Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2018
Katherine, by Anya Seton, is the story of Katherine Swynford (pronounced like swine), the mistress and finally the third wife of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster and the 4th son of Edward III of England. Because there is very little written information that has come down from the 14th century concerning Katherine, a large part of this novel covers matters extrapolated from various sources. Ms. Seton has done a wonderful job of fleshing out a living, breathing woman from those extrapolations and incorporating the actual historic events from the time frame.

Being pretty much an Anglophile myself, I found that it appears that the historical events in book are very well researched, as are the fashions and the physical locales. More importantly however, is the fact that this is a story of one of the greatest loves of the time. John of Gaunt defied conventions and expectations and openly flaunted his love affair with Katherine even though he was married at the time to his second wife, Constanza of Spain. The 4 illegitimate children born to Katherine and John were called the Beauforts and were legitimized when John and Katherine finally married after the death of Constanza. It should be noted that the Beauforts were the ancestors of the future Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, Elizabeth I and all of the subsequent kings and queens of England down to the present day.

This was a wonderful story and one that should be read by anyone interested in English history. I highly recommend this book!
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