Katherine: The Classic Love Story of Medieval England

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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 ...
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Overview


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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556525322
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Series: Rediscovered Classics
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Anya Seton was the author of 10 bestselling historical romances, including Avalon, Devil Water, Foxfire, Green Darkness, and My Theodosia. She lived in Greenwich, Connecticut.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 82 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(65)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 82 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2008

    The best historical romance ever

    Katherine' is Anya Seton's finest book, which is high praise considering her talent. She is a very fine writer with excellent attention to detail and historical accuracy, as well the ability to make the characters come vividly alive. This is of course a very fine and entertaining story. There is our heroine Katherine, with all of her trials and tribulations, and who finds herself unexpectedly thrust into a turbulent life with a turbulent royal family! It is interesting to note that through the children she had with John of Gaunt, she is a direct ancestress of all of ruling Kings and Queens of England from that time on (and a great many members of European royal families as well)! Katherine made her mark on history in many, many ways. This is an utterly charming and beautiful book. I was about 12 when I first picked it up and was immediately enchanted by the writing, the adventure and the history, and return to it time and time again. The book is peppered with other interesting historical characters - for example Geoffrey Chaucer was married to Katherine's sister, and appears from time to time full of wit and stories. This is a fantastic read. I highly recommend this wonderful story.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2009

    A Woman of her Time and for the Ages

    It's hard to write about this book without gushing. I love Katherine the book and Katherine the woman. She lives for me first as an innocent young girl, excited by traveling fron the convent where she was raised, then dazzled by the Rock Stars of her age, the Royal Court.

    Her life changes quickly as she is forced into a loveless marriage to a clumsy soldier. She meets Blanche, wife of the Duke of Lancaster, an event with long-lasting, unforeseen consequences.

    Katherine lives in a time of religious fervor and turmoil and is very much a product of her time. Although of lowly birth, she becomes ancestress of kings.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    Best historical novel EVER!

    I first read this at the age of 14, and have re-read it every 2-3 years since (I am now almost 60) and have loaned it out too many times to count. Everyone raves about it. My copy is sentimental (a gift from my mom), and I recently had it rebound. Readers will feel like they really get to know Katherine, and I find something different each time I read it. Also read "World Without End" by Follet - takes place in the same time period, and even has some overlapping characters. Will anyone EVER make a movie of this?! On the other hand, for those of us who have come to know these characters so well, a movie may be disappointing. Don't miss this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    Read it in my youth-am still moved by the story

    Read it in my youth-am still moved by the story

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  • Posted March 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A real life Cinderella story, the orphaned daughter of a poor kn

    A real life Cinderella story, the orphaned daughter of a poor knight becoming a Duchess, via a passionate
    love affair with a King's son. Lots of drama, heartbreak, and history (though the history part's more than
    a bit distorted, according to Alison Weir's non-fiction Mistress of the Monarchy).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 26, 2012

    One of the best books of all times. I am an avid "Outlander

    One of the best books of all times. I am an avid "Outlander" , "In To the Wilderness" series girl but this is definitely a reread:)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 30, 2011

    Truly Beautiful.

    I came across this book while browsing at random in Barnes & Noble one afternoon, entirely at random. The cover was enticing, and upon reading the words "The Classic Love Story of Medieval England" on the cover, I decided to pick it up. Being partial to both historical romance and Medieval England, it seemed worth at least having on the shelf.

    I started reading it when I was stuck at a school event and had nothing else to do--dull at first, this book quickly gained momentum, and before I knew it was in love. I simply, literally could NOT put it down. This book is truly life-changing. I wept at the end. The courage- the beauty, the determination of this woman was inspiring. She was beyond her times in many ways. After reading this book, I sought to find out more about this incredible, overlooked figure in history-- You might want to check out historical nonfiction author Alison Weir's book "Mistress of the Monarchy," virtually the only other piece of literature on the subject and, funnily enough, inspired by Anya Seton's own novel.

    This book has taken the place in my heart of many classics such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights as my favorite book of all time. It is truly wonderful and I hope you choose to treat yourself to such a gem of literature. And afterward check out Anya Seton's other incredible novels!

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  • Posted February 27, 2011

    My Absolute Favorite Book

    Katherine has been my absolute favorite book for over 30 years. I have reread it so many times and each reading is as enjoyable as the first. If I could only have two books in my possession they would be my Bible and my copy of Katherine.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2011

    Love this book

    I read this book for the very first time maybe 40 years ago and decided to read it again. This is THE book that got me started on loving historical fiction novels in Medievil England. Seton's facts on the historical events are wonderful. I'm not going into detail - you just have to read this wonderful book. Phillipa Gregorys forward is very good as well (she is also one of my favorites).

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  • Posted January 20, 2010

    Greatest read ever

    All time favorite book. I've been reading this book over and over for over 50 yrs and still cry whenever I read it. What I like about this book is that the characters and events really happened. Anya Seton brings them alive for you when you read this book. I recommend all books by Anya Seton.

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    You Should Definitely Read This!

    When I first started reading 'Katherine', I thought I was in for a big disappointment. It begins pretty slowly but half way into the first chapter I was very glad that I hadn't given up on it. This is a wonderful insight into the life of this very wonderful woman in history. Anya Seton portrays the life of Katherine Swynford as it was, with ups and downs around every corner. I definitely recommend 'Katherine' for any reader.

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  • Posted September 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is my favorite of Anya Seton's novels!

    I have read this book many times. I have all of Anya Seton's books and have read all of them. This is my favorite of her novels. I lent my book to a friend who lost it (learned my lesson...I'll not lend her any futher of my books) so I had to replace it!

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Must Have

    Katherine is a little known part of Tudor history so it is a great read for Tudor buffs or anyone else. The character will live on in your memory. I would love to find another book on her!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    Very good

    I recommend this absorbing, memorable historical romance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book

    This is the first Seton I have read. I loved it and look forward to reading others. If you like medieval reading this is a great book. It is a true romance.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2008

    Wow--I'm still thinking about this book

    An excellent historical fiction read--one of the best. It was hard to put down and I kept coming back to Katherine until I finished it (all too quickly). The characters came to life for me!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2008

    Still Remembered After All These Years

    I stumbled onto Katherine back in high school in the early '70s. It made such an impact on me that I have never forgotten it. Katherine is the only book I have deliberately reread several times because it is so good. I own one of the original printed copies and it is a precious possession.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2008

    Historical Novel Lover

    I started with Katherine, and read all the rest of Seton's books. I've been able to find most of her books in the original hardcovers, but was thrilled to see them re-released to replace the old paperbacks I have. If you love historical novels, you will love Anya Seton!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2008

    LOVED THIS BOOK!

    I decided to read this book after reading The Other Boleyn Girl. I actually liked this book much more. While very entertaining it was also very educational. It peaked my interest so much about this time in history that I headed to the library to learn more about the dress, culture and politics of Katherine's time. Enjoy!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2008

    For Historical Fiction Lovers

    This book is by far one of my favorite books of all time. I was tempted into reading this novel by none other than my grandmother. She lent me her copy with the pages falling out, she had read it so many times. I have always been a lover of historical fiction, but only when it is done right. This book is a work of art. It is an enchanting novel that will have you in a completey different world, a world of long ago. The worst part about reading it was the fact that you can't find a book as good after you have.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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