Sister Queens: Katherine of Aragon and Juana Queen of Castile Paperback – 26 Apr 2012
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The first dual biography of Katherine and Juana, based on a comprehensive re-evaluation of the sources.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The more I read about Katherine of Aragon the less sympathetic a character I seem to find her. The book brings out well the extent to which she really was the true daughter of Queen Isabella and capable of manipulation herself. What I had also not appreciated was the lack of interest she seems to have shown in the fate of her sister Juana who was the rightful Spanish queen and that she really never seems to have questioned her sister's effective disappearance from public life. As the author points out how ironic she looked to her nephew Charles for justice and protection whilst he had been capable of imprisoning his own mother and taking her throne.
The book is well researched and will be enjoyed by anyone interested in the Tudor era. The author is to be commended for her ability to choose more unusual subjects from that era to study.
Fox compares both sisters to their mother Isabella. Katherine is portrayed as strong, her character being formed in those years between her two marriages. Fox declares that Juana was not mad but a victim of the machinations of her own family; firstly her mother, then husband, father and nephew for their own ends and ultimately at the expense of her mental reputation.
However, despite the popular style quite rightly having it's place in historical writing, Fox's writing style is not exciting enough to life it the heights of classic status. For this, look to Giles Tremlett's 'Catherine of Aragon - Henry's Spanish Queen' which is superbly written although of course it omits Juana's story.
Even less well-known is her sister Juana, known to history as 'Juana the Mad', the woman who was supposedly so besotted with her husband that she refused to bury him and kept his coffin with her always. History has done a real disservice to Juana, and this book deftly overturns many of the myths surrounding her, shining a truly disquieting light on her 'madness'. Juana, like her sister, was the victim of political forces and intrigues beyond her control, imprisoned and betrayed, again like Katherine, by those she should have been able to trust: her husband, her father and her son.
This is marvellously written history, a book I could hardly put down, despite the fact that at least a part of it was very familiar to me, a book that brings to light just how powerless even royal women were, and how little ties such as blood and marriage seemed to mean to a Renaissance prince. I would have liked a more balanced approach, as much about Juana as Katherine, but that is no criticism of the author, merely the historical sources available.
Frankly I was disappointed that such a fascinating period and interesting subjects should be so, well, boring
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is factual and very well researched but reads like a novel.
Therefore it is not only interesting but exciting. Read more
This was a truly great read and was fascinated throughout- a real page turner for those wishing to read the story behind the image of Katherine and Juana-just brilliant!Published on 27 Feb. 2013 by Rebecca Lawrence
Perhaps it is because I had high expectations of this book but I was rather disappointed in its content. Read morePublished on 1 Nov. 2012 by Mr. A. B. S. Almeida
I looked forward to learning more about the life of Juana, her shared childhood with Katherine, and how her treatment at the hands of the men she loved destroyed any hopes of her... Read morePublished on 12 Sept. 2012 by Livia D
This book is a biography that details the lives of two Infantas of Spain. Katherine of Aragon and Juana of Castile, two of the daughters of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of... Read morePublished on 5 Feb. 2012 by Vickim
"Sister Queens," the first dual biography of Katherine of Aragon and Juana of Castile, comes to us as a work of Julia Fox, who previously authored Jane Boleyn: The True Story of... Read morePublished on 4 Jan. 2012 by Stephanie De Pue
A gentle biography of Katherine of Aragon, perhaps even genteel in tone and manner. Not a strict "academic" biography nor entirely novelistic, as Fox cannot truly walk a middle... Read morePublished on 3 Jan. 2012 by Beth E. Williams
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