#110 ~ The Other Queen

October 19, 2008 at 9:42 pm | Posted in Books, Historical Fiction, Philippa Gregory, Reading, Religion, Secrets and Lies | 8 Comments
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The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

I had been awaiting the publication of The Other Queen since I finished reading The Virgin’s Lover in October of 2007.  As time progressed and got closer to its September 16th release, my anticipation kept growing.  Finding out that I would be seeing Philippa Gregory in person just a couple of short weeks added to my excitement.  When I finally held the book in my hands, it was a happy day indeed.  Although this novel did not displace The Other Boleyn Girl as my favorite of Gregory’s Tudor series, I enjoyed the time I spent with Mary, Queen of Scots, Lord Shrewsberry, and, most especially, Lady Bess of Hardwick.

When writing about Mary, Queen of Scots, Gregory chose to explore her first several years in British captivity.  In what at first seemed like a royal privilege bestowed upon them by Queen Elizabeth, the Lord Shrewsberry and his new wife, Lady Bess, were asked to house the Scots Queen the short time that she would be safeguarded in Great Britain.  What they found quite early on, however, was that holding court for the Queen of Scots was expensive and would quickly rely on them living beyond their means.  What they didn’t realize right away was all that this honor would cost them.

Lady Bess, the first in her kind in the way she accumulated wealth and managed the properties left to her by her husbands, was dreaming of the wealth and favor that would come with performing such a task.  She married her way up to the nobility and was proud of the way she orchestrated her life and was now able to make a place for her children.  She learned how to keep books and it had become her passion.  She took pride in knowing to the penny how much she was worth and what she had spent.  As I got to know her, it became apparent that when things were happening beyond her control that she had her own inner mantra about who she now is and how efficient she is as a landlord.  She is quite the Protestant, but when she’s under stress, all she needs are prayer beads to make this mantra into her own personal rosary.

For all their differences, Mary, Queen of Scots is much like Lady Bess.  She, too, handles stress by telling herself over and over who she is and what her station means.  When she is confident in what she is doing and the plans that are underway on the outside to free her and return her to her throne, her thoughts are fluid and she has a hard time containing her enthusiasm.  There is no need to remind herself that she is a queen of the royal blood.  She is prospering in that role.  When she is not, or when she feels defeated, her thoughts of freedom and who she is become excessive and obsessive.  It is then that she thinks of Bothwell.  When things become dark enough, she admits to what he did.  In her fear she reveals how vulnerable she is, which makes her no different from any other woman.

Philippa Gregory made a bold choice in choosing to tell Mary, Queen of Scots’ story of early imprisonment.  Despite the lack of physical action, it paid off for me.  I understood Mary and Bess both in their perceived triumphs and actual defeats.  I felt their impatience, resentment, and the immense weight of their boredom.  Whether it was intentional or not, Baron Burghley and Queen Elizabeth proved that all torture has to be physical to be effective.  If I were to change one thing about this novel, I might have chosen a different third voice.  Lord Shrewsberry’s last chapter didn’t work well for me.  I would have chosen someone from outside the house.  Thomas Howard or Queen Elizabeth would have added a third distinct layer to the story.

The Other Queen is a novel of internal drama.  As Mary, Queen of Scots is prisoner from start to finish, and her jailers could not be rid of her.  There was a constant battle between the Shrewberry’s and their other queen.  When Lady Bess is up, Mary is down.  When Mary is up, Lady Bess is down.  Lord Shrewsberry was beaten and battered by the storm erupting between the two women.  Still, this novel was not as compelling as The Other Boleyn Girl or The Boleyn Inheritance, but it kept my interest and my interest grew with the characters.  I look forward to reading more about Mary, Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick.

Now that my reading of Gregory’s Tudor series is complete, I would rank them in the following order:

1) The Other Boleyn Girl
2) The Boleyn Inheritance
3) The Queen’s Fool
4) The Other Queen
5) The Constant Princess
6) The Virgin’s Lover

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To buy this novel, click here.

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The Sunday Salon ~ My Trip to the National Book Festival!

September 28, 2008 at 8:11 pm | Posted in Books, Historical Fiction, LIfe, My Life with Books, Philippa Gregory, Reading | 29 Comments
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Yesterday, despite the muggy, slightly drizzly day, I had the most wonderful time at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.  The night before I thanked Target that my latest purse was huge.  It hard cover versions of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Neverwhere, to hard cover copies of The Other Queen, and paperback versions of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Satanic Verses, and The Color of Water.  I should have weighed it, because it was heavy.  I didn’t really care, though.  I was excited to be gathering signatures for them all.

We left our house just after 6am and drove to Vienna, VA, where we caught the Metro to The Smithsonian and walked out on the Mall.  It was so wonderful to be in the capitol.  It had been 12 years since I last was there.

“There’s a familiar sight.”  Danny said as we were walking toward the event.

“What?  The tents?”  I replied.

Danny pointed straight ahead.  “No, the Capitol.”

“Oh…”  Unlike in the past, I wasn’t paying any attention to the monuments and buildings.  I was looking for the Book Festival tents.

When we got there, we were a little after Neil Gaiman‘s talk began in the Children and Teens’ tent.  The crowd was so huge that we could barely hear what he was saying.  While I was trying to figure out what to do, Danny was trying to point out to me that Laura and Jenna Bush were about 50 yards from us signing books, but I wasn’t paying attention to him.  I was single-minded.  I now regret not taking peak at them when I had been so close.  Next time I’ll have to remind myself to try to absorb it all in.  Anyway, since Salman Rushdie and Philippa Gregory were speaking at the other end of the event, we decided to head in that direction in hopes of getting a good spot.  When I saw the Fiction and Mystery tent, it was starting to sink in to me that I was finally there.

Marisa de los Santos was speaking when we arrived and she was delightful.  She stood at the podium and was glowing.  I have not read Love Walked In or Belong to Me, but I certainly wish that I had now. She discussed her writing methods, how her characters develop, and her relationship as an author with poetry and novels.  Listening to her seemed like listening to a long lost friend.

After de los Santos, Salman Rushdie was scheduled to speak.  I was hoping to find a seat between authors, but no such luck.  Very few people who were seated moved.  I was able to move up to stand behind the last row of chairs.  As soon as Salman entered the tent, you could feel the air charge with electricity.  We were packed in the tent like sardines and, looking behind me, there were several rows of people lined up outside of the tent.  It took a few moments to get started because someone who kept shouting “Sit Down!” She finally  figuring out either that she was in the back of the standing room only section or went away.  There was a sign language interpreter for each of the authors, so everything was translated.  When people starting shhing this woman, it was hilarious.

Unlike de los Santos, Salman was interviewed.  Marie Arana, the editor in chief of the Washington Post’s  Book Review led the discussion.  We found out that Friday had been the 20th anniversary of the publication of The Satanic Verses and everyone cheered.  He discussed his time under the fatwa set down by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and how over time he became able to be in public without fear of his life.  The discussion then turned to The Enchantress of Florentine, which couldn’t sound more symbolic and beautiful.  TBR edition number three of the day.  The discussion wrapped up with very long question from the audience and then Salman was thanked with a huge round of applause.  He was intelligent and witty.  It was a great experience getting to listen to him.

There was a change in the audience between Rushdie and Philippa Gregory – enough so that I got a seat in the second to last row.  It was like sitting in a book club because there was instant discussion all around about Philippa and her work. Even in the muggy atmosphere, I got goosebumps when Philippa walked on stage.

She gave a wonderful speech.  She discussed writing The Other Queen and looking at history knowing that it was written by men who held prejudices about who and what a woman was.  She gave a little incite into her life as a writer.  While she joked about her husband living with someone she thinks is the greatest living author of British historical fiction, her husband’s take on her profession keeps her humble.  For him, it’s just something to keep her occupied during the British football season.  She read a couple of sections from The Other Queen and it was a treat to hear her read.  She answered several questions about The Other Boleyn Girl, what it really meant to be the historical consultant for her recent motion picture, and The Other Queen.  One of my favorite questions was about how royal women lived with the weight of producing an heir on their heads.  Did they ever resort to swapping a newborn princess for a commoner’s son?  With the exception of the rumors about Mary of Modena, Queen Consort of James II, it wasn’t believed that this happened.  Then she noted that even today that there is a modern prince who may have cause to question his paternity.  The lively way in which she answered that question was delightful.

As soon as Philippa’s talk was over, Danny and I headed over to the book signing pavilions.  I had mapped out our book signing schedule for the afternoon.  First Neil Gaiman, then Philippa Gregory, then Salman Rushdie, and finally James McBride.  My plans and the reality of the situation were vastly different.  There was the line leading up to Neil Gaiman and then SEVEN feeder lines!  There was already a huge line for Salman Rushdie and it was two hours before he was scheduled to get there.  Long story short, I decided that I was really there for Philippa Gregory first and Neil Gaiman second.  In order to get both autographs, we decided to have Danny wait in Gaiman’s line while I waited in Philippa’s.  I might not get a picture with her, but I was on a mission for Jena, Alyce and Jill.  In the end, it didn’t even work out to get Neil Gaiman’s autograph (I am SO sorry, Jena!).  The lines were just too long.  If you want more than one author’s signature, you almost have to make a choice between listening to the talk and waiting in line.

I waited in Philippa’s line for about an hour and 45 minutes, but it was a pleasure.  I met Karrie, a lobbyist for Second Harvest Food Bank/Feeding America, which is a wonderful non-profit organization that is located across the country.  If you are looking for a charity that helps people in your area, Feeding America is a wonderful organization.  Karrie and I had a wonderful time getting to know each other.  She wanted both Philippa’s autograph and Cokie Roberts’.  She picked Philippa’s because it’s more likely that she can attend another book signing for Cokie Roberts than getting to meet Philippa again.  Karrie is a wonderful person and getting to know her made the time fly.  There was some concern that we wouldn’t even get to Philippa, but we got through within the first half hour.  Since Danny didn’t make it through Neil’s line, he waited with us so that I could get Alyce’s book autographed.  With the one book per person limit, that was it (sorry, Jill!).

I wanted to ask her what her opinion was of the rape scene in movie but, as I recall, I pretty much gushed about how much I’ve enjoyed her novels and how they’ve shaped my reading habits.  She thanked me and agreed to take a picture with me:

She is holding my copy of the book and I am in heaven!  What is most funny about this picture is that I made sure to get my hair colored and cut on Thursday so that it would look nice in the picture.  Since it was so muggy, I’m dripping in sweat.  Oh well…  what’s that they say about pride coming before the fall? 🙂  Despite my hair, I will treasure this picture for the rest of my life.  Thank you, Philippa for being so gracious!

After Danny got Alyce’s book signed, we waited for Karrie to come back down the line.  Are we happy campers or what?

The National Book Festival was an incredible experience that I will never forget.  Danny and I got to spend the day together in a huge crowd of book lovers.  It was extremely organized for such a huge event.  The volunteers kept those of us waiting in line for book signings aware of what was going on, had the books ready for the authors so that the lines ran smoothly.  They also regularly walked up and down the lines with the bottled water donated by Target.  Assuming this continues on into the next administration, I will be making plans to attend again next year and in the years to come.  There is plenty of activities for children and it would be a great way to help foster the love of reading in my daughter’s lives.

The Sunday Salon 09.21.08

September 21, 2008 at 1:35 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe | 12 Comments
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The Sunday Salon.comIt is such a gorgeous day today!  This is the first morning I woke up feeling chilly.  A few months from now I’ll no doubt be complaining about this, but it felt really, really good.  I’ll be wearing long pants and a long sleeve t-shirt today for sure.  And, since I’ve finally gotten my seasonal blahs to a manageable place, I can enjoy the cooler weather and the changing of the colors. 🙂

What a week!  Book Blogger Appreciation Week was an inspiration to me.  Jen at Devourer of Books made my week early on and it just stayed that way.  I enjoyed visiting new blogs and presenting four of the awards and two contests.   It culminated in a wonderful book blogger wide shout out to Amy at My Friend Amy that was really impressive.  It’s amazing what a group of people who don’t know each other can do in such a short period of time. I want to personally thank Trish at Hey Lady, Whatcha Readin’ for the gorgeous button she created for Amy.  It is absolutely lovely!

The Literate Housewives’ Book Club is also back up and running.  After 9 months, we’re giving it another try.  In addition to the blog, I’ve created a forum and will be creating a newsletter.  Our first book is Immortal by Traci Slatton.  A couple of the members have finished the book, but I’m about 10 chapters in myself.  We’re not actually describing the book until we’ve finished, which will probably be closer to the end of the month.  So, there’s still time to join if you’re interested.

In addition to the blogging, I got a good deal of reading done.  I finished Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelly Hall.  I read that novel to help out Andi at AndiLit.  It was really good and I just noticed that in the activity of BBAW that Amy hosted a guest post by the author.  I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the sequel.  I also read and enjoyed The Torn Skirt by Rebecca Godfrey.  I’ll be writing and posting the reviews for these novels this week.

I have a question about young adult literature for those of you who regularly read and review it.  Sisters of Misery is listed in the YA Lit category.  It was about a group of high school aged girls, so that fits YA to me.  However, there were quite a few references to drugs, sex, rape, and gang rape.  Two characters, one of whom is a high school character, smoke.  What really stuck out to me as being inappropriate for a YA novel is my least favorite word, c*nt.  Are these topics and the use of that kind of language acceptable or common in the YA literature of today?  It’s been since the late 80s since I’ve read YA fiction and I know that a lot has changed…

I’m starting Bad Monkey by Matt Ruff and The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory in addition to Immortal for my reading this week.  A lot of great reading is heading my way.

Next weekend I’ll be heading to the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. and I cannot wait!  I’ll have pictures and a report back on those festivities in my next Sunday Salon.  In the meantime, have a great week everyone!

BBAW: Book Blog Awards & Philippa Gregory Scavenger Hunt

September 12, 2008 at 3:47 pm | Posted in Books, Historical Fiction, LIfe, Philippa Gregory, Reading | 7 Comments
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For updates on this Scavenger Hunt:

Please head over here.  I’ve added the number of prizes.

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Next week will be a busy week here at The Literate Housewife Review:

  • I’ll be hosting the award for Book Blog Readers.  I announced this contest earlier this week.  Be sure to check this out and send me your entry before it’s too late!  I’ve gotten a huge response.  It’s going to be so difficult to narrow it down to 10!
  • I’ll be hosting some awards ceremonies for the following wonderful categories:  Community Builder, Author, Historical, and Fantasy.  I’ll be posting more about this later on tonight.
  • Visiting all of the other blogs and participating in the contests.  I am so excited about the whole thing and wish I could take the week off of work. 🙂

Still, that just doesn’t seem like quite enough.  I need to do one more thing, I just can’t help myself.  As my readers know, I’m a huge Philippa Gregory fan.  I’m anxiously awaiting the publication of The Other Queen on Tuesday the 16th.

On the 27th, my husband is taking me to DC to meet her in person (!!!!!) at the National Book Festival.  With Book Blogger Appreciation Week to top it all off, this is so my month!  So, to bring two of my passions together, I’m going to host a Philippa Gregory Scavenger Hunt beginning Sunday, September 15.  Here are the details:

Between now and midnight EST on Sunday, I will be adding a graphic of my favorite historical fiction author in 10 places on my blog.  The first person to email me and correctly identify each place I’ve added her photo will win.  If no one correctly identifies all of the posts by 5pm EST on Tuesday, September 16, the winner will be the person who has sent me an email with the most correct locations.  If there is a tie, I’ll use Randomizer to select the winner.  So, even if you can’t find all of her pictures, submit your entry!

So, what might you get for prowling around my blog looking for Philippa?  How about a copy of The Other Queen?  I won’t be able to send you the book until the 29th, though.  I hope you don’t mind.  You see, unless disaster strikes and I can’t make it to DC, I will be bringing this copy of the book with me to have it signed to you by Philippa!  What do you think?  You’re coming back on Sunday, aren’t you? 😉

Meet Me in D.C.

August 28, 2008 at 5:27 pm | Posted in Books, Historical Fiction, LIfe, My Life with Books, Philippa Gregory, Reading | 6 Comments
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As my regular readers are well aware, I’m a Philippa Gregory fanatic. To this day, two of my three most viewed posts by far are about reading her Tudor series in chronological order and my thoughts about Anne Boleyn’s rape scene in the film adaptation of The Other Boleyn Girl. When I received her newsletter recently, I read it word for word. When I read that her tour dates for The Other Queen were set on her website, I went there immediately knowing full well that she most likely wouldn’t be coming any where near my little hamlet in Southwest Virginia.

It was like Christmas morning when I discovered that she will be taking part in the 2008 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, September 27.  D.C. is still five hours away. With gas prices the way they are, my joy started to dim until I noticed all of the other authors who will be there: Neil Gaiman, Salmon Rushdie, Geraldine Brooks, and Marisa de los Santos just to name a few. It’s sounds like such a wonderful event and I’m sad that I’ve not heard about it before this year.  I hope that this is one thing that will continue on after President Bush leaves office.

I have asked my husband to take me there and he agreed so long as our yard sale isn’t held that weekend.  Uh, it most definitely won’t!  I’m not sure what we’ll do as far as driving there.  Neil Gaiman is appearing in the Teens & Children Pavilion at 11:45.  We’d have to leave pretty early in the morning to get there in time for that.  We may drive to Alexandria and get a hotel the night before and then take the train into the city.  Is there anyone else out there who is planning on attending?  Let’s make plans to get together!  It’s going to be a great day!

A Love Letter to The Other Queen

August 8, 2008 at 10:25 am | Posted in Books, Historical Fiction, LIfe, Philippa Gregory, Reading | 14 Comments
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If ever there was a novel I have coveted and wanted in my hot little hands NOW, it is The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory. Ever since I finished her other books about the Tudor clan, I’ve been willing time to speed up time and make September 16, 2008 arrive. Thus far, it hasn’t worked. I even contemplated writing an open post to Simon and Schuster and Philippa Gregory begging for an ARC. In the end, I opted to retain my dignity and self-respect and wait patiently.

obvious choice

obvious choice

I won’t be reading any reviews of the book beforehand. While I don’t have patience for many other things, I have no problem avoiding reviews of books and movies beforehand. In fact, I haven’t even read anything else about Mary, Queen of Scots because I want my “first time” to be with Philippa. All that I will be bringing to this story is my deep respect and admiration for Gregory and my love for the Tudors. I know that this will end in tragedy, but that is where Gregory works her best magic. I cannot wait.

In some respects, my waiting has come to an end. This morning I pre-ordered my copy of the novel. September 16 is still 40 days away counting today, but knowing that there is a copy with my name written on it (but not, unfortunately, by Philippa Gregory herself), gives me some peace. I know that the moment it see that package on the front porch I will jump out of the car, run up to it, and hug it to my chest. When I have time alone (the girls tend to be all over me when I’m opening a box) – most probably locked in the bathroom – I will open the box and just look at it. I’ll run my fingers over the title and the author’s name and then pick it up. I’ll look at the back cover and run my hands over it. I’ll open the book and read the inside flaps. Finally, I’ll open the book somewhere in the middle, move my nose in close and breathe the book in. Sigh…

Until then, I will continue to eagerly anticipate what I hope will be my best reading experience of the year, not unlike Mary on the cover.

Book Lust

May 1, 2008 at 12:13 pm | Posted in Barnes & Noble, Books, Historical Fiction, LIfe, Philippa Gregory, Reading, What's Up | 12 Comments
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When Tracy left a comment that she had a copy of The Lady Elizabeth, the latest novel written by Alison Weir, book lust set in to my reader’s heart fast and furious. Were I the Incredible Hulk, I would have ripped through my clothes and turned green within minutes of reading Tracy’s comment (which wouldn’t really be so bad – green is my favorite color). I read Innocent Traitor last May while I was vacationing at the beach and absolutely loved it. So, I couldn’t stop thinking about the book and how wonderful I am hoping it will be. Thankfully, a merciful 15% coupon arrived in my email from Barnes & Noble and I immediately put it to good use. My very own copy of The Lady Elizabeth will be arriving today. Although I’m about a third of the way through Mistaken Identity, I don’t think I’m going to be able to wait. I’m afraid thoughts of any other book are going to be lost the second I see that package on my door step.

Cover to The Lady Elizabeth

One of the main reason’s I’m curious about this book is to see how I feel about Elizabeth I as a result. Although I love Philippa Gregory, The Virgin’s Lover was not my favorite book in her Tudor series. I also had really been looking forward to Elizabeth: The Golden Age and was sadly disappointed by how boring it was. So much so that I was never able to muster up the motivation to write my review of the movie afterwards. Yet, I’ve enjoyed novels where Elizabeth is not the main character. I’m wondering if this is because I didn’t find Elizabeth that interesting or was it the treatment she received in the book and movie? I’m hoping it’s the later. How can Elizabeth not be an intriguing character?

The Other Boleyn Girl Virtual Book Club Contest

February 27, 2008 at 9:03 pm | Posted in Historical Fiction, Philippa Gregory | 10 Comments
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This contest appears to have been completed.  You can’t view the site any longer.  Thanks to everyone who participated!

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Sony Pictures has sponsored a fun contest surrounding the release of The Other Boleyn Girl. People create and join virtual book clubs. Each person who joins takes a quiz to earn points for their club. The virtual book clubs with the most points can win some fun TOBG or Philippa Gregory prizes. The organizer of the book club earning the most points wins a trip for two to London and will meet Philippa Gregory! I’ve started my own club. If you don’t start your own club, would you consider joining mine? All you have to do is click on this link and follow the instructions? I’d love to have you join me.

Gregory Discusses the Differences between Fiction and Film

February 21, 2008 at 5:52 pm | Posted in Books, entertainment, Film, Historical Fiction, Philippa Gregory, Reading | 4 Comments
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Here is an interesting article that Philippa Gregory wrote about writing and reading historical fiction and the differences between her novel and the upcoming film rendition of The Other Boleyn Girl.  If I gain nothing else from seeing the movie, I really enjoyed reading this article.

A big thank you to Butterflylady from HistoricalFiction.org for posting about this.

#43 ~ The Virgin’s Lover

November 5, 2007 at 5:06 am | Posted in Books, Culture, Historical Fiction, Philippa Gregory, Secrets and Lies | 5 Comments
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The Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory

Your Attention, Please!

Until Gregory’s novel about Mary, Queen of Scots (entitled The Other Queen) is published next year, I can now officially say that I have read every book in her Tudor series! YES!!!! I read my first in March and, as of October 24, I read the last. If reading 52 books in one year won’t be impressive enough, including this entire series into this year is something of which I am proud. Her books aren’t skinny, you know! 😉

On to the Review:

The Virgin’s Lover tells the story of the first two years of Elizabeth I‘s reign as Queen of England. It was during those years that she had a scandalous love affair Robert Dudley, a man previously held in the Tower for treason. A man who narrowly escaped the execution faced by his father and younger brother as a result of the Dudley family’s attempt to install Lady Jane Grey on the throne permanently (they were successful for nine days…). Even after all of this time, the scene of John Dudley‘s death in Innocent Traitor sends chills up and down my spine. I got those chills quite often while reading this book. I knew that Robert Dudley wasn’t going to end up on the Tudor chopping block, but he sure worked as hard as he could at it.

During much of this book, Elizabeth could not make a single decision on her own. I found this a little disconcerting. Sure, everyone has to grown into their roles in life. Despite what Katherine of Arragon might have been lead to believe, you’re not born a monarch. You are very much tried in fire. Still, Elizabeth was never a shrinking violet. She lived much of her life in danger. I found her inability to do much more than worry without Dudley or Sir William Cecil. This Elizabeth came off as pathetic to me. This Elizabeth certainly wasn’t the Elizabeth I remember from the first movie starring Kate Blanchett. Of course, I’m showing my historical ignorance by comparing one fictionalized Elizabeth to the other. Alas, this is all that Literate Housewife has in her arsenal at this point.

I did enjoy the portion of the book dedicated to Amy Robsart, Dudley’s first wife. She is portrayed as an entirely different woman in this book than she was in The Queen’s Fool. I noticed that from the beginning, but I enjoyed her character. I cannot feel sorry for Dudley’s fate after what he put this woman through.

Of all of Gregory’s books about the Tudor dynasty, this is my least favorite after The Constant Princess. I don’t like Elizabeth as a weak minded woman who can’t be anywhere or do anything without a man. I also found it hard to believe that Dudley, going with the assumption that he was innocent of his wife’s demise, didn’t smell a rat from the very beginning. I know that he loved Elizabeth, but to not for a single moment think she could be responsible for bringing about his latest shame was a little much for me.

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