Sister Queens

Sister Queens

The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile

Book - 2011
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The history books have cast Katherine of Aragon, the first queen of King Henry VIII of England, as the ultimate symbol of the Betrayed Woman, cruelly tossed aside in favor of her husband's seductive mistress, Anne Boleyn. Katherine's sister, Juana of Castile, wife of Philip of Burgundy and mother of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, is portrayed as "Juana the Mad," whose erratic behavior included keeping her beloved late husband's coffin beside her for years. But historian Julia Fox, whose previous work painted an unprecedented portrait of Jane Boleyn, Anne's sister, offers deeper insight in this first dual biography of Katherine and Juana, the daughters of Spain's Ferdinand and Isabella, whose family ties remained strong despite their separation. Looking through the lens of their Spanish origins, Fox reveals these queens as flesh-and-blood women--equipped with character, intelligence, and conviction--who are worthy historical figures in their own right.

When they were young, Juana's and Katherine's futures appeared promising. They had secured politically advantageous marriages, but their dreams of love and power quickly dissolved, and the unions for which they'd spent their whole lives preparing were fraught with duplicity and betrayal. Juana, the elder sister, unexpectedly became Spain's sovereign, but her authority was continually usurped, first by her husband and later by her son. Katherine, a young widow after the death of Prince Arthur of Wales, soon remarried his doting brother Henry and later became a key figure in a drama that altered England's religious landscape.

Ousted from the positions of power and influence they had been groomed for and separated from their children, Katherine and Juana each turned to their rich and abiding faith and deep personal belief in their family's dynastic legacy to cope with their enduring hardships. Sister Queens is a gripping tale of love, duty, and sacrifice--a remarkable reflection on the conflict between ambition and loyalty during an age when the greatest sin, it seems, was to have been born a woman.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, c2011
ISBN: 9780345516046
Branch Call Number: 942.052 FOX 2011 23
Characteristics: xv, 454 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (chiefly col.), maps (some col.) ; 25 cm

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BlueHippo
Oct 13, 2015

A very well-written book that focuses on both Katherine of Aragon and her sister Juana. Extremely well-researched and very interesting.

s
sarahbear8301
Jun 09, 2015

So well-written and finally giving Juana a proper look. It is easy to see why she behaved the way she did - not one single person in her life actually care about her well-being. They were all looking out for themselves and their own ambitions. Her father, her husband, her son, all of them.

e
eloisatown
Sep 27, 2012

Another phenomenal historical fiction about Queen Juana and her equally enigmatic sister, Queen Katherine of Aragon. Wonderfully written to reveal the diverging and interconnected lives of two remarkable women!

k
KateNicola
Jul 24, 2012

I am really enjoying how Juana and Katherine are being focused upon, rather than their male counterparts. It is a rare treat.

mollycleveland Jun 14, 2012

This book is superbly researched and full of interesting details of a dangerous time (gladly) gone by. It focuses on two of the daughters of Queen Isabella & King Ferdinand- Katherine (1st wife of King Henry the VII), and Juana (who was declared mad and her throne taken by all the men she trusted). It's heartbreaking as many of the people died young and very suddenly. It's intriguing because it's full of details about what they wore, what exactly they said and the true motivations behind their actions. And it's fascinating to see the how much information survives nearly 500 years later and just how different things were back then.

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