• The Last Tudor

  • Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, Book 13
  • By: Philippa Gregory
  • Narrated by: Bianca Amato
  • Length: 19 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,653 ratings)

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The Last Tudor

By: Philippa Gregory
Narrated by: Bianca Amato
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Publisher's Summary

Jane Grey was queen of England for nine days. Her father and his allies crowned her instead of the dead king's half sister, Mary Tudor, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her throne, and locked Jane in the Tower of London. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner's block, where Jane transformed her father's greedy power grab into tragic martyrdom.

"Learn you to die," was the advice Jane wrote to her younger sister Katherine, who has no intention of dying. She intends to enjoy her beauty and her youth and fall in love. But she is heir to the insecure and infertile Queen Mary and then to her half sister, Queen Elizabeth, who will never allow Katherine to marry and produce a Tudor son. When Katherine's pregnancy betrays her secret marriage, she faces imprisonment in the Tower, only yards from her sister's scaffold.

"Farewell, my sister," writes Katherine to the youngest Grey sister, Mary. A beautiful dwarf, disregarded by the court, Mary keeps family secrets, especially her own, while avoiding Elizabeth's suspicious glare. After seeing her sisters defy their queens, Mary is acutely aware of her own danger but determined to command her own life. What will happen when the last Tudor defies the ruthless and unforgiving Queen Elizabeth?

©2017 Philippa Gregory (P)2017 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about The Last Tudor

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Maybe I'm Easily Impressed...


After reading the lukewarm review of an Audible customer that has studied the Tudors at one of the UK's finest Universities I didn't write a review. I had to wonder why I was so completely entertained by this book! I literally couldn't put it down and went straight through the whole story on 1.5x speed. I think possibly that sometimes my ignorance is a good thing because I enjoyed this novel so much that I downloaded several other books by this author which I have also enjoyed immensely. I decided to write on behalf of the lesser scholars and those entertained as easily as I am.

Rather than picking up on any annoying traits, I thought this book was a wonderfully intimate look at Queen Elizabeth and the Tudor women and their intense devotion to a lifestyle and a position they believed was divinely inspired. It became very understandable to me how important the fight to reign became. Pushed by supporters and the belief that it was their God-given right as well as destiny to sit upon the throne, the pursuit to do so became a life or death struggle that could change in an hour. It reminded me of life in a beehive where there can be only one Queen or splitting and disloyalty destroys the hive. The mercurial cruelty of Queen Elizabeth to her family was wild...the format for the Evil Queen. So much has been written about the Kings that a look at female royalty in history was impressive and enlightening.

I am no student of the Tudors, (I did watch the entire Showtime series The Tudors and have read everything by Hillary Mantel ; ) so I decided I'm either easily impressed or new enough to the writing of Phillippa Gregory that I couldn't compare her books and rank them. In it's genre, this is one of my favorite books.

47 people found this helpful

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Rename it 'Three Thick Tudors'!

Disappointed? Yes. I have waited months and months for this book. To say that I am a fan of Philippa Gregory is a total understatement. Not only have I studied the Tudors in depth at one of the UK's finest Universities but I have adored every word that Ms. Gregory has penned. However this book, The Last Tudor, was a travesty I listened to every word hoping that it would get better. It did not.

It is a study of the last three Tudor sisters opening with one of my favorite ladies of history Lady Jane Grey. In this book Jane is a whiney little ignoramus. In fact she seems totally clueless. Her arrogance is a complete surprise as everything that I have read about her emphasizes her humility. I know that this is historical fiction but this is going beyond dramatic license.

After Lady Jane is promptly 'dispatched' by Queen Elizabeth I we move onto her younger sister Katherine who seems to be so darn stupid that she answers most questions with the word 'WHAT?" I lost count at how many times this stupid woman said 'WHAT?".

Lastly we move onto Mary the youngest, and yet another member of the 'I don't have a clue Tudor club'! I was grinding my teeth listening to this character. Most frustrating part was that we learn that her husband dies. This is supposed to be the 'great passion'. So we have listened to their courtship (OH Gosh so painful) and their subsequent suffering through separation due to the ever jealous Queen Elizabeth I. Then he 'dies' as reported by some doctor. How does he die? Personally I think that he read this book and then jumped off a cliff because it was maudlin and so very non Philippa Gregory.

The only redeeming feature was another fine performance by Bianca Amato.

Although I really did not like this book I cannot wait to see what Ms. Gregory comes up with next as I am and will always be a fan.

35 people found this helpful

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Best Tudor Book Yet by Phillippa Gregory

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. There was no unnecessary gratuitous sex scenes, which I find completely ridiculous for a historical novel. I read these books for the story, not the titillation. As always, it was read beautifully by Bianca Amato. Very well done. I'm sorry it's over!

17 people found this helpful

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Very Disappointed

What about Bianca Amato’s performance did you like?

I had no problem with her performance.

Any additional comments?

I have read or bought the audible version of all of Ms Gregory's book and was really looking forward to the release of this one. I kept hoping it would get better but it did not.There was no depth to this book. It was repetitive to the point that it got boring. It seemed that perhaps there was not enough substance to carry a novel and their stories would have been better suited to a short story. I really wanted to love this book and often would re listen to a chapter thinking I must have missed something.

10 people found this helpful

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Hoping The Last Tudor Is Gregory's Last Tudor Book

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I have read all of Gregory's Tudor and Cousin's War books and, though I recognize her flaws, generally really enjoy her as a author. However, it's becoming increasingly apparent that she needs to move on to a new time period rather than continuing to rehash the Tudor years with more and more secondary characters. Simply put, while the soundbite version of this book is compelling (three sisters with royal blood, all persecuted by the Tudor queens), these character's stories simply aren't interesting enough to sustain a whole novel. The one with the most eventful life (Jane Grey) is given the least page time, and Katherine and Mary's stories are too similar to one another to really hold the reader's attention. Gregory has always been interested in and sympathetic to historical women who clearly married for love (Mary Boleyn, Jacquetta and Elizabeth Woodville), but she's told better versions of that story already and frankly long imprisonments don't make for the most exciting reading. I would say this is one of her weakest books.

Would you ever listen to anything by Philippa Gregory again?

Yes, I will certainly continue to listen to her. I just hope she moves on to a new time period now that she's covered literally every Tudor woman imaginable.

Which scene was your favorite?

No scenes really stick out. The scenes I was most interested in- Jane and Katherine's first wedding, Jane's days as queen- seem to get glided over quickly. Probably the most memorable scene is Katherine's reaction to Jane's final letter to her, as that was clever way of setting the tone for her as a character and seemed to ring true to how a girl of her age would respond.

Do you think The Last Tudor needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Not at all. Stick a fork in the Tudor saga, it's done.

Any additional comments?

One thing I've always liked about Gregory's take on the Tudors is she's one of the only authors I've read that emphasizes the unlikable characteristics of Elizabeth I. That interesting characterization here is one of the strong parts of the book- I particularly like how you can draw clear parallels between how Elizabeth acts and how both Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn were portrayed in her other books. Who knows if it's actually true, but it does make sense within this world she's created.

3 people found this helpful

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The Last Tutor

The story about the Gray sisters was interesting to a point. A lot of the narration detailed Elizabeth I's cruel treatment of Catherine and Mary Gray, which was entirely possible, but historically questionable. While I have thoroughly enjoyed Gregory's other novels this was not my favorite. However, it was not a bad read.

3 people found this helpful

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Worst Philippa Gregory book in years.

This reads like a history book drafted in the first person. Even worse, the POV characters apparently inherited the mental dexterity of Katherine Howard in the Boelyn Inheritance (except instead of being obsessed with dresses, Jane Grey is fixated on religious achievement and Catherine Grey on her pets and Edward Seymour). If Ms. Gregory we're going to reprise a past book, I wish it had not been the Boleyn Inheritance, heretofore my least favorite.

If anything, this is even worse than the Boleyn Inheritance because it is impossible to escape the fact that, this time, Ms. Gregory had no greater purpose, it was just lazy writing. While there is at least some historical support for the use of a simple minded patter to depict Katherine Howard's thought process, there is no support whatsoever for the idea that Catherine Grey was so simple minded, and Jane Grey, of course, was viewed as a scholar, so as to her the simplistic thinking style is a particularly inexcusable disservice. I gave up on the book halfway through, when there was no attempt at all to provide an interesting explanation for what happened to Catherine's proof of marriage.

I honestly can't believe the same woman who wrote the Other Boleyn Girl and some of her other classics wrote this. Do not recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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The Petty Queen

Love Philippa Gregory novels and this one is no different. Although I have to say it made me angry unlike the ones before. I know a certain licence was taken for its creation but I will never view the first Elizabeth the same way again. It shows a mean, vindictive, and jealous side that isn't that hard to believe considering the Tudor linage and history.

1 person found this helpful

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never ending heir search

flat one dimensional impossible to differentiate multitude of characters. so happy there are no more tudors.

1 person found this helpful

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She did it

I have been reading these Phillips Gregory books for a long time. And she wore me out. The book is unnecessarily long. Every conversation devolves into pages if needless minutia. Like we KNOW in real life there would be more than 2 or 3 sentences but REALLY. We don’t need to wallow in them. Move the story forward please. Anyway. By the time they got to the dwarfs life story, I totally didn’t care and ended that torturous experience.

1 person found this helpful