©2008 Philippa Gregory; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
In this story, a young Jewish girl, Hannah Green has escaped Catholic Spain with her father to England where she becomes Fool to Queen Mary I (AKA Bloody Mary - King Henry VIII's eldest child).
The story details the protagonist's teenage years and uses her as a devise to examine the plots, scandals and politics of the English Court at the time. It is an interesting account of Queen Mary herself, who is portrayed in a few more sympathetic manner than in many other accounts of her. This is due to the close friendship that grows between Queen and Fool (in a similar way that Henry VIII has a friendship with his own Fool). The future Queen Elizabeth I is another major character in the story, but is more conniving, petulent, and arrogant than other accounts of her. In all, she is rather an unlikable character, but as in history, plays her own role in swaying Queen Mary's actions.
This is in no way a true-to-life account of the Tudor court post-Henry, though the author has drawn hevaily from the history. Hannah Green is a fictional characted created as a plot device, and is effective in her role. I enjoyed the author's interpretation of The Queen, particularly as Gregory seems to have, I think, really gotten to the crux of who Mary was and how she became that way.
This was a very enjoyable audiobook and I highly recommend it. Emilia Fox is a superb narrator - she's one of my favourites!
Fabulous story telling. Ms Gregory made me care about the main character. There was a defined, pacy plot and the historical information was underlying and given as essential to the story rather than brief interludes of learned discourse, which sadly happens frequently in historical novels.
"History the easy way"
As an admirer of Phillipa Gregory for the stylish way she presents historical facts and turns them into stories that are hard to put down, this is yet another example of the excellence of her vision of the way England was. Not page after page of dates and events, but a story line that includes all those events and turns them into a gripping tale that not only gives you an insight into the workings of the English Court, but a story line that is both original and with a high degree of historical accuracy. Any author does not please every reader - Phillipa is no different - but she cannot be criticised for her attempt to look into the strange and difficult worlds of both Mary and Elizabeth. I recommend this book highly
The range of stories Phillipa has written about the players in the War of the Roses are must reads - and read them in sequence
Emilia Fox has surprised me with the high quality of her performance on a variety of books - an excellent reader.
In this book the collapse of Calais (an event that is most often ignored in English History) is described in such a way that you feel you are almost there !
Absolutely. Philippa Gregory is a wonderful author but this book lets her down badly. Apart from a mildly sexual scene at the beginning of the book it is childish in the extreme. Since I could only bear to listen to the first half of the book I am unable to judge if the second half improves. Can't say I care that much.
"I don't ordinarily like abridged audiobooks..."
I don't ordinarily like abridged audiobooks but this was well done and didn't skip anything vital. Loved the narrator and her accents.
"the queens fool by philippa gregory"
this is a lovely book to listen to. It is well read and is full of intrigue and history. it has a different slant on english/french history from what philippa gregory usually writes and is one of my favourites so far. i definately can recommend it
Not at all like The Other Boleyn Girl or the Boleyn Inheritance.
Sadly, I lost interest quickly and gave up half way through. Though well narrated, the book goes nowhere....
"Good but not great"
This book is worth a read but I wouldn't spend my last credit on it - I, stupidly, didn't realise that it was abridged and though it is ok and not obvious, the result is that it it comes across as shallow - unlike your usual Phillipa Gregory.
The end left me wanting more but I think that's, largely, due to it being abridged but you would have to listen to/read the full version to be sure.
Yes nothing wrong with the narration Emilia Fox has a good speaking voice.
Again this is difficult to say - I think it could be part of a mini series covering the whole Tudor period but know there's quite alot out there already.
A 'light' read and mildly interesting doesnt set the world on fire but is a solid read.
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