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The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
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The Other Queen

by Philippa Gregory

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Tudor Court Novels - chronological (8)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,574963,566 (3.34)88
  1. 20
    The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory (tina1969)
    tina1969: This is the story of Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard through the eyes of Jane Rocford. A lot more enjoyable read than The Other Queen.
  2. 00
    Behind the Curtain by Kay Macaulife (KayCliff)
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English (94)  Portuguese (1)  German (1)  All languages (96)
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
This isn’t one of the better Gregory novels. No wonder I’d never found a copy at the thrift store before.

Told in three alternating viewpoints: Mary, Queen of Scots; And Bess of Hardwick; and George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, the unfortunate nobles tasked with her custody.

Mary: I am the Queen! I will be free! My body is sacred. Nobody knows my secrets. Bothwell, my boo, you shall return to me and help me take the throne of Scotland. Mmmmm baby.

Bess: my lands, my mines, my income. I’m a business woman! Mary’s expenses are killing me. Also I don’t like the way my husband follows her around.

George: I’m a Talbot, loyal to the throne. This is where my honor lies. This queen is sooooo pretty, I just love her.

I wondered if the author dislikes the Queen of Scots as much as she does Elizabeth I. I concluded, yes indeed.
  KaterinaBead | Feb 11, 2019 |
After seeing MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS the movie last week...(2 weeks ago?) I have been fascinated with Mary. This book fed that desire for more, but I found it a little redundant. Yes, Bess was worried about her wealth, George about his honor, and Mary needs to be FREE.

A little dull for me, but I'm not sure what I was hoping for. Like GONE WITH THE WIND, no matter how many times I've seen it, I want it to end differently. ( )
  Alphawoman | Jan 8, 2019 |
The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory is number #15 in The Plantagenet and Tudor novels series, but just like the others in the series, it too can be read as a stand alone.

Set in the mid to late 1500s, this story of Mary Queen of Scots is told from three perspectives: Queen Mary, her keeper George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife, Bess of Hardwick.

Bess's sections were incredibly repetitive; the one exception being the opening paragraph of the book told to us by Bess which was incredibly gripping.

"Every woman should marry for her own advantage since her husband will represent her, as visible as her front door, for the rest of his life. If she chooses a wastrel she will be avoided by all her neighbours as a poor woman; catch a duke and she will be Your Grace, and everyone will be her friend. She can be pious, she can be learned, she can be witty and wise and beautiful; but if she is married to a fool she will be 'that poor Mrs Fool' until the day he dies." Page 1

How's that for an opening? I've read 10 novels in this series and overall, The Other Queen just wasn't as engaging or memorable as the others. I recommend it for completionists of the series, otherwise I know for a fact there are better Philippa Gregory novels awaiting discovery. ( )
  Carpe_Librum | Oct 8, 2018 |
Mary Queen of Scots has fled her country after a rebellion of Scottish lords threatens her throne and her life. Under the advice of Lord Cecil, her spymaster, Queen Elizabeth arranges for her cousin to be imprisoned in a desolate castle by George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his determined wife, Bess of Hardwick. Gregory tells the tale through the eyes these three players.
Mary comes across as spoiled and vain, though interestingly PG says in her author's note that this is not how she sees her. Talbot is portrayed as a naive romantic, losing both his heart and his head to the beautiful but treacherous queen - indeed, his wife's nickname for him is Mr Fool. The real star of the book is the redoubtable Bess of Hardwick, who dragged herself up from lowly roots to become a Countess by way of some very judicious and profitable marriages. It's quite painful to watch as the wealth and property Bess has acquired over the years (by fair means and foul) are squandered as the couple are forced to play host to the spendthrift Mary and all her hangers-on.
Initially, I found this slow going, and I think it could stand to be trimmed by about 100 pages - there's quite a lot of repetition as the exiled queen and her retinue are shunted backwards and forwards across the countryside as various plots to free Mary and overthrow Elizabeth play out. However, I soon became absorbed in the unfolding story - even though we all know how it plays out.
It is easy to forget that Philippa Gregory’s tales are works of fiction, as her extensive research brings history alive on the printed page. Elizabeth, Cecil and Bothwell are all essentially off stage for this tale – and it would have been interesting to see more of them. Bess is a new favourite – and I’ll certainly be looking to learn more about her. ( )
  Jawin | Jan 8, 2018 |
Of all "The Tudor Court" books, my favorites are the 2nd-4th. The 5th one, "The Virgin Queen," was the worst for the fact that it is so contradictory to the previous books in its portrayal of Queen Elizabeth & her relationship with Robert Dudley. At the end of, "The Queen's Fool (#4)," Dudley is shown as Elizabeth's favorite, with the possibility of already being her lover, & as she's been plotting with him for the throne for a while. Then the beginning of the next book (#5), he's trying to get her attention for the first time, she doesn't know about his plots to put her on the throne, & her character in general is weak compared to the previous books, as well as the last. ( )
  Sarahliz2182 | Jul 1, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gregory, Philippaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amato, BiancaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keith, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
nielsen, stinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
sterlin, jennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Every woman should marry for her own advantage since her husband will represent her, as visible as her front door, for the rest of his life.
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This dazzling novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory presents a new and unique view of one of history's most intriguing, romantic, and maddening heroines. Biographers often neglect the captive years of Mary, Queen of Scots, who trusted Queen Elizabeth's promise of sanctuary when she fled from rebels in Scotland and then found herself imprisoned as the guest of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his indomitable wife, Bess of Hardwick. The newly married couple welcome the doomed queen into their home, certain that serving as her hosts and jailers will bring them an advantage in the cutthroat world of the Elizabethan court. To their horror, they find that the task will bankrupt them, and as their home becomes the epicenter of intrigue and rebellion against Elizabeth, their loyalty to each other and to their sovereign comes into question. If Mary succeeds in seducing the earl into her own web of treachery and treason, or if the great spymaster William Cecil links them to the growing conspiracy to free Mary from her illegal imprisonment, they will all face the headsman.… (more)

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