The Red Queen : A Transcultural Tragicomedy, Paperback

The Red Queen : A Transcultural Tragicomedy Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Set in 18th century Korea and the present day, Margaret Drabble's The Red Queen is a rich and atmospheric novel about love, and what it means to be remembered. 200 years after being plucked from obscurity to marry the Crown Prince of Korea, the Red Queen's ghost decides to set the record straight about her extraordinary existence - and Dr Babs Halliwell, with her own complicated past, is the perfect envoy.

Why does the Red Queen pick Babs to keep her story alive, and what else does she want from her?

A terrific novel set in 18th century Korea and the present day, The Red Queen is a rich and atmospheric novel about love, and what it means to be remembered. "Elegant ...a seductive beguiling narrator ...delicious history". (Daily Express). "One of our foremost women writers". (Guardian). "Carefully wrought and beautifully written The Red Queen is another fine addition to the Drabble oeuvre". (Literary Review). Margaret Drabble was born in 1939 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, the daughter of barrister and novelist John F.

Drabble, and sister of novelist A.S. Byatt. She is the author of eighteen novels and eight works of non-fiction, including biographies of Arnold Bennett and Angus Wilson. Her many novels include The Radiant Way (1987), A Natural Curiosity (1989), The Gates of Ivory (1991), The Peppered Moth (2000), The Seven Sisters (2002) and The Red Queen (2004) all of which are published by Penguin.

In 1980, Margaret Drabble was made a CBE and in 2008 she was made DBE.

She is married to the biographer Michael Holroyd, and lives in London and Somerset.




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None of us has full access to even our own stories. Page 7The Red Queen is written in two distinct parts. The first half is a fictionalized memoir of the Crown Princess of Korea and her account of the tragic and tumultuous relationship between her husband the Crown Prince Sado and his father, King Yongjo of Korea. The second half of the book takes place in present day and although it continues to be narrated by the Crown Princess, the arc of the story follows the journey of Dr. Babs Haliwell and the unfortunate parallels that run through both women's lives, even though they are separated by hundreds of years.I absolutely loved the first half of the book. The Asian court politics, the palace intrigue, and the complicated interactions between the government and the royal family could rival its counterparts across the pond in Europe. Thoroughly fascinating and riveting. My problem was with the second half of the book which I found not nearly as interesting. If Drabble had chosen to expand the first half of the book and kept it as purely a fictionalized memoir, The Red Queen would have been a winner.

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