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Katherine by Anya Seton


by Anya Seton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,411753,745 (4.18)253
  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. 20
    Désirée by Annemarie Selinko (myshelves, lanaing)
    myshelves: Historical novel with a good dose of romance; the story of the girl Napoleon jilted.
  3. 21
    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
  4. 10
    Katherine Swynford by Alison Weir (avalon_today)
  5. 10
    Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset (jhowell)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  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 253 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
It is important to say up front that I am a sucker for good historical fiction. I like knowing that these people existed, that these events are part of the human record, that no one can know what these people actually thought or felt, but that this is one possible scenario that fits all the historical information. What is sure is that some things about people do not change with the exchange of horses for automobiles and kings for ego-driven politicians and that it is our ability to find common grounds in our feelings that make us relate to history so viscerally.

Having laid my prejudice for this genre on the table, I wish to say Anya Seton excels at what she does. I was completely invested in Katherine and John of Gaunt as historical characters and as individual people. It took quite a lot to survive in the sphere of the royal house in the 1300s and it is fascinating that these two persons so far down in the line of succession would be the grandfather and grandmother of a bevy of future kings and queens, including the Tutors.

It has been a long time since I have stayed up until 2:00 in the morning because I could not wait until the next day to finish a novel. I could not bear to leave John and Katherine hanging on the edge of finishing their story. I didn’t want to break the flow of the narrative and when I was done I was not ready to let go of these characters at all. I hope the real Katherine Swynford was half as strong and resilient as this novel heroine; I hope John was as handsome and charming and torn as this John. I hope they did experience a love that transcended common understanding. They broke the rules of their time. He lifted her to his station. There was a reason for that, that only a great love could explain. We all have heartbreak and tragedy, but not all of us have a love that makes that tragedy a footnote.

I have marked all Seton’s novels to read. I hope I enjoy them all this much.
( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
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 |
Enjoyed the book but felt uncomfortable when I realized the most important thing the author told us about Katherine was: her good looks. Got very tired of repeatedly reading about her crystal gaze. She was so mild and docile throughout I wished just once she had thrown something across the room.

I have to remind myself this was written back in 1954.
  KaterinaBead | Nov 21, 2017 |
This was a great historical romance. I read it years ago when I was home, waiting for my twins to be born, but I still remember it fondly. ( )
  aliciadana | Jun 16, 2017 |
beautifully written book about the intertwined lives of Katherine and John, the Duke of Lancaster. Slowly developed scenes, with rich descriptions of the life and times of these historical figures. Took a long time to listen to, but I was glad I spent the time with the book. ( )
  Pmaurer | Dec 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 155652532X, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:01 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

This historical romance of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the ancestors of much of the British royal family, is set in the vibrant 14th-century England of Chaucer, when magnificent pageantry was confronted by the Black Death, when knights went to battle in expensive foreign wars while peasants struggled to survive, and when the magnificent but despotic Plantagenets--Edward III, the Black Prince, and Richard II--ruled over a court rotten with intrigue. In this era of danger and passion, John of Gaunt, the king's son and the proudest of the Plantagenets, fought for power and fell desperately in love with the already married Katherine. Their well-documented romance persisted through decades of war, adultery, murder, loneliness, and redemption.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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