Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen by Alison Weir

Competition published on May 13, 2016.

Featured in the Spring 2016 issue of nb magazine as the subject of The Verdict, our reading group review feature, Katherine of Aragon is the first in a new series of six stunning novels about the six queens of Henry VIII by foremost and beloved historian Alison Weir, drawing on new research.

**we have 2 copies of the book to give away – scroll down for your chance to win**

Groundbreaking truth; breathtaking fiction.

Alison explains the appeal:

The lives of Henry VIII’s make for dramatic stories. It never surprises me that many are fascinated by the lives of these six women, or that debates about them still continue and controversies rage. I was absolutely delighted, therefore, when Headline commissioned me to write six novels on these queens, because it gave me the opportunity to use new research to write fiction that offers a different perspective and, in parts, explores uncharted territory.


I am drawn to Katherine of Aragon because of her moral courage and her strength. I believe that, as a woman of high principle and integrity, she deserves to be celebrated as one of the greatest and most loved queens of England. You could see her as the last truly medieval queen, and against Anne Boleyn, who has become almost a modern feminist icon, Katherine seems an anachronism in an age of revolutionary change. But she herself did not see it that way. In defying Henry VIII, and in making a stand for what she believed to be right, she thought that she could make a difference, not only to her own life, but to the lives of many others whose convictions were being sidelined – and for that she deserves our admiration. Hers is also a love story. Her love for Henry VIII was deep and true, and it survived every hurt and humiliation that he inflicted on her. Yet her belief in his innate goodness never failed. Such devotion seems almost saintly to us, and is remarkable in any age.


Doing justice to Katherine in my novel was a great challenge. Fortunately, finding her voice was easy, because she was a prolific letter writer and recorded her feelings and hopes as well as her doings. There is a wealth of source material on her, from which a novelist can extract riches. There was little need to make up storylines because there are so many to weave into the central narrative. Yet I have built on fragments of evidence to construct one particular thread that might hopefully provoke debate!


In telling her story, I have tried not to make Katherine too much of a saint. She had failings, naturally, and she could take a blinkered approach to crucial issues, but her innate honesty, loyalty, faith and good intentions make her a most sympathetic character. She shines forth as a devoted and loving daughter, wife and mother, a staunch friend to many, and a brave champion of her rights. Small wonder that Thomas Cromwell said of her: ‘Nature wronged her in not making her a man. But for her sex, she would have surpassed all the heroes of history.’

Find out more about this groundbreaking new series at

Read what the Prince Philip Hospital Book Club made of Katherine of Aragon as a group read on nudge.

We have 2 copies of the book to give away – simply fill in the form below for your chance to win:

The Competition is closed.


About the author

Alison Weir is the top-selling female historian in the United Kingdom, and has sold over 2.7 million books worldwide. She has published seventeen history books, including Elizabeth the Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Lady in the Tower and Elizabeth of York, and five historical novels. Her latest biography is The Lost Tudor Princess. Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen is the first in a series of novels about the wives of Henry VIII.


Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen by Alison Weir, published by Headline on 5 May, 2016 in hardback at £18.99




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