joyful union. Henry seemed to have so much guilt attached to his marriage with Katherine; one wonders if it was because she was, as Henry himself testified, "buxom" in the bedchamber. Katherine was a saint but also a woman. Even when he was trying to have her annulled he would still visit her; I think that deep down he loved Katherine, which makes his obsession with Anne Boleyn seem all the more unwholesome and unhinged.

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Re: Catherine of Aragon Biographies

Post  princess garnet on Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:39 pm

I read one by Mary Luke. It's out of print though.

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Re: Catherine of Aragon Biographies

Post  Elena on Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:47 pm

I read that one, too. I think I still have a copy of it somewhere. My favorite book about Katherine was the novel by Norah Lofts, The King's Pleasure. I cried and cried at the end.

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Re: Catherine of Aragon Biographies

Post  Duchess Lylia on Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:42 pm

"Lastly, I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things."

This always moves me to tears.

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Re: Catherine of Aragon Biographies

Post  Elena on Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:04 pm

Duchess Lylia wrote:"Lastly, I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things."

This always moves me to tears.

Yes! I always get choked up when I read those lines. Crying or Very sad

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Re: Catherine of Aragon Biographies

Post  Duchess Lylia on Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:28 pm

It's difficult not to think how things might have transpired (for the better) had Henry not been in the throes of a mid-life crisis -- one that went on, and on, and on...and compromised many others' lives along the way.

I agree that he never stopped loving Catherine and probably missed her more than he could admit to anybody, including himself.

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Re: Catherine of Aragon Biographies

Post  Elena on Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:58 pm

Duchess Lylia wrote:It's difficult not to think how things might have transpired (for the better) had Henry not been in the throes of a mid-life crisis -- one that went on, and on, and on...and compromised many others' lives along the way.

I agree that he never stopped loving Catherine and probably missed her more than he could admit to anybody, including himself.

OH, I totally agree! It was all a mid-life crisis. And his fears over a male heir proved to be unfounded, since a daughter ended up reigning after him and Edward anyway. Catherine of Aragon had been training Mary to be a Queen regnant, and I think Mary would have been a great Queen had she not been so traumatized by her parents' troubles. And then, of course, she died of cancer, which so often comes from stress. Poor Mary. I don't agree with what she did but I understand how she got there. Crying or Very sad

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Catherine of Aragon in Art

Post  Mata Hari on Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:40 pm



A post on Catherine of Aragon on art:
http://madameguillotine.org.uk/2010/12/16/catherine-of-aragon-16th-december-1485/

It’s interesting though, or maybe it is just predictable that because Catherine was Spanish, she is almost always depicted as being swarthy, sloe eyed and dark haired when in fact she was a tiny little thing with pale cheeks, blue eyes and auburn red hair. If anything, her successor Anne Boleyn looked more stereotypically ‘Spanish’ than Catherine.

Anyway, it just amuses me that we’re always being presented with the physical, intellectual and emotional contrasts between Henry VIII’s wives and yet the biggest and most dramatic contrast and surprise of all is all too often overlooked. Even by The Tudors, which otherwise seems to have left no petticoat unturned in its quest to make the already fascinating Tudor court a hot bed of iniquity and drama....

Two paintings, said to be of Catherine by Michel Sittow again. Dating is speculative on these works but they probably depict Catherine in her late teens either when she was still living at the Spanish court before leaving for England or shortly after her marriage to Prince Arthur.

Either way, if the girl in these paintings is indeed Catherine then she was clearly very pretty indeed and you can see why Arthur, Henry and probably their father too all fell under her spell. I just wish more people would, instead of rushing past her to get to Anne Boleyn.



More: http://garethrussellcidevant.blogspot.com/2010/12/december-16th-1485-birth-of-katherine.html

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Re: Catherine of Aragon Biographies

Post  May on Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:49 am

She was a beauty, so dignified and queenly.
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