The Other Queen
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date:
- 07 June 2008
- Historical Fiction
Showing 1-4 out of 49 reviews. Previous | Next
I think this is one of Gregory's best books. I really like the format (moving from one to the other, of each of the three main character's, and showing their view of the same scenario.)
The heartfelt drama of this story kept me longing to take long car rides so I could continue to listen to it. It follows the Earl of Shrewsbury, his wife Bess of Hardwick, and Queen Mary of Scots and they are thrown together in an impossibly hard situation. Mary is of course a "guest" in England, there by the good graces of her cousin Elizabeth--who could of course always choose to behead her instead. The Earl and his wife Bess are "asked" to host Mary--a task that ends us bankrupting them and destroying their marriage. For the Earl can't help but be captivated by Mary, and Bess can't help but be devastated by this and by the fact that the fortune she brought into the marriage is quickly drained away by the exorbitant expense of keeping a Queen. Each takes turns telling their story--which in the audio version I listened to is expertly narrated--and the author does an excellent job of making this historical characters real people with hopes, dreams, and emotions that capture the heart. I heartily enjoyed it and it made me want to explore the "real story" further--always a plus with historical fiction. Historical fiction fans will love it of course, but also anyone who enjoys getting into the minds of the characters and stories with lots of human drama.
Gregory's books following "The Other Boleyn" never quite measure up to that first one; however, "The Other Queen" is a fantastic read, told from three very different points of view. As with all of her books, the depth of Gregory's research, even if it is used for her own purposes, compels me to read up on the Tudors. This time, I am most interested to read about Mary, Queen of Scots.
Gregory tells the story of the English imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots (Mary I of Scotland) from the perspective of the queen herself, and her two "hosts," Countess Elizabeth Shrovesbury, and The Earl of Shrovesbury, George.The book is certainly effective in making the history very personal and interesting. The Other Queen is portrayed as a devout woman, confident in her position as an inalienable person, born, married, and anointed royally. Bess is the nouveau riche, climbing the social ladder through successively more impressive marriages, incredibly concerned with her accumulated wealth and its safety, while her husband (whom she delights as referring to as "my husband, the earl," is characterized as a somewhat dopey member of the dying aristocracy, wooed by the young queen, obsessed with his own honor, and unsure of exactly where his allegiances do, or should, lie.The audiobook by recorded books is narrated by three different voices and produced quite well.
Reviews provided by Librarything.
No reviews here.