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Publisher's Summary

Elizabeth I has acceded to the throne of England, a position she has waited and schemed for all her life. She is surrounded by advisers, all convinced that a young woman cannot form political judgements. Elizabeth feels that she can rely on just one man: her oldest friend, Robert Dudley. It is soon plain that he is more than merely a friend.

In a house in the countryside waits a very different woman, Amy Robsart - Robert's wife. She has no taste for life at court and longs for the day when her husband will return home. She has loved him since she was a girl, but now that they are adults, she hardly sees him.

Meanwhile, the pressure grows for Elizabeth to marry, for it is unthinkable that a queen should rule on her own. Elizabeth's preference is clear, but he is unavailable. But what if the unthinkable were to happen?

Philippa Gregory blends passion, personalities, and politics in this stunning novel of the Tudor court and a country divided.

©2004 Philippa Gregory; (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London UK

Critic Reviews

"Best-seller Gregory captivates again with this expertly crafted historical about the beautiful young Virgin Queen, portrayed as a narcissistic, neurotic home-wrecker....[listeners] addicted to Gregory's intelligent, well-researched tales of intrigue and romance will be enthralled, right down to the teasingly tragic ending." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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Too short

Almost finished the series...feeling a bit sad. Need a new series to look forward to.

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  • Valerie
  • 02-04-08

the virgin's lover

a great novel mixing history and a great story, will listen to it again and again

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Gina
  • 04-27-15

Disappointing

I have listened to and read all of Phillipa Gregories Novels and have been totally addicted to them all. I love she takes her main characters to be those on the sidelines in history, mainly the wives and mistresses, so I should have realised that this would be about the Earl of Leicester rather than Elizabeth. I was intrigued as to what happened in detail to him after they touched on their brief but intense relationship i n the film Elizabeth and was hoping to get a llittle extra too. I was pleased to see Rupert Penry Jones was narrating as he was always a favourite of mine and would be s change to hear a male voice. However, I found the narration a tad school level and his impersonation of the Queen reminded me of Blackadder! The book was a lot shorter than some of the unabridged versions and maybe i didnt have enough time to grow into the characters. i must admit i fell asleep on a few occassion so had to rewinc to make sure i hadn't missed anything exciting but it seemed i hadn't missed much. I will attempf it again sometime (perhaps not at bedtimes) as i am sure i must ha e done it an injustice based ion th outstanding qualities of all the others

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Patsy Chave-Cox
  • 10-07-17

The virgin lover’s downfall

A fascinating incite into this passionate relationship....written with such intensity that I was swept along on the sea of flirtatious and lustful feelings, made more exciting because of the dangerous times that engulfed both Elizabeth and Dudley..
The twist in the tale when Dudley realised that he had been ruined by Elizabeth was the master stroke to a power struggle cum love story that was doomed from the beginning.
This was beautifully written, evoking many youthful memories of love and lust in this 70+ Tudor / Elizabethan bookworm !
Can’t wait for the next book ! Thank you ....🎈