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“The Virgin’s Lover” by Philippa Gregory

Friday, July 08, 2011 - Book Reading
“The Virgin’s Lover” by Philippa Gregory

Back of the Book:

From the author of The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen’s Fool comes a stunning portrait of the first perilous years of Elizabeth I’s reign.

As a new queen, Elizabeth faces two great dangers: the French invasion of Scotland, which threatens to put Mary Queen of Scots on her throne, and her passion for the convicted traitor Robert Dudley.

But Dudley is already married, and his devoted wife Amy will never give him up, least of all to an upstart Protestant Princess. She refuses to set her beloved husband free to marry the queen; but she cannot prevent him from becoming the favorite and the focus of the feverishly plotting, pleasure seeking court.

Others too oppose the marriage, but for very different reasons. William Cecil, the queen’s wisest counselor, knows she must marry for policy; her uncle hates Dudley and swears he will be murder him first. Behind the triangle of lovers, the factions take up their places: the Protestants, the priests, the assassins, the diplomats and the moneymakers. The very coin of England is shaved and clipped to nothing as Elizabeth uncertainly leads her bankrupt country into a war that no-one thinks can be won.

Then someone acts in secret, and for Elizabeth, Dudley and the emerging kingdom, nothing will be as planned.

Blending historical fact with contemporary rumor, Philippa Gregory has created a dark and tense novel of Tudor times, which casts Elizabeth I in a light no one has suggested before. Passionate, fearful, emotionally needy, this is a queen who will stop at nothing.

From Booklist:

The story of Queen Elizabeth I and her court has been told countlessly in historical fiction. This third novel in a popular series following the machinations and passions of the Tudor court presents lively characters, political intrigue, and soaring emotions swirling around the early years of Elizabeth’s reign. Lifelong friend Robert Dudley and Elizabeth share an ardent love affair, but the married Robert is already tainted with a traitor’s brush. In addition, his wife, the devoted Amy, will never relinquish him. In tandem with her illicit liaison, Elizabeth conspires with William Cecil, her most trusted counselor, to secure the wealth of her court and country by building a secret cache of gold. The coin of the realm’s new value will financially ruin Dudley. Readers already know how history unfolds but will quickly turn pages to the story’s end. Elizabeth’s manipulations, Dudley’s allegiance, and Cecil’s political plotting come together in an engaging story. The first two novels in the series were book-club favorites, and expect this one to follow suit–and expect further entries in this rousing series. Kaite Mediatore
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Pages: 441

Published: 2004-10-18

Format Read: ebook

[xrr rating=4.0/5]

The very worst thing about this book is the way Elizabeth acts. She flip-flops so quickly from being a leader to a wishy-washy weakling; it’s annoying to say the least. Of course, this could be an accurate description of her behavior while ruling.

The very best thing about this book is the romance between Elizabeth and Dudley. It’s wrong, it’s against all the rules, but it seems somewhat genuine and you can imagine a happily ever after for them if they had been born peasants. I won’t lie, because I know very little about this time in history, I was rooting for their happy ending.

Challenges:

This book will be placed under the 2011 E-Book Reading Challenge.

Occasionally Important Information:

"The Other Queen" by Philippa Gregory
"The Queen's Fool" by Philippa Gregory

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