• Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen

  • Six Tudor Queens, Book 1
  • By: Alison Weir
  • Narrated by: Maggie Mash
  • Length: 27 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The lives of Henry VIII's queens make for dramatic stories, and Alison Weir writes a series of novels that offer insights into the real lives of the six wives based on extensive research and new theories.

In all the romancing, has anyone regarded the evidence that Anne Boleyn did not love Henry VIII? Or that Prince Arthur, Katherine of Aragon's first husband, who is said to have loved her, in fact cared so little for her that he willed his personal effects to his sister? Or that Henry VIII, an overprotected child and teenager, was prudish when it came to sex? That Jane Seymour, usually portrayed as Henry's one true love, had the makings of a matriarch? There is much to reveal....

Alison writes about the wives in the contexts of their own ages and of the court intrigues that surrounded these women and - without exception - wrecked their lives. She will transport listeners into a lost and vivid world of splendour and brutality: a world in which love, or the game of it, dominates all.

©2016 Alison Weir (P)2016 Headline Digital

What listeners say about Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen

Average Customer Ratings
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Live the story

It's so easy to gloss over the amazing events of Henry VIII's life with a sentence or two. Katherine of Aragon is often dismissed with a few words as Henry's first wife yet she shared more than twenty years with him, had six pregnancies of which only one produced a surviving child, Princess Mary, and she died as a virtual prisoner when he decided to get rid of her to marry Ann Boleyn. In this remarkable book, Alison Weir brings her story to life, through careful research of contemporary sources, so you feel as though you live through the whole saga at Katherine's side. A great addition to her body of historical work and a really engaging audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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Heartbreakingly good

intense and informative, such a wonderful portrayal of Catherine. Very much recommended. Gave wonderful insight.

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Slow but steady

The awful narration irratates as the story plods. To be honest, I never noticed other bad reviews about the performance, but after this book, ai..... Not sure I will listen to anymore of this narrator.

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As close to the true story as you are going to get

Tells the story behind the story and brilliantly narrated! A history boff's must. Highly recommended for anyone fascinated by King Henry and the Tudor ways.

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  • Erica Oliver
  • 11-14-16

Fabulous

Ive always been fascinated by the Tudors. At first, when I realised there were 35 chapters I wondered if I would last until the end but Alison Weirs superb storytelling kept me enthralled and gave me a much greater insight to why the main characters behaved as they did. Dear Katherine of Aragon what a woman! I cannot wait for the next instalment to be released in audio format.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Jan W
  • 06-08-16

Katherine of Aragon

Loved this thorough narration of Katherine's life. Alison is an excellent historian but hearing this book read really does draw you into each dramatic chapter. Can't wait for the next book in this series!

12 people found this helpful

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  • S. Morris
  • 05-24-19

A Truly Epic Work

Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen is a truly magnificent work. Fictionalizing any historical figure isn't an easy thing to do. History has plenty of documentary evidence from which to build the framework of this story but it's the blanks between the documented areas that Weir expertly bridges. Weir's deep knowledge of the subject matter and her innate writing ability and skill at filling these gaps makes for an incredible feat of story telling. Weir perfectly connects all data points along Katherine's known life so credibly that it is hard to separate the facts from the fictionalized fillers. Weir thus creates a seamless and smooth flow that is beautifully as well as masterfully written.

I have read some of Weir's non fictionalized books but it is this that really makes historical figures into flesh and blood people. It so humanizes all the players in this story that real personality is imbued into them by Weir and done in such a wonderfully plausible, consistent and viscerally real way. In this story, the reader gets a real sense of the hopes and fears of Katherine in a way that non fiction historical analysis cannot provide. One really feels by the end of this book that we have followed Katherine on her life journey as an unseen witness.

We see Katherine as a person rather than just an historical figure, her Spanish accented voice brought perfectly to life by the excellent narration of Maggie Mash. Mash is a perfect choice for this book with her excellent rendering of various accents and voices. I did think, however, with some amusement that her early male voices did sound a little like those of someone who talked too loudly due to them being mildly drunk though! I would have liked to see Mash narrate the other books in this series to provide a familiar voice throughout the Six Queens collection.

I did notice two or three odd production glitches with a sentence here or there not finished with dead air between that and then resumption. Thankfully, these were very rare but somehow slipped through the production oversight process.

I cannot stress enough what an epic work this book is. It is perhaps Alison Weir's Magnus Opus. Katherine's loyalty and devotion to Henry, her husband, despite her treatment by him was moving and Weir beautifully portrays this aspect of her character. The book takes the reader right to the end of Katherine's difficult life and her death bed scene was a truly poignant and moving one.

Yes, this is a very long book but it means that there is a full and proper treatment of Katherine's life laid out here for those who are prepared to invest the time to give this the attention it deserves.

Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen is a story that will leave you thinking about Katherine and her sad life for a long time afterwards. A superb and highly recommended read to which this review does not do justice to.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mike Seabourne
  • 01-07-20

Narration very poor

Have like lots of people read heaps on this period of history both fictional and non fiction and I really enjoyed this book. Katherine never been my favorite but I actually liked and empathized with Alison Weir’s version of her, am just so very sad the narration was not up to par.

3 people found this helpful

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  • AliP
  • 06-17-19

Interesting detail, an epic book

I was interested to see how much more detail Alison Weir would add to this book, so much is known already. It did seem to drag on at times but the detail required it. Looking forward to the rest of the series particularly the one about Jane Seymour. Narrator was good generally and clearly tried to portray the early life of Catherine when English was difficult for her, male voices not great, but other than using male and female narrators as a lit of more recent books and Audible dramas do
it’s often difficult to get it right.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Charlotte
  • 06-03-19

very enjoyable!

thoroughly enjoyable! it has a good story, includes interesting history and is very well read.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mr
  • 05-12-16

Stop using Maggie Mash I beg you.

Bookwise I was hoping it was to Alison Weirs usual non-fictional, fact filled novel style of story telling but this is much more of a romantically written (as romantic as it can be for a queen who got dumped) more fictional story. I can forgive this as having actually read the book aswell as listening to it, it flows so well and the story in general is great but I've said it before and sadly having to say it again, Maggie Mash is absolutely dire.
Why, oh WHY does she read characters dialogue so slowly like she's struggling? I know that she isn't as she reads the rest of the book just fine but the dialogue quality is unforgivable. Davina Porter gave an outstanding performance in The Life of Elizabeth the first, as did Simon Prebble and Judith Boyd in other Alison Weir works but sadly this is now the third book by Maggie Mash that's just going to sit in my library and wasting my credits which is such a shame as the authoress has such a knack to tell vivid stories.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Julie Artist
  • 06-03-16

Review

Where does Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This audio book is a really in depth account of Katherine of Aragon. It portrays her life as the tragic victim of circumstance she was, but also illustrates her intellect and desire to be a good queen.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Henry, as always his character is multidimensional and this book gives an insight into his early life and the tragedies that helped shape him.

What about Maggie Mash’s performance did you like?

I disagree with some of the unkind comments made about Maggie's narration. Whilst it is true she does read some dialogue more slowly, this is to add dimension to some of the foreign characters. Her style does not detract from my enjoyment of the book and I have liked other books she has read previously. I look forward to the next five volumes of this series and hope i don't have to wait too long!

Any additional comments?

The download wasn't the best quality; the dialogue jumps I places and fades in and out occasionally. A good historical fiction book which sticks closely to the known events.

4 people found this helpful

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  • mike
  • 05-10-16

terrible narration

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

the characters are meant to be nation influencing minds and characters - but each time the narrator speaks their lines it sounds like some terrible panto

i couldnt listen to it

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Maggie Mash?

jimmie krankie would have been better

Do you think Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

id really like to get the rest of the series - but please dont use maggie mash again - OR if its the producers fault that it was played like a bad childrens story then dump the producer

10 people found this helpful

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  • Dorothy
  • 08-17-20

SO DISAPPOINTING

I have listened to many of Alison Weir's non-fiction works and have always enjoyed them, so fully expected her novels to be of the same quality. Very disappointed! The writing was more Mills and Boon than well researched historical fiction, made worse by the poor narration by Maggie Mash - her reading of the characters' dialogues was terrible. I gave it 3 chapters but couldn't bear it any longer.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lesley
  • 06-08-19

Irritating narration nearly had me returning this

I know the narrator was trying to give an impression of speaking slowly because it was a 2nd language, BUT it was SO slow and tortured I nearly gave up and returned the book. This really killed the book for me. If you like extremely slowwwwwww and toneless, narration you'll enjoy this. The subject matter was interesting and well written... a step down from the bodice ripping of Jean Plaidy. I enjoyed another book in this series .. Anne of Kleve and will check out the other books... omitting any with the same narrator.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Liz
  • 10-23-17

Loved it!

Unbelievable, I feel like an eyewitness... Wonderful story, in-depth revision of a true queen and narrated with great mellifluousness. As always, Alison Weir manages to teach history with ease by painting the lives of the subjects vividly. A pleasure to “read” which I would highly recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Librarian
  • 01-14-21

Historical Fiction at its best

Even though I have classified this as fiction there are a lot of non-fiction elements to this story. This is the first of Alison Weir's Six Tudor Queens series and after reading the first I hope to complete the whole series. Reviewers have said that the narration was painful and I must be truthful and say that I upped the speed to 2.4, something I have never done before but which made listening to the story a more pleasant interlude. As an historical author Weir is able to capture the essence of the times and the moods of the characters beautifully. If you enjoy seeing history brought to life, give this one a chance....just up the speed of the audio.

3 people found this helpful

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  • S Kelleher
  • 10-22-18

Brilliant

I loved this novel. The narrator did the most amazing job, switching accents and sounding so realistic. The story was so well written. I felt I was there with Katherine. What traumas she went through, I don’t think many people today would be able to bear what she had to and still be such an honourable person. I enjoyed this book so much and have now downloaded the next book about Anne Boleyn.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Linn Ekehov
  • 04-26-21

Very good and engaging, but long

The narrator did a wonderful job of keeping the listener engaged, but the story is longer than it needs to be. In saying that, I have already bought the next book in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Debbie
  • 06-29-19

Excellent

Thoroughly enjoyed this book well written and the narration was very good. The history turn into a story was well done.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Catherine
  • 09-23-18

Loved it

I love royal story’s
History of the queens of Henry the eighth has always been s passion of mine. This book is so informative and captivating you can’t help but fall in love with the characters and cheer for there victories and Commiserate in the losses. It has certainly spun a different view of Henry the eighth

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Eleni
  • 06-05-18

annoying narration

thankfully the characters the narrator was terrible at didn't last long in the story...don't narrators listen back at their reading before a book gets published? I found the narrator almost unbearable to listen to with all the male characters. surprisingly she did the accent, voice and demeanour of queen Katherine quite well though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jon
  • 12-10-21

Fascinating

It was great to hear the story of Catherine, the queen. I was not keen on Maggie’s voice, especially of the “Spanish English” spoken by Catherine. To make it more bearable I sped it up to 1.3.

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  • Dannielle
  • 09-02-21

Well written

Brings the story of Katherine of Aragon to life. The narration was a bit irritating; but got better as the book progressed.