The Other Queen

The Other Queen

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
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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.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2008.
Edition: 1st Touchstone hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9781416549123
1416549129
9781416549147
1416549145
Characteristics: 438 p. ; 24 cm.

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d
duffh
Sep 24, 2014

This story is well-travelled ground, but Gregory's tactic of focusing mostly on one period and alternating chapters between three characters (only one of which is royal) makes it seem fresher.

b
BlueHippo
Nov 01, 2013

I really like historical fiction and generally enjoy this author. This is an interesting story of Mary Queen of Scots captivity in England. It is told from the perspective of the couple who have been "selected" to house her for several years before she winds up in the Tower. No one comes out of this novel lilly-white-all the characters have flaws, which makes it so very real.

m
missbeecrafty
Jun 14, 2013

I have generally enjoyed Philippa Gregory's books, but I did not like this one particularly. It started out quite good, and I like the character of Bess, but it just dragged on too much and was too tedious and repetitive. While I'm sure Mary's life was also tedious and repetitive, this did not make for an enjoyable novel! But do give her other books a go, they're great.

r
ReadRobin
May 16, 2013

Some of Gregory's books are much more interesting to read than others. I found the Red Queen not much fun, but The Lady of The Rivers was very good. I'll try some more. Also, A Respectable Trade was very good.

s
scrittenden
Sep 20, 2011

I picked up “The Red Queen” and “The Other Queen” randomly at the library. I am a fan of historical fiction, but I hadn’t read anything by Philippa Gregory yet. I finished “The Red Queen” and it wasn’t a huge page turner for me. I made it 60 pages in to “The Other Queen” and gave up. I can’t fault Gregory’s research, but the books plod along for me. This one was especially slow switching between the three viewpoints and I simply wasn’t enticed by Gregory to care what happened to any of them. I don’t think it is fair for me to rank it as I didn’t finish it. Other writers in the genre such as Sharon Kay Penman, Anne Easter Smith, Robin Maxwell, and Anya Seton romanticize their characters a bit, but I think their stories are more engaging.

r
R0sered
May 10, 2011

I really enjoyed this book - perhaps more than some of her others. the book is at least as much about Bess of Hardwick as about Mary. Bess built and maintained a fortune in an age when most women were completely dependent on men - and then nearly lost it when she and her husband were forced to host Mary. Her determination to hold onto her estates and leave a legacy for her children adds an extra dimension to this book.

t
The_Zookeeper
Dec 22, 2010

She really puts you inside the characters heads.

a
akoss
Jul 13, 2010

This was not my favorite book of Philippa Gregory's by far. I felt that the novel dragged on and on, which is probably what happened in real life for Mary, Queen of Scots. When the novel was over, I was relieved. I have read most of Gregory's other books about English royals and loved them. Just not very impressed with this one.

b
Bells
Sep 14, 2009

An excellent account of Mary, Queen of Scots. Gregory has proven again that she is a master of historical fiction.

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