by Anya Seton
'A great adventure, powerfully told' (Philippa Gregory) A sumptuous tale of passion and danger in the medieval court, Anya Seton's Katherine is an all-time classic. Katherine comes to the court of Edward III at the age of fifteen.
The naive convent-educated orphan of a penniless knight is dazzled by the jousts and the entertainments of court.
Nevertheless, Katherine is beautiful, and she turns the head of the King's favourite son, John of Gaunt.
But he is married, and she is soon to be betrothed. A few years later their paths cross again and this time their passion for each other cannot be denied or suppressed.
Katherine becomes the prince's mistress, and discovers an extraordinary world of power, pleasure and passion.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 576 pages, n/a
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 13/03/2006
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780340839881
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- Hardback from £8.95
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Review by PhilSyphe
This lengthy novel was pleasurable yet did not match my expectations having read much hype about it. This is largely because of too many over-descriptive passages and digressions from the main storyline. Much superfluous detail could’ve been cut to leave a smoother narrative. The author seems too intent on relaying as many historical facts as possible rather than focusing on the lead characters.Nevertheless, as someone interested in Medieval England, this epic tale still proved engaging. Katherine Swynford is an intriguing historical figure. Although she was not of high birth, she is ancestor to both royalty and several American presidents. I found it interesting to read her rise, fall, and eventual rise again.Being less familiar with this period than I am with the Wars of the Roses, which commenced about half a century after the close of this book, I was interested to read how the seeds that began the aforementioned conflicts were sown. In short, I found this tome engaging but felt it would’ve benefited from heavier editing, plus more focus on the central plot and main characters.