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. Amy Dudley, wife of Sir Robert, knows that the peal of bells she hears will summon her husband once more to power, intrigue, and a passionate love affair with the young queen.
Elizabeth's excited triumph is short-lived. She has inherited a bankrupt country where treason is normal and foreign war a certainty. Her faithful advisor, William Cecil, warns her that she will survive only if she marries a strong prince to govern the rebellious country, but the one man Elizabeth desires is her childhood friend, the irresistible, ambitious Robert Dudley.
Only Robert truly revels in the opportunities of the new reign. He knows he can reclaim his destiny at Elizabeth's side. Elizabeth cannot resist his courtship, and as the young couple slowly falls in love, Robert starts to think the impossible: can he set aside his wife and marry the young queen?
Philippa Gregory paints a picture of a country on the brink of greatness, a young woman grasping at her power, a young man whose ambition is greater than his means, and the wife who cannot forgive them.
©2004 Philippa Gregory (P)2011 Simon & Schuster Audio
"Jolly good fun." (Entertainment Weekly)
"[E]xpertly crafted.... readers addicted to Gregory's intelligent, well-researched tales... will be enthralled." (Publishers Weekly)
"No lover of Elizabethan history should be without this novel, nor will any fan be disappointed with the meticulous research and marvelous portraits of Elizabeth, Dudley, and the court." (Romantic Times)
While the books previous to The Virgins Lover pulled me along, this was slow to start. I put it down for many weeks. The end was abrupt. while not my favorite book thus far, Philippa Gregory is a wonderful writer and I'm moving onto the next book.
British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart.
The Virgin's Lover is number six of The Tudor Court Series. The previous five volumes I have thoroughly enjoyed. I found this volume quite different. It really did not 'slide in' with the rest however I did enjoy it none the less.
It was indeed a battle of power between a Queen and a King 'wanna a be'. As we all know Elizabeth I had no intention of sharing her crown. I wonder whether she might have reconsidered this if there had been Morganatic marriage in Tudor times. On second thoughts I doubt it!
A jolly good read.
Costume drama queen
I found the story irritating at times. I don't know that Elizabeth would have stood to be ordered around by Dudley as has been portrayed in the book. I realize it was early in her reign, but for her to allow him to speak to her as though she were a servant? I just can't see it.
I think Phillipa forgot what she wrote about in the previous book The Queens Fool. No continuity from one to another. Elizabeth was a methodical aggressive women in the Queens Fool and then in this book Elizabeth is more like a whimpering insecure ninny. The same thing with Ann Dudley. A totally different character from one book to another. Also the narration was terrible. Hard to follow from what one person is saying to another. The story is weak. No depth and no historical details provided. I could not finish the book. I've read every book up until this point and they've all been great until now.
I dove into Philippa Gregory's Tudor Court series and literally could not stop listening up until I got to this book. I'm not sure if it is the depiction of Elizabeth that bothers me or the narration, but it's probably Amy. I feel like, up to this point, Elizabeth has been depicted as a brilliant, strong woman, to be feared both for her maneuvering as much as her temper, but is always in control of her destiny and knows her own mind. But for some reason Ms. Gregory has deviated from her previous characterizations for this book and I don't like who she has created. This Elizabeth is a milk toast, weeping, indecisive and weak-willed with no redeeming value whatsoever. I get that history has shown Elizabeth to have a hard time making decisions which made her a moderate ruler, but I would have thought Ms. Gregory could have written the character to allow that to be testament to Elizabeth's ability to manipulate and play the room to her advantage.
For the narration, I like Davina Porter as the voice of Jane Rochford in The Boleyn Inheritance, because she brought a certain twist to that character's wickedness. I just think it turns into being whiny for these characters, especially Amy and Elizabeth. I can't stand to hear Amy, quite honestly. She is one of the reasons that I almost can't finish this book, her voice, her character, everything about her just rubs me raw. I'm sorry, this has been a big miss for me, though I have absolutely loved the rest of the series. Why create such strong women in the other books, yet these are all so weak?
I just barely got into this book. Narration is terrible! So disappointing because I love this author and I'm in the car daily for hours. I'm sad to have to turn this off.
I have enjoyed many of Philippa Gregory's books, the entire Cousin's war series and all of the books in the Tudor series before this one. This was the slowest and least interesting of them.
Report Inappropriate Content