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by Carolyn Meyer

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: May 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-15-216544-4
Publisher: Gulliver/Harcourt

Meyer continues her first-person series about the Tudor women, this one in the voice of Catalina, known as Catherine of Aragon, who was a young teen when she was sent from Spain in 1501 to be married to Arthur, eldest son of the King of England. Meyer describes the loneliness, isolation, and difficulties of Catherine’s position: she did not speak English or French, the court languages, and she was kept from Arthur not only when betrothed but even after they were wed. The sickly Arthur could not consummate their union. After his death, she experienced years of limbo—and relative poverty—while her dowry was fought over. During it all, Henry, the bright, open, lively younger brother of Arthur, fascinates her. It’s Henry who inherits the English crown, and who marries Catherine, only to quickly fall out of love with her and begin the half-dozen marriages for which history holds him infamous. Catherine was the mother of the queen known as Bloody Mary, and readers who know the rest of the Young Royals series will certainly be engaged by this one. (Historical fiction. 12-14)