Two women competing for a man's heart....
Two queens fighting to the death for dominance...
Here is the untold story of Mary Queen of Scots, in which New York Times best-selling 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 jailors 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 succeeded in seducing the Earl, or if the great spy master William Cecil linked them to the growing conspiracy to free Mary from her illegal imprisonment, they will all face the headsman.
Heralded as "the queen of royal fiction" by USA Today, Philippa Gregory uses new research and her passion for historical accuracy to place a well-known heroine in a completely new story full of suspense, passion, and political intrigue. The Other Queen is the result of her determination to present a story worthy of this extraordinary heroine.
©2008 Phillipa Gregory (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
"Mary's hell-bent assuredness combines deliciously with brisk chapters and rich historical detail. Indulge." (People)
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
I am a huge Phillipa Gregory fan but sadly this particular title did not live up to the high expectation I had. There were three narrators and of the three I truly only enjoyed one of the three narrators whilst the story, though interesting just lacked something for me.
The Other Queen follows the life of Mary, Queen of Scots during her imprisonment leading up to her death. As much as Mary's storyline is a real focal point, a rather fascinating storyline also includes Bess and her husband George Talbot. The three weaves a rather interesting relationship especially when you add Queen Elizabeth as well as William Cecil.
It's mostly a typical Phillipa Gregory type novel with the intrigue, love and treachery. You find yourself both disliking and liking all of the main characters at one point or another whilst seriously disliking both Queen Elizabeth and William Cecil. Cecil's character was definitely not spared during this conversation and as for the main characters they all seem to have at least one fundamental fault that makes them particularly difficult to like completely.
The narration though was what killed it for me. I found Ron Keith (the voice of George Talbot) so completely infuriating that I honestly wanted to just skip through his sections completely. He truly sounded like a whimpering school boy to me throughout the whole entire book. The voice of Mary was done relatively well while the voice of Bess had it moments for me.... and no all these moments were of a positive nature.
Overall the book is able to serve up what you have mostly come to expect from Phillipa Gregory. But as a whole it seems to be lacking a little bit in terms of the storyline whilst the narration for me just made it all the worse in my vantage point. It's an 'OK' listen for me, but nothing to write home about.
I compare this book to The Red Queen. Both books contain characters that can be abrasive and borderline annoying. Its enjoyable to expand ones imagination beyond the historical characters whom we admire.
I have really enjoyed all of Philippa Gregory's books in the Tudor series and leading up to this book but this one was disappointing from the beginning. I had a hard time figuring out who was who and getting back into the storyline with this book.
One of the narrators, I believe the one for Mary, was ok, but the male narrator was obnoxious to the point of having to turn the book off!
I couldn't even finish the book so I couldn't tell you.
The various characters are always well developed and true to themselves in Philippa Gregory's novels. This time; however, the characters repeat themselves and their thoughts over and over and over. It moved much slower than her other books in this series.
I still enjoyed the book from the historical standpoint, and she definitely got across what the politics and lives of the people of England were during this period. It also illustrates how society had to deal with changing times. I enjoyed Bess's "self made woman" approach to life. She, too, was an example of how society was in transition from royal and noble rule to people rising in status due to cleverness and hard work.
Bress remains my favorite and the character I was rooting for, but her husband was soooo noble and lost in his love and concern as well as caught up in the change of status for the nobles that my heart felt for him as well.
I will use this book to reinforce what life was like in England during this time frame with my fifth grade class. It is so difficult for them to understand just how trapped women of that time were as well as all the political plots which can be applied to politics just about anywhere and any time.
Philippa Gregory is a master at making history interesting. I am basically a fan of mysteries and detective novels. She fits this genre as well as historical fiction.
I love Philippa Gregory books and the narrators who have read her books, but George's and Bess's voices were boring and uninteresting.
No, read her other books.
They sounded old and crotchety.
Most of the story was good, but sometimes boring to listen to.
I have been listening through the Tudor Series after having listened through the Cousin's War series and found this book full of information re Mary Queen of Scots which is never discussed. I also found the fact that Elizabeth 1 was highly influenced by her advisor Cecil. Who knew that it was he who truly ruled the country.
history, entertaining and enjoyable
This is a great example where a history lesson can be entertaining and enjoyable
The book centers on Mary Queen of Scots constant, clandestine efforts to drum up enough support to take her cousin’s throne, but the real story is in the clash of two women and the earl who stands between them. The story sounded intriguing and I knew nothing about Mary Queen of Scots so I was looking forward to hearing Philippa Gregory's take on this historical tale but I found it excessively repetitive and honestly...... quite boring at times. One of the biggest problems for me though was the fact that Jenny Sterlin & Ron Keith were (in my opinion) not correctly cast as the Earl of Shrewsbury & his wife, they were far too old and their voices were..... annoying.
It is not without interest, but it is so repetitive at times I found myself drifting off into my thoughts instead of listening. I adore Philippa Gregory and expected more from this claustrophobic novel. It should have been be more intriguing than it was.
Of the three readers, Stina Nielsen was the only person who was believable. Jenny Sterlin and Ron Keith sounded far to old and doddering for the age of the characters they were reading. George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his wife, Bess of Hardwick are both in their early forties at the start of the book and they both sound in their 70's or 80's.
This saw actually painful to listen to. The characters were so self obsessed and observed that I was annoyed by them. I could not get Thursday the book. The three readers voices were also hard on the ears. This is the first time I am writing a review that is how strongly I dislikec it. And I am a fan of the author and have read many of her other books. If I could take this one back I would.
Was there trouble finding UK actors to read this book? Jenni Sterlin was employed, and she is always wonderful. I have never listened to Ron Keith, but he performs quite well. Stina Nielsen is so obviously not British, and her accent is so inauthentic, that I can not listen to the book. It took me about two minutes of listening to her absolutely dreadful reading to go on line and discover that she is not British. Why have her be the voice of Mary Queen of Scots?? And, anyway, the book was a bit of a snooze-fest. If the sample of the book had included her voice, I would not have ordered it. Even at $6.95 on sale it is not worth the cost.
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