Thursday, October 31, 2013

Catarina de Bragança - Isabel Stilwell (Portugal Historical Fiction Challenge)

Another book read for the Portuguese Historical Fiction Challenge this one is the story of Catarina de Bragança, the Portuguese Princess who became Queen of England by marrying Charles II. I did like this one more than the other book I read by this author but that probably only happened because I liked Queen Catarina more than Queen Maria II.

To be honest I found the first half of the book a bit boring. There was a lot of info about Catarina and her siblings growing up and I didn't feel that it was very relevant to the story. I couldn't wait for her to depart to England. I also had a bit of a problem believing that she would be so enamored of Charles without even meeting him but there's nothing to say that it didn't happen.

Charles character and Catarina's behaviour seemed to be in line with what I've read about them previously and I can't help admiring Catarina's resilience when faced with the King's infidelities. Even if she didn't love him it was a certainly a big blow to her pride to see them so openly acknowledged.

I was sorry not to have as much detail on the life she lead after the King's death as we did have from her previous life. I would love to know about the falling out with her niece, the Queen, for instance.

I did like the use of language here more than I did in D. Maria II but I think we can still consider this a historical romance of the light variety. It gave me more info about the period but especially the desire to read more about the 17th century and Catarina.

I have one more book by this author in the TBR pile. It is about the English woman who became Queen of Portugal - Philippa of Lancaster and while I am looking forward to read about her (I started collecting information about her after finding her as a secondary character in Anya Seton's Katherine) I think I'll take a break from the author for the next couple of months.

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