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Katherine (1954)

by Anya Seton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,589794,017 (4.16)269
This classic romance novel tells the true story of the love affair that changed history-- that of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the ancestors of most of the British royal family. Set in the vibrant 14th century of Chaucer and the Black Death, the story features knights fighting in battle, serfs struggling in poverty, and the magnificent Plantagenets-- Edward III, the Black Prince, and Richard II-- who ruled despotically over a court rotten with intrigue. Within this era of danger and romance, John of Gaunt, the king's son, falls passionately in love with the already married Katherine. Their well-documented affair and love persist through decades of war, adultery, murder, loneliness, and redemption. This epic novel of conflict, cruelty, and untamable love has become a classic since its first publication in 1954.… (more)
  1. 41
    The Illuminator by Brenda Rickman Vantrease (myshelves)
    myshelves: Set in the same historical period, showing some of the same events from another viewpoint.
  2. 10
    Mistress of the Monarchy: The Life of Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster by Alison Weir (avalon_today)
  3. 10
    Désirée by Annemarie Selinko (myshelves, lanaing)
    myshelves: Historical novel with a good dose of romance; the story of the girl Napoleon jilted.
  4. 10
    Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset (jhowell)
  5. 10
    Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman (avalon_today)
    avalon_today: Maybe not so much of a romance novel. But still a few tears were shed.
  6. 00
    The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton (DeltaQueen50)
    DeltaQueen50: Although this book covers a different time period, it is written by the same author and has her great attention to detail, authentic historical facts and a wonderful story.
  7. 11
    The King's Grey Mare by Rosemary Hawley Jarman (feeling.is.first)
    feeling.is.first: splendid historical fiction about the Lancastrian kings, medieval pageantry with a human touch
  8. 00
    Red Eve by H. Rider Haggard (avalon_today)
    avalon_today: Its about love that is fated with danger in the fourteenths century
  9. 23
    Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (avalon_today)
    avalon_today: Its about having to deal with a very strong, charismatic man. *Sigh*
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» See also 269 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
Katherine is one of the finest books I've ever read. Meticulously researched and detailed, engaging, consuming, intelligent - it is at the top of the class of historical fiction and will be the book against which I judge all future historical fiction. It took me ten days to read it, but I was never bored or in a rush to get to the end of the story.

The book follows Katherine de Roet as she grows up in 14th century Britain. Katherine is raised in a convent and wishes to enter the novitiate, but instead is married off to Hugh Swynford, a man whom she does not love but can tolerate. When the handsome and powerful Duke of Lancaster (John of Gaunt) enters her life, Katherine falls in love and spends most of the remainder of her life in a relationship with him. Through her eyes, we look at history. It's fascinating history, for so much happened in England in the 14th century.

This beautiful book is now one of my favourites. ( )
  ahef1963 | Nov 27, 2020 |
I am on a never-ending quest to find historical fiction (the historically accurate Kings and Queens type) that measures up to Sharon Kay Penman. I stumbled upon this one in a random google search and I thought it was pretty good, but, alas, not Penman-good.

It's about Katherine Swynford, who is born to a lesser knight and orphaned at a young age. Her beauty gains her a noble husband, Hugh Swynford. She also meets John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and son of King Edward III. He falls in love with her and they have a long relationship after her husband dies while he his married to Constance of Castile. She has four children with him who are subsequently legitimized when he marries Katherine towards the end of his life. Later their ancestors will be both the Tudor/Stuart line and Edward IV/Richard III.

I liked this book and found it rich in historical detail and interesting in the political sense. I felt it focused a bit too much on Katherine, though, and her inner turmoil. I got a little bored and wished Seton would have spent more time on the bigger picture.

This was fun and a nice diversion from heavier reading. ( )
  japaul22 | Jul 7, 2019 |
I enjoyed this classic historical novel/romance. ( )
  yhgail | Feb 20, 2019 |
I love Katherine. I love Anya Seton for writing about Katherine. This novel is everything I love about 14th century England. This book is charming, angsty, heartbreaking and humorous...it has everything. I love this book so much. I highly recommend the audio book. Wanda McCaddon is a fantastic narrator! ( )
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
Katherine
5 Stars

The amazing true story of the relationship between Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt. The epic love story between these two historical figures comes to life in this amazingly well-written and well-researched work. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anya Setonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bishop, DianaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gregory, PhilippaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCaddon, WandaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the tender green time of April, Katherine set forth at last upon her journey with two nuns and the royal messenger.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This classic romance novel tells the true story of the love affair that changed history-- that of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the ancestors of most of the British royal family. Set in the vibrant 14th century of Chaucer and the Black Death, the story features knights fighting in battle, serfs struggling in poverty, and the magnificent Plantagenets-- Edward III, the Black Prince, and Richard II-- who ruled despotically over a court rotten with intrigue. Within this era of danger and romance, John of Gaunt, the king's son, falls passionately in love with the already married Katherine. Their well-documented affair and love persist through decades of war, adultery, murder, loneliness, and redemption. This epic novel of conflict, cruelty, and untamable love has become a classic since its first publication in 1954.

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Tantor Media

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