Katherine➵ [Read] ➯ Katherine By Anya Seton ✤ – Oaklandjobs.co.uk “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 glorious example of romance in its most classic literary sense exhilarating exuberant and rich with the jeweled tones of England in the s” — 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. 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 ueen 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 catThe 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 onAnd Geoffrey Chaucer was in it He's super smart Women desire six things They want their husbands to be brave wise rich generous obedient to wife and lively in bed Geoffrey Chaucer not a uote from Katherine Katherine I really admired her resilience When we first meet her she's a naive wide eyed young girl with dreams and ambitions and very little idea of the world Over time her shine wears off but her character grows and we get to grow along with her She suffered a lot through her time with Hugh but she bore the burden graciously and I loved loved loved that she carried herself with integrity throughout her marriage And she was funny I didn't expect a 14th century real life person to be funny but she was a uirky little thingThe Duke of Lancaster Yum He was everything I imagine when I read regency romances heroic strong practical protective cold brave And we saw a different side of him when he and Katherine were alone he was actually the sweet and loving one of them when they were alone but I think at the end of the day he was a knight through and through Everything he did was for the betterment of his line his family and his king but I never doubted that he loved Katherine Perhaps there might not be included in his epitaph the one tribute to his knighthood that he knew he deserved 'Il fut toujours bon et loyal chevalier' loosely translated he was always a good and loyal knightBut whatever the shadowed years might bring as long as life should last he knew that he had here at his side one sure recompense and one abiding loyalty All the peripheral characters I didn't like them all but Ms Seton's writing bought them all to life in a way that I was interested in them all And ok was Nirac gay? I feel like he was but then I thought maybe I'm projecting because I read too much MM romance But was he?The insight into 14th century life Things like Constanza rejecting her physical body to embrace godliness Which ew by the way Blanche's birth Water elf sickness How they treated legit medical conditionsOk here's why it's not a full 5 star read for me The religion side of this while I learned a lot from it bordered on fantasy for me I could literally feel myself tuning out when Katherine was paying penance and through every reference to God There was a lot of that for meAnd also you just know even before she admitted to it that had Blanche not view spoilergone missing hide spoiler 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 heraldsKatherine 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 literatureThe couple's relationship develops slowly over the first half of the book but the payoff is well worth the wait The last page of this story always makes me sigh Katherine is the kind of novel that sucks you right in to its time and place If you're anything like me you're going to want to rush out and find out the true story behind it when you're done because you just can't let it go 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 LancasterAs 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 affairWhile 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 I felt as if I had been transported to medieval EnglandPublished in 1954 the book has been beloved by innumerable readers over the years I remember when a fellow librarian first mentioned Katherine to me Read it she implored You'll LOVE it And she was right Rating 275 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 ewwwWell ha ha ha on us This story of lusty Katherine the Flemish wench sister in law of Chaucer and lover of a Royal Duke wife of a stunningly boring man who just ups and dies most handily one day and mother of something like six or seven kids now doesn't that make your baby maker sore just thinkin' about it? was about as close to one handed reading for girls as things got in 1954Not being a girl I had a few problems with it Crotch fog did not obscure my vision of the novel as told tale And there are some things that don't work about it First is the Romance the zeal of the organs for their mates between Duke and minor court lady It's not a romance it's his dukeliness wantin' him a piece and Katherine no dope trottin' right along with the program He's ROYAL What kind of stupid wench says no to a ROYAL in that day and time? He turns out to be my t fine in the sack bonus but he is busy as hell plotting and scheming and what all plus he's got a political marriage to contend with and he and Katherine raise his kids by his first wife her kids and their kids in a kind of modern blended family It is this central fact that makes Katherine important She did not marry the Duke until they were old but her four surviving kids by him arelisten carefully this is true and it's amazingthe direct ancestors of ALL SUCCEEDING ENGLISH ROYALS TO THIS GOOD DAYHere's one of the problems Which story is Seton telling the one handed one or the historically astoundingly important one? It's never all that clear And it's not unclear because the book is too short because this damned thing is almost 600pp Ow It's not clear because Seton isn't clear in her mind what she's doing here She's got two good plots and switches back and forth between them which makes the book feel patched togetherAnother issue obscured by the anticipation felt by lubricious readers of an earlier time is the book's clunky prose This is La Seton describing Katherine in her youthful innocence meeting her future baby daddy's first wife The duchess was today dazzling as the southern May having dressed to please her husband's taste in full magnificence of jewels and ermine Her silver gilt hair was twined with pearls and she wore her gold and diamond coronet She smelled of jasmine and Katherine adored herThat is the narrator laddies and gentlewomen The Narrator speaks in this breathlessly leaden numbingly enthusiastic way from giddy up to whoa I won't go into what she has the lovers say to each otherSo don't go into this expecting new and exciting prose experiments and don't go expecting a clearly defined plot Do however go expecting the story to suck you right in and sweep you along and do go expecting to keep your pillow sharer awake from the fanning of turning pages Repress your snorts of outrage at some of Seton's moistly written passages overlook some of her wrong headed guesses at what filled the spaces in Katherine's historical record and this could be a decent readFor me the seams itched and the sleeves were too short and the zipper caught me in a painful and distracting way I say it's spinach salad and I say to Limbo with it Not uite spinach and hell like the old cartoon Guess you hadda be there Sounded funnier in my head 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 SwynfordOne 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 literatureThe author meticulously researched her sources and even for minor characters used where she could those mentioned in the chroniclesHence we definitely do gain an insight into the lives of royalty and nobility as well as the ordinary people of the England of that timeKatherine 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 paramourKatherine is first pressured into marriage to the boorish and brutish knight Hugh Swynford She gains the friendship and gives her loyalty to Blanche John of Gaunt's first wife After the deaths of Blanche and Hugh so begins the passionate liaison between the flame haired beauty Katherine and the charismatic Duke of Lancaster and player in the power of England's politics of the time John is haunted by malevolent slander of being a changeling while he determines to revenge himself on those behind this false charge Katherine of course was dogged by the charge of the time often levelled against beautiful and passionate women of harlotryBut instead of marrying his love Katherine john married the Spanish princess Constance of CastileOnly years later did the lovers meet again after much pain and turmoil and spend three years of marriage before John of Gaunt's deathCovers events such as the Black Death and the rebellion of the time led by Wat Tyler during the reign of the boy king Richard IIWe also get to meet characters such as John Chaucer married to Katherine's sister and the mystic Nun St JulianA great work of literature well worth the effort “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 bloodshedThe 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 readingI'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 really racy one considering this was written in 1954 Seton even captures the smells as well as the customs of the times and I felt like I had jumped into the pages and was on this journey with KatherineI don't share Katherine's love for John of Gaunt view spoilergiven if this part of Seton's account is correct he took little to no interest in his children with Katherine for at least a decade hide spoiler 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 face of this magnitude and swiftness Now I wonder about the accuracy of this passage Luckily Alison Weir has just come out with a book about Katherine which may answer my uestion 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 earnedThrough pages 455 Politics lies lies lies Will the serfs attain freedom? Katherine has gotten off her high pedestaluick changes here I am on page 410 and yup I do like it again I guess it is just that I got so terribly annoyed with Katherine Is that bc the author has made me care for her? Anyhow the following pages with Katherine and her first daughter Blanchette sucked me in again I am not giving any spoilersThrough 399 Sometimes the stupidity of Katherine annoys me I am happy that the serfs are being egged on by John Ball Katherine is getting spoiled by her good living Is her memory so short? Here is a short conversation between Katherine and her maid HawsieKatherine says The poll tax is hard on folk no doubt but wars must be paid for Hawsie Why must they show so much hatred?Tis easy to hate lady dear when you be poor and starvingBut they are not cried Katherine her eyes flashing Nobody starves in Leicester or any of the Duke's domains The kitchens often feed three hundred a dayTis not everyone wants to be beggars sweeting said Hawsie Katherine has changed I remember when she behaved as a commoner on May Day festivities when she ran barefoot and frolicked with the others And NOW she is finally beginning to realize that if the Duke dies she will be in uite a pickle Everybody makes choices You have to live with these choicesThrough page 392 Not as good as before Why well I am really not into politics whether it be of today or the 1300s It is 95% of the time corrupt and self centered Who is ruling is interesting to me in terms of how it affects the normal lower status people the masses That is just where my interest lies Neither am I that interested in who is marrying who The one knows of history the one is interested in it and I uite simply don't know very much about medieval royalty So this book has to be interesting to those who knows a lot about the various kings and ueens and their personal traits I DO have to start somewhere And then Katherine's role as acknowledged mistress just rolls along I do admire the blatancy with which the Duke shows this to all and everyone BUT what about the misery he is causing his Castilian wife? He did marry her and if he is such a kind person Yes yes I know politics and how kingdoms were made and broken well that is how it was done through battles and marriage and then the bed to produce the needed heirs Further now romantic developments are sprouting for the children too I am not as attached to them as I am to Katherine so it means little to me Books often drag 23 34 through History continues to be deftly interwoven into the story The book continues to describe the customs of the times This I continue to enjoy So it is not hopeless I have forgotten to mention that the plague the Black Death was well depicted and bits about Chaucer are interesting Also the historical developments of part of the 100 Years War are explainedThrough page 151 What a surprise This is fun to read The author has correctly followed the historical facts I read that some say the ending is not agreed upon by all historians but I am not there yet So the history is correct and small details of how things were done in the 1300s are interestingly and accurately described This is history that is fun to read Never dry text It takes place during the 100 Years War Reading it feels simply like reading a fun novel and you are leaning at the same time What could be better There is something about the way the author depicts people that makes them very real Flesh and bone Physically when Katherine is frolicking on the day before her wedding a beautiful spring day of May you feel the dew on the grass on your own bare feet She somehow with just a few words catches how one's body interprets the weather physical contact or sickness The smells are in your own nostrils The wetness on your own skin And it is all done so naturally that it seems you are simply there not reading about it The characters are not one sided The same person has both good and bad ualities just like in real life So far so good I am enjoying myself A delightful surpriseI am worried about this one I feel I OUGHT to read it but will I like it? It seems like it has a religious ending gulp And the romance won't that be too much? Also some say it has a slow start With all these negative points why does it have such a high rating? I can always just stop if I really cannot stand it 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 uite 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 ueens including the TutorsIt has been a long time since I have stayed up until 200 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 I’m giving this novel 35 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 LancasterThe 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 bête noire and his suire’s murder of Katherine’s husband are contrivedThe second half is much better and realistic and the pace is uicker 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 peasants’ revolt in London But the part about Katherine’s self imposed penitence drags too muchBy the time I was near the ending I could pretty much predict what was going to happenI’m glad though to have learned where Henry V and Henry VI of England came from and the origins of the BeaufortTudor line and of the Yorkists

Paperback  Ù Katherine PDF ¼
  • Paperback
  • 608 pages
  • Katherine
  • Anya Seton
  • English
  • 06 June 2015
  • 9780544222885