Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


The Virgin's Lover (2004)

by Philippa Gregory

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Tudor Court - chronological (7), Plantagenets and Tudors (13)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,495891,953 (3.46)98
Gregory answers the question about an unsolved crime that has fascinated detectives and historians for centuries. Useing documents and evidence from the Tudor era and, with almost magical insight into the desires of Robert Dudley and his lovers, she paints a picture of a country on the brink of greatness, a young woman grasping at her power, a young man whose ambition is greater than his means, and the wife who cannot forgive them.… (more)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 98 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
This book annoyed me but I finished it anyway. Instead of a strong female protagonist like other Greggory books, Queen Elizabeth was a whiny needy woman who let a man walk all over her. Whether or not that was what happened in "the times" is one thing but this was just really annoying. I only finished it to see how bad the ending was and I was not disappointed. This book was annoying from beginning to the very very end. ( )
  Stacie-C | May 8, 2021 |
The Virgin's Lover was well written of course. I love Gregory's ability to blend history and fact so well with fiction. This book was, however, aggravating from start to finish. The Queen and Robert are deplorable, miserable human beings really. There was not a moment in which I was not infuriated by this book. Gregory's books are great, but I would recommend picking up a different one. ( )
  CassandraNicole | Apr 22, 2021 |
I enjoyed the book, however, I was disappointed in how it portrayed Queen Elizabeth as weak. I know from history that she loved Robert Dudley, but I don't believe that she was that dependent on him as the book portrayed. You have to remember though that this book is not meant to be a true historical book and with that I enjoyed it. I love Philippa Gregory and have all her books in the series. Keep them coming! ( )
  ChrisCaz | Feb 23, 2021 |
If this is an indication of history, then they were a nasty lot back then. Power hungry. Mean. Self centered. I don't think it's like that today, but then again, maybe I lead a sheltered life.

Robert Dudley turns his back on his wife, because he sees fame and fortune if he can hook up with the Queen. He uses the fact that they were childhood friends to worm his way in. I didn't read "love" in this story anywhere. He was motivated by self interest.

The Queen isn't sure what to do. Does she love him? I don't think so. She never truly trusts him. How could she? Many reviewers state she was unable to make a decision, but she made a clear decision. She knew what she was doing. She knew the end result.

And Amy Dudley? She loved her husband, but she didn't fight for him. She let him plot and scheme and was thrown away like a bit of old rag. But she didn't deserve the treatment she received.

Without giving away the ending, I believe the ending was right for Dudley and the Queen.

Regardless if the historic facts are right or not, I enjoyed the storyline. The characters were not likable, but that seems right for the rotten roles they played. But the writing of such characters was done well, in my opinion.

This wasn't the best of Gregory's books, but it was still a well written book that tells a good, if twisted, story. ( )
  KarenLeeField | Mar 13, 2019 |
Another of Gregory's historical novels surrounding the Tudor court, this time focusing on the enduring historical mystery of why Elizabeth I never married. Today, in a cynical age, many doubt that Elizabeth had died a 'Virgin queen'.
Had she done so the whole course of history may have been very different and she belonged to an age where unmarried women of her status were unheard of. Quite possibly it was due to her very unhappy childhood experiences exposed to the marriages of her own father and the execution of her mother, or possibly she had a fear of child-birth having lost two of her step-mothers as a result of giving birth. Her own sister's marriage was worse than a disaster so who could blame her for steering clear? Or possibly she fell in love during her formative years and had her heart broken beyond repair. Or maybe all of the above.
Gregory weaves a masterful tale suggesting that the relationship she had with her childhood sweetheart Dudley was not as innocent as she would have had people believe.

However, Robert Dudley was a married man. If the rumours are to be believed, this was an irritation to him, as it was an obstacle in his way towards marrying the queen Elizabeth. His wife Amy Dudley died, and many historians see this death as convenient for Dudley, and fishy to say the least. Did Dudley order her death? Did Elizabeth? Did Amy kill herself? Or was it truly an accident? We will never know, although Gregory portrays her own theory.
Gregory certainly paints Elizabeth in an interesting way - indecisive, unpredictable and perhaps rather foolish - not a way that we tend to regard her now. The personal `agony' she suffered as a result of her doomed relationship with Dudley is very well written. I am unsure of the alleged `betrothal' to Dudley and whether that could be considered `binding' in any sense given that Dudley was already married so it would be null and void in the eyes of the church and in law - indeed adulterous and I wonder if this actually did happen?

Amy Dudley is portrayed to be a rather weak and helpless woman - although the full misery of her situation was not one I had fully appreciated, having no home, the endless wandering from house to house and the humiliation of being `put aside' by the man she loved.
Of course, this is a novel of fiction, and not to be taken literally, although the novel bases itself around events that did happen and characters that exist. It’s very easy to empathise with all the characters, including at times - and my surprise - Dudley. ( )
  Jawin | Oct 31, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philippa Gregoryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Malcolm, GraemeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Anthony
First words
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.
All the bells in Hertfordshire were ringing for Elizabeth, pounding the peal into her head ... Elizabeth threw open the shutters of Hatfield Palace, flung open the window, wanting to be drowned in the noise, deafened by her own triumph ... Elizabeth laughed out loud at the racket which hammered out the news: poor sick Queen Mary was dead at last, and Princess Elizabeth was the uncontested heir. “Thank God,” she shouted up at the whirling clouds.
Cecil was a great one for lists; their march down the page matched the orderly progression of his thinking.
William Hyde summoned his sister to his office, the room where he transacted the business of his estate ... He was seated behind the great table, which was circular and sectioned with drawers, each bearing a letter of the alphabet. The table could turn on its axis toward the landlord and each drawer had the contracts and rent books of the tenant farmers, filed under the initial letter of their name. Lizzie remarked idly that the drawer marked Z had never been used, and wondered that no one thought to make a table which was missing the X and the Z, since these must be uncommon initial letters in English.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Gregory answers the question about an unsolved crime that has fascinated detectives and historians for centuries. Useing documents and evidence from the Tudor era and, with almost magical insight into the desires of Robert Dudley and his lovers, she paints a picture of a country on the brink of greatness, a young woman grasping at her power, a young man whose ambition is greater than his means, and the wife who cannot forgive them.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (3.46)
0.5 6
1 26
1.5 9
2 109
2.5 24
3 320
3.5 67
4 327
4.5 8
5 157

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 163,429,477 books! | Top bar: Always visible