Thursday, 25 October 2007

The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory

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 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!

Actually I wasn't expecting a great deal from this book, and having had this book almost 2 years I thought it was high time I read it, I actually have mixed feelings over this book because I actually quite liked it!

Amy Dudley I found really rather irritating I think this is why I have mixed feelings over this one because usually if one of the main people irritates me I tend to not like the book but, it so wasn't the case here. I know so much speculation has been made over her death and because she irritated me so I didn't feel that much for her, OK it wasn't a very nice way to die (is any way nice though LOL) but, the way she clung on to her husband was nothing short of pathetic.

I found the way Elizabeth portrayed here was slightly different to how I saw her and how I have seen her portrayed in other books but, that said having read other reviews I was expecting to see a very weak and pathetic Elizabeth, and whilst she wasn't the strong woman I have seen in other books I don't think she was weak at all but, as it is Elizabeth someone I deeply admire and am fascinated with maybe I just didn't notice that. Although the way she seemed to not be able to cope without Robert Dudley doesn't resonate with the Elizabeth with what I believe how Elizabeth I truly was.

So was Elizabeth and Robert guilty for Amy's death? I really don't believe so, and I personally feel it was simply a tragic accident, although maybe I have come to this conclusion because of the last sentence in the above paragraph.

Overall I don't think the book was as good as The Boleyn Inheritance The Other Boleyn Girl but, I don't think it was a bad book, I quite enjoyed it.


Marg said...

This is my least favourite of the Tudor books that I have read.

Margo. said...

I really liked this book. I also found Amy a little annoying, but I was left with an eerie feeling over her death. I think they did do it. LOL.

Clare said...

I agree Marg, although I liked it it was probably my least favourite out of all Philippa's books.

Clare said...

I knew you would diagree with me Margo you old moo moo LOLOL

Its a huge debate though and I do think there is lots of for and against, I'd like to read more about it maybe from a non-fiction perspective.

Margo. said...

LOL Clare. I'd like to read from another authors perspective too. Fiction and non fiction.

Rhinoa said...

I liked it more than The Queens Fool but not as much as some of her others.