[Reading] ➿ Katherine ➶ Anya Seton – Ivogue.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Katherine

  1. says:

    I ve come for you, Katrine This whole, magnificent epic is based on a true story Either Katherine Swynford, her beloved John of Gaunt, or both because she gave him 4 4 kids as his mistress , gave rise to the royal lines that include Kings Henry IV, V, VI VII, Richard III, Edward IV, a Queen of Scots, every sovereign of Scotland since ages ago sorry, my google is down or I d sound way smarter right now and every sovereign of England in the last 400 years Meanwhile, my branch of our family tree includes an overweight cat.The storytelling This isn t the kind of romance I normally read Like, it s not the kind of romance where it s all about the couple, all the time, and I start to get pissy if they re apart for too much of the book It s a romance in the way Gone With the Wind is a romance there s a beautiful thread of love and loyalty and connection that weaves it s way through 30 years, but most of what happens on the page sees our couple separated We ve got crazy mothers in law, sniping sisters, arranged marriages, lots of babies being born, strained relationships between a mother and a daughter, Katherine coping with being gasp the other woman, gossip, rioting, plague, wars, and royal dramas There was a lot going on.And Geoffrey Chaucer was in i...


  2. says:

    This book is both a spiritual coming of age tale and a hauntingly beautiful love story Anya Seton wrote some other good books, but make no mistake this is her masterpiece Katherine is based on the true story of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt from 14th Century England John, a younger son of King Edward III, was one of the richest and most powerful men of his day His marriages were strategic alliances but the great love of his life was Katherine, the humble, orphan daughter of one his father s heralds.Katherine grows from an love struck teenager into an intelligent and aware heroine over the thirty year course of the story John has moments of arrogance, but is also capable of tender acts of sweetness He should join Rhett Butler and Mr Darcy on the list of sexiest men in literature.The couple s relationship develops slowly over the first half of the book, but the payoff is well worth the wait The...


  3. says:

    This is the book that made me fall in love with historical fiction It s based on the true story of the 14th century love affair between Katherine de Roet and John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster.As a young woman, Katherine was a reputed beauty but had few prospects, so she married the brutal Sir Hugh Swynford and had two children By chance, her marriage put her in the path of the Duke, who was struck by her beauty After Hugh died, Katherine and the Duke stole away and had their long anticipated love affair.While the plot sounds simple, the time and setting were not There was a plague going on There were peasant riots War Political battles Katherine suffered many trials in her life this is not a romantic comedy Indeed, I was so captivated by the story and the details in Seton s writing were so vivid that ...


  4. says:

    Rating 2.75 of fiveThe Book Report Since this is a resurrected review, I m putting the book description here 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 My Review Whoo baby And we thought our generation invented sex, lust, and lechery Our mamas read this paean to the ripped bodice and flung codpiece with, I feel morally certain, cool detachment and a keen analytical eye for its prosody Because our mamas didn t ever think about s e x or l u s t, now did they, because that would be ewww.Well ha ha ha on us This story of lusty Katherine the Flemish wench, sister in law of Chaucer and lover of a Royal Duke, w...


  5. says:

    A detailed and rich novel, with the author showing a flair for the English language and a deep understanding of medieval English history Colourful wording, and a balance between passionate scenes and descriptive tracing of the events of the life of the incredibly interesting and beautiful Katherine Swynford.One may have to reread parts, but if you focus you will find this a rewarding historical page turner, and understand why after 55 years it is still a best loved classic of historical literature.The author meticulously researched her sources, and even for minor characters, used where she could, those mentioned in the chronicles.Hence we definitely do gain an insight into the lives of royalty and nobility as well as the ordinary people of the England of that time.Katherine Swynford was born from a humble background, the daughter of a herald While her older sister Phillipa gained a position in the royal court, Katherine through her beauty and charm, beguiled the powerful nobleman John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, father of Henry IV, and ancestor of most of today s royal family, through his eventual marriage to Katherine, his long time paramour.Katherine is first pressured into marriage to the boor...


  6. says:

    Solid, engaging historical fiction about the mistress of John of Gaunt who was the ancestress of the Tudors Rich with period detail The part that makes me knock the rating down is the horrible passage wherein Katherine becomes a guilt ridden Christian who repudiates her own happiness It was such a jarring disconnect and so typical of everything I loathe about Christianity that it spoiled the book for me It s hard to imagine a moral and spiritual about fac...


  7. says:

    Cease, daughter said the priest at last in a trembling voice I cannot grant absolution, no priest could Widely considered to be Seton s best work, this is a fast paced and fascinating interpretation of Katherine s life lived in a time of turmoil and copious bloodshed.The only thing that made me read this slowly was the edition I had has a small font and little space between the lines At first I could only manage 20 pages at a time I guess kindle has left me spoilt However, I soon adjusted and this morning I was so eager to find out Katherine s fate that I was up before 6am, feverishly reading.I ve read this account isn t historically accurate how could it be when so many records were destroyed by the fire at the Savoy and so many other events in these tumultuous times but in any case I was happy to make allowances for crackling dialogue, a novel that doesn t shy away from showing the importance of religion in medieval life and a great and passionate love story a r...


  8. says:

    Finished The last 100 pages or so I was thinking stop with the crap about the customs of medieval times and just let me know what is going to happen to the main characters I cared about them very much I ended up totally loving Katherine She was real She made tons of wrong steps in her life, but damn it all we all have to live don t we Who says we have to be perfect Who says we SHOULDN T fall in love and be carried away by our emotions Also I REALLY learned about life in the middle ages It felt that I was no longer looking at a foreign time and place, but was part of it Part of the times castles with their solars and kitchens and clothes both jeweled and ragged and strange foods and smells and holidays and chivalry and plagues, scarlet fever and stupid political and religious leaders, but also truly religious individuals who helped and were kind and understood others weaknesses What else Pilgrimages and shrines and a corrupt Church and Chaucer All of this came alive and it was an enjoyable read Not heavy Any happiness attained was certainly earned Through pages 455 Politics lies, lies, lies Will the serfs attain freedom Katherine has gotten off h...


  9. says:

    I m giving this novel 3.5 stars It is overall a meticulously researched and well written historical romance set in 14th century England about Katherine Swynford, the third wife of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.The first half of the book is dedicated to describing the romantic love that develops in a tortuous way between the two protagonists Katherine is initially married off against her wish to a brutish husband, whose faults include poverty that results from mismanagement of his estates Then Prince Charming, who is happily married to a charming and kind princess, comes along and delivers the poor girl from despair Then the lovers find ways to carry on with their illicit love affair, always plagued by guilt towards their respective spouses I find this portion too drawn out with too many happy coincidences, that is, too much of a Cinderella type of story The bits about John s childhood b te noire and his squire s murder of Katherine s husband are contrived.The second half is much better and realistic and the pace is quicker I like the back stories about the Plantagenet family, the political intrigue surrounding religious reform and the lead up to and the actual June 1381 peasant...


  10. says:

    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....


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Katherine A Glorious Example Of Romance In Its Most Classic Literary Sense Exhilarating, Exuberant, And Rich With The Jeweled Tones Of England In The 1300s Austin Chronicle Katherine Is An Epic Novel Of A 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 Fourteenth 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 Rule 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 Affair Persists Through Decades Of War, Adultery, Murder, Loneliness, And Redemption Anya Seton S Vivid Rendering Of The Lives Of The Duke And Duchess Of Lancaster Makes Katherine An Unmistakable Classic.