Title – Catherine of Braganza: Charles II’s Restoration Queen
Author – Sarah-Beth Watkins
Genre – Historical
Length – 168 Pages
Publication – April 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars
Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese princess, married Charles II in 1662 and became the merry monarch’s Restoration queen. Yet life for her was not so merry – she put up with the king’s many mistresses and continuous plots to remove her from the throne. She lived through times of war, plague and fire. Catherine’s marriage saw many trials and tribulations including her inability to produce an heir. Yet Charles supported his queen throughout the Restoration, remaining devoted to her no matter what. Outliving her husband, she ended up back in her home country and spent her final days as queen-regent of Portugal.
I’m no historian I’ll admit but I’ve really wanted to learn more over the last few years. What Watkins gets perfect for a reader like me is she manages to make a historical character come to life. There’s lots of facts to take in but you don’t feel bogged down or bored at any point, it’s all relevant and interesting.
Once again Watkins manages to introduce me to someone I’ve heard of but knew very little..and it’s a very compelling tale indeed.. Catherine didn’t have things easy in her life.
The years with Charles were tough..he wanted an heir that she just couldn’t provide and the author manged to convey the struggle she must have been going through. Charles’s treatment of Catherine at times was harsh and scandalous but at others he showed his loyalty to her.
Catherine does her best to fit in at the English court despite the obvious hatred some held for her, she must have been a very strong woman indeed.
Overall it’s a very captivating tale. There’s plots galore and mistresses as you’d expect from the time but the tale really does open your eyes to someone we should really know more about..too many people in history are overshadowed..Catherine should not be one of them.
If you enjoy fact more than fiction give this book a go and if indeed you prefer fiction I still suggest you read the book. I never would have thought I would enjoy a tale such as this, a biography, “where’s the action” I always thought..but how wrong I was. It’s full of excitement and so much more.
Sarah-Beth Watkins definitely makes me want to read/learn more history.. there’s so much out there to explore.
My thanks go to Chronos Books for providing a copy of the book for review.