Henry was devoted to Katherine for a long time (he had very few mistresses for a king) despite the fact that a number of pregnancies resulted in only one child who lived past infancy: Princess Mary. But Katherine was six years older than Henry and there came a time when he felt she looked old and unattractive, plus she was clearly past child-bearing years. Mistress Anne Boleyn caught his eye, and he started dreaming about a new marriage to a younger woman who would produce a bunch of boys. His efforts to divorce Katherine led to England’s split from the Roman Catholic Church.
Prolific historical fiction writer Jean Plaidy wrote three novels on Katherine of Aragon, which are now available in one volume. Some of Plaidy’s writing can be stilted, but the Aragon series really brings the characters to life.
Katherine held out against Henry till the day she died, refusing to accept the divorce or any title besides queen, and holding fast to the Roman church. Henry punished her by housing her in drafty, uncomfortable palaces and separating her from her daughter and attendants. These experiences ruined the physical and emotional health of her daughter Mary, whose reign was a failure as a result. Might it have been better for Katherine to compromise for the sake of her daughter? You can tell me what you think after you read the books.