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The Virgin's Lover

(Part of the The Tudor Court (#7) Series and The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels (#13) Series)

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. 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,...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Court intrigues

This is another wonderful book by Phillippa Gregory which I think surpasses her others. The story of the passionate love affair between Elizabeth 1 and Robert, Lord Dudley settles, for me, many questions which have previously been a puzzle. Yes of course this is purely supposition but it makes complete sense and it could well have been played out in this manner. Dudley came from a line of courtiers who were well known for treachery...his father and brother were executed for treason, but, despite this, Dudley's overweening vanity and arrogance had convinced him that he could marry Elizabeth and become King. The fact that he was already married to his childhood sweetheart, Amy Robsart, was something that he was sure could be overcome by divorce. Amy was a secret Papist and refused to be divorced to clear the path for his marriage. Elizabeth was clearly besotted with Dudley but, as was ever her way, refused to take a stright line and was certainly NEVER going to share her throne with any man.The death of Amy is explained in a logical way, which along with other aspects of history, could well be the true answer. It's a fabulous read for any lover of historical fiction.

Another hit.....

What a masterpiece!! Gregory has surpased herself yet again. I ended up taking this book everywhere with me. On the tube to work, weekends in the garden, before bed. I could not put this down. I would urge anyone that's either interested in Tudor times or would like to learn more about this period (as there is so much I learnt from this, along with the other 2 previous titles)to read Gregory's work. One note of caution: start with The Other Boleyn Girl to set the scene, then move on to The Queen's Fool and end on The Virgin's Lover. You'll see why it's important to read them in this order once you've read them. Enjoy!!

A great read

Here's one for the many fans of the Tudor period in English history. Gregory's novel depicts the notorious love affair between Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I. In reality whether the two were technically lovers is unknown, but the relationship scandalized the Court nevertheless. Gregory does an excellent job of depicting the complexity of the two main characters. She portrays Elizabeth at times as emotional, indecisive and far too easily influenced, but at the same time clever, manipulative and fiercly protective of her perogatives as Queen. Dudley truly loves her, but is also engaged in a brutal power game played by the many factions at court. In the end, Elizabeth's sense of her own destiny wins out, as she realizes that marriage to almost anyone would necessarily mean a lessening of her own power. She also astutely realizes that her availability as a marriagable woman is a potent political tool to keep the monarchs of Europe off-balance and perpetually guessing. Gregory deftly lets us see glimpses of the woman Elizabeth will become--she truly was her father's daughter. Gregory's style is vivid and fast-paced--I lost a few hours' sleep as I was engrossed in this one. Highly recommended.

superb: a novel to be savoured...

Three pages into "The Virgin's Lover" and I suspected that I was onto a winner: I was right! With delicacy and ease, Philippa Gregory has once again penned another enthralling and beguiling tale, this time set during Elizabeth I's first year as queen, ably presenting all the political difficulties that the young queen and her advisors faced (at home and abroad) that first year, the forbidden love affair that developed between Elizabeth and her Master of Horse and childhood friend, Robert Dudley, and presenting us with her own idea as to how Amy Robsart, Robert's wife, died. Robert Dudley always believed that he and his family were destined for greatness. But the past years, following the ill fated attempt to make Lady Jane Grey (the widow of Edward VI) queen and her second husband, Guilford Dudley, king, have been hard ones for the surviving Dudleys -- Robert in particular. For an ambitious man, used to power and court life, being stripped of his titles, land and wealth, has been particularly unbearable. And he is also beginning to realise that his choice of wife, the slightly older, uneducated and totally unambitious Amy Robsart, may have been a disastrous one. And then in 1558, Queen Mary dies without issue, and names her half-sister, Elizabeth as heir to the throne. For Robert, this means only one thing: his star is on the rise again. As he quickly settles into life at court again, he begins to realise that the new queen, his childhood friend, needs guidance in a great many things, guidance he is only to happy to give much to the dismay of Elizabeth's other advisors. William Cecil in particular. Cecil is at his wit's end as to how to thwart Robert's influence over the queen which seems to grow each day. Worse, Cecil is beginning to suspect that the queen has fallen in love with the strikingly handsome and debonair Dudley. Fortunately Dudley is already married, so that Cecil doesn't have to face the awful possibility that Elizabeth will demand that she be allowed to marry Dudley. But what Cecil doesn't know is that Robert Dudley has already began to think about putting his wife aside so that he can marry the queen. A task easily accomplished now that Elizabeth is head governor of the Church of England. Will Robert get his way? Will Elizabeth help him achieve his dream of kingship? And what will happen to Amy Robsart? As the country already bankrupt by the previous queen teeters between war and scandal, Elizabeth and Dudley continue their mad dance that could spell the end of the Tudor reign over England... For me, "The Virgin's Lover" proved to be as wonderful a read as "The Other Boleyn Girl." Historically speaking everything covered in "The Virgin's Lover" is old ground -- nothing earth-shatteringly new revealed is revealed in this novel. But what makes "The Virgin's Lover" a fantastic and completely absorbing read is how the author brings characters and events to life. Vividly and grimly, Ms Gregory conveys what a young man used to wieldi
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