Francis Hackett has built up a steady following. This biography of Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife, should have a similar market, a similar success. The freshness of viewpoint, consistently sustained with scholarly precision, makes it an utterly new approach to a period that has been dug over time and again. Mattingly writes of Catherine's childhood, of the great chess game of Europe, with young princesses as pawns, of her first marriage to Arthur and his death, and the long humiliation of her wait for Henry. Of her winning her English subjects, of her happiness for some years with Henry -- and then of the tragedy of failure to produce an heir, and Henry's fight for a divorce. A fascinating and meticulously detailed picture of a period and portrait of a woman, who wielded tremendous influence in European history.