Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Virgin's Lover - Phillippa Gregory

the virgin's lover
philippa gregory
c. 2004
450 pages
completed 7/14/2008

*may contain spoilers*

I love Philippa Gregory. Well, I love her Tudor series. So far I have not been wild about her other novels.

The Virgin's Lover is the story of Queen Elizabeth I's first two years of rule and her alleged affair with Robert Dudley. Which I, for one, totally believed happened. It's interesting to me that she is known as the Virgin Queen, that her purity is so revered, and yet the rumors during her time and much of the literature about her today call her...less than chaste.

This was a very different depiction of Elizabeth than I've ever read before. Normally she is shown to be the strong queen that she is known for. Yes she was vane and self-centered, but she was still intelligent and loved her country. This book portrayed her as flighty, scared, and temperamental. She couldn't make up her mind on anything. She wouldn't listen to her councilmen. She was so besotted with Dudley that she couldn't rule her country. I really didn't like her.

This was the first time I really saw Amy as a character. So far before I've only read people talking about her, but here we got to know her. I feel sure she was murdered, and out of the three main suspects, I think this book made the most sense with their choice. I felt bad for her. She tried, but she was just not in the same league as Dudley. She wanted a quiet, simple life. They could never make each other happy. Though I was proud that she could stand up to Dudley in the end and not give him a divorce.

Probably not my favorite Philippa Gregory, but still good.



Lezlie said...

This is on my list as a book I read last year, and I can't remember a thing about it. Which is weird. I must not have cared for it. But The Boleyn Inheritance is on my "this book is never leaving this house" shelf! :-)


Veronica said...

I liked "the Boleyn Inheritance." I can't wait for her next book!

Katherine said...

This too wasn't my favorite Philippa Gregory, but still I thought it was pretty good. And I'll always swear by The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance.