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The Virgin’s Lover
by Philippa Gregory Gregory

Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 0743256158

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


The Virgin’s Lover
Philippa Gregory
Touchstone, Nov 2004, $24.95, 448 pp.
ISBN: 0743256158

In 1858 much of England rejoices that Catholic Mary Tudor has died ending her of terror. In her place is her half-sister the Protestant Elizabeth. Though many are euphoric that Mary is with her maker, most questions Elizabeth’s legality and the powerful elite have doubts thinking the times call for a strong male as they worry about the French influence in Scotland supporting another diehard Catholic Queen Mary.

Amy Dudley is one person who detests the ascendancy of the new monarch; she believes that her spouse Robert and Elizabeth are having an affair. However, she refuses to free her husband to marry the new queen. Elizabeth’s top advisor William Cecil also opposes Dudley as King as he has shown his true colors with acts of seditious perfidy in the past. Elizabeth leans towards the man she loves over her sagest advisor until she learns that pregnant Amy fell down a set of stairs to her death. Could Dudley kill his wife to further his ambition and if yes, would he insure Elizabeth suffered an accident too so he can rule alone?

The latest mid sixteenth century English historical fiction (see THE QUEEN’S FOOL) is a terrific straightforward account of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth (1858-1860) in which Philippa Gregory allows the history to provide the intrigue . The true face of the queen shines a deep light on the cunning Elizabeth and to a lesser degrees the other key players during the salad days of her rule, Dudley and Cecil. Ms. Gregory provides her audience with a powerful deep look at a remarkable queen struggling to keep her throne amidst powerful enemies who have different biases (gender, religious, etc.) against her rule.

Harriet Klausner


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