Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory

 I really enjoy reading historical fiction and it is my opinion that "The Other Boelyn Girl" was one of the best.  In Philippa Gregory's follow-up, The Virgin's Lover", I was not near as impressed.  As usual, Philippa does an amazing job with her historical research and she does write well, however, I felt as though this particular story was very slow and drawn out.  However, it did leave me to question whether or not there ever was or has been a King or Queen that embodied integrity or kind and gentle spirit?  Surely, Elizabeth 1 did not.

Interesting facts: 
Sweetmeats = candy

Dropsy = an accumulation of watery fluid / infectious disease of fishes

Robert Dudley waited 18 years to remarry in hopes that Elizabeth would become his wife.  His second wife was Laetitia, believed to be the niece of Queen Elizabeth.

Queen Elizabeth died with Sir Robert Dudley's love letter in her hand, written some thirty years prior. 

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.
Bud 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.


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