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The virgin's lover by Philippa Gregory
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The virgin's lover (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Philippa Gregory

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3,860831,338 (3.47)92
Member:Cariola
Title:The virgin's lover
Authors:Philippa Gregory
Info:New York: Simon & Schuster, c2004.
Collections:Your library, Historical Fiction, Read but unowned
Rating:1/2
Tags:Historical novel, Tudor England, given away

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The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory (2004)

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The Virgin’s Lover, as you might guess, is a story based on one of the most renown love triangles during the Tudor period. The red headed Queen Elizabeth I came to power after the death of her half-sister; Queen Mary (referred to as Bloody Mary in popular culture). Already considered a spinster despite being twenty-five years old, her marriage was a considerable issue since the beginning of her reign. Many were ready to marry this protestant queen and possibly extend their power, although no one succeeded in their attempts at the end. But according to historians one suitor came very close, and that person was none-other than Robert Dudley.

Robert Dudley descended from one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in England. However, he was a fallen noble with both his father and grandfather charged and executed for treason. Even with generations of duplicitous family history looming on the background, the dashing Robert Dudley was determined to rise again and his time came when his childhood friend became Queen of England. His charms made him Queen Elizabeth I’s favorite in court, but what good could come of it for him with a wife stashed in countryside? He had married Amy Robsart when he was a young lad and, even though she was a nice, loving woman, she didn’t share an iota of Robert Dudley’s ambitions causing him much frustration. Rumors began to spread of the budding romance between the queen and Robert Dudley and not long after Amy Robsart was found dead at the foot of a flight of stairs at the Cumnor Place. Her death resulted in quite the scandal at the time, and through her fiction; The Virgin’s Lover, Philippa Gregory tells us her theory on what caused Amy Robsart’s death, which remains a mystery to this date due to its peculiar nature.

Although I have read a few of Philippa Gregory’s books, I never had much appreciation for her writing skills. Sometimes things get repetitive with her to a level it starts irritating! For instance, in The Virgin’s Lover, the facts that Cecil; chief adviser to Queen Elizabeth I never signs his letters and keeps spies have been repeated on multiple occasions. Unless someone starts reading the book midway, which no one would, I can not seem to comprehend the point in her repetition!:-/

And then we come to the portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I… Even though I am aware The Virgin’s Lover is purely a work of fiction and I should not be expecting it to be historically accurate, I was a little bummed to see Queen Elizabeth I depicted as a weak and indecisive ruler, when history tells us she was anything but. One might call her naive due to her folly with Robert Dudley, but I find it hard to believe she was the kind who would have taken orders from him on the issues of governing England, no matter how hard she loved him.

The only plus for me in The Virgin’s Lover is William Cecil. Albeit being a secondary character in the novel, what he says and does is sensible which I believe remains true to his character. Having said that, I must add this will not be the last of Philippa Gregory’s I read. For some season I seem to developed a blind spot for soap opera type historical novels! ( )
  Nirmala.Chandrasiri | Nov 30, 2016 |
I always enjoy novels about Elizabeth I and this was one of the better reads. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jul 4, 2016 |
After Mari Read 07-13-2016
  trexm5qp7 | Jun 20, 2016 |
Again, lacks historical accuracy. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Again, lacks historical accuracy. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philippa Gregoryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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All the bells in Norfolk were ringing for Elizabeth, pounding the peal into Amy's head, first the treble bell screaming out like a mad woman, and then the whole agonizing, jangling sob till the great bell boomed a warning that the whole discordant carillon was about to shriek out again.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743269268, Paperback)

The National Bestseller

In the autumn of 1558, church bells across England ring out the joyous news that Elizabeth I is the new queen. One woman hears the tidings with utter dread. She is Amy Dudley, wife of Sir Robert, and she knows that Elizabeth's ambitious leap to the throne will draw her husband back to the center of the glamorous Tudor court, where he was born to be.

Elizabeth's excited triumph is short-lived. She has inherited a bankrupt country where treason is rampant and foreign war a certainty. Her faithful advisor William Cecil warns her that she will survive only if she marries a strong prince to govern the rebellious country, but the one man Elizabeth desires is her childhood friend, the ambitious Robert Dudley. As the young couple falls in love, a question hangs in the air: can he really set aside his wife and marry the queen? When Amy is found dead, Elizabeth and Dudley are suddenly plunged into a struggle for survival.

Philippa Gregory's The Virgin's Lover answers the question about an unsolved crime that has fascinated detectives and historians for centuries. Intelligent, romantic, and compelling, The Virgin's Lover presents a young woman on the brink of greatness, a young man whose ambition exceeds his means, and the wife who cannot forgive them.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:59 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A fictional portrait of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I follows the young queen as she copes with intrigues aimed at placing Mary, Queen of Scots, on the British throne, and her passion for the traitorous Robert Dudley.

(summary from another edition)

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