Three Sisters, Three Queens

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Philippa Gregory

Narrated By: Bianca Amato

Publisher: Simon & Schuster (UK)

Date: August 2016

Duration: 21 hours 11 minutes

Summary:

Young Katherine of Aragon, proud daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, leaves her beloved Spain to be married to King Henry VII's oldest son, the sickly Prince Arthur who dies six months into the marriage. Left a widow who was never truly a wife, Katherine falls in love with his brother Prince Henry-now heir to the throne as Henry VIII. Handsome, ambitious and versed in the arts, Henry is all Katherine wants in a husband, but when Henry becomes enamored with the daughter of a mere nobleman, Anne Boleyn, Katherine must fight to remain Queen of England and keep the man she loves. Katherine's sister-in-law, Margaret Tudor, also accepts her fate when she is married by proxy to James IV, King of Scotland, to solidify England's peace treaty with Scotland. Despite her fears, Margaret falls in love with Scotland and quickly produces an heir for King James, a tangible symbol of her allegiance to both England and Scotland. Yet having an heir doesn't guarantee her safety when King James leads an invading army against her brother, King Henry VIII. Alone in a strange land, Margaret must choose which allegiance she stands with, her homeland of England, or Scotland, the land her son seems destined to rule. Margaret's sister, Princess Mary Rose, is one of the few people King Henry VIII adores unconditionally. She is the golden child of the Tudor family, adored throughout Europe for her beauty and charm. Until King Henry VIII, to seal England's alliance with France, offers the twelve-year-old princess in marriage to the aging king of France. With no choice but to sail for France, Mary hones her political skills as Queen of France, biding her time until she can marry the man she truly loves, Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk and King Henry VIII's best friend. Acclaimed bestselling author and historian Philippa Gregory brings to dazzling life the extraordinary stories of the three queens, related by blood and marriage, political pawns caught in a dangerous web of politics, intrigue, and romance, and whose destinies charted the course of history.

Genres:

  • Loretta H

    If strong women are your kind of women, you'll love this exciting story of three exceptionally strong heroines. Medieval England was a tumultuous place - patriarchal control over women made it a difficult time in which to live and rule and women had very limited rights. This book focuses on a speculative narrative of the life of Margaret, the famously beautiful Mary, dowager queen of France, and Margaret's sister-in-law, Katherine of Aragon, all of whom battle against the oftentimes frustrating constraints of medieval society. It is beautifully read by Bianca Amato, and comes alive with skilful narration and the accurate depictions of accents, Leading heroine Margaret is strong-willed yet flawed. Her story is both saddening and enlightening - she is a true 'iron fist in a velvet glove' character: strong, resolute, yet relatable in her follies and changes of heart. At the story's opening, Margaret is flagrantly unkind and immature: infuriatingly vain and envious. However, she matures into a capable, resolute, and even likeable woman by the story's close. Her story is exciting and wildly interesting. Drawn from historical accounts, hers is a life in which perseverance becomes a survival mechanism. Flanked by duplicitous advisors and constantly battling against self-interested lords, Margaret's life purpose of achieving a lasting peace between England and Scotland seems to be an impossible goal. This story is very touching in that the depiction of the highs and lows of Margaret's life are relatable. The story is told in simple, yet colourful, language. You'll laugh with this heroine, and also feel the deepest pangs of concern for her as she perseveres with her seemingly impossible job of ruling Scotland.