The Other Queen

The Other Queen

Book - 2009
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author and "queen of royal fiction" ( USA TODAY ) Philippa Gregory--a dazzling new novel about the intriguing, romantic, and maddening Mary, Queen of Scots.

Fleeing violent rebellions in Scotland, Mary looks to Queen Elizabeth of England for sanctuary. Though promised protection, Mary, perceived as a serious threat to the English crown, is soon imprisoned by her former friend as a "guest" in the house of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his indomitable wife, Bess of Hardwick. The newly married couple welcomes the condemned queen into their home, certain that serving as her hosts and jailers will bring them an advantage in the cutthroat world of the Elizabethan court.

To their horror, they grow to realize that the task will bankrupt their estate and lose them what little favor they've managed to gain as their home becomes the epicenter of intrigue and rebellion against Queen Elizabeth. And Mary is not as hopeless as she appears, manipulating the earl and spinning her own web of treachery and deceit, as she sharpens her weapons to reclaim her Scottish throne--and to take over Queen Elizabeth's of England.
Publisher: New York : Touchstone Book, 2009, c2008.
Edition: 1st Touchstone trade pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9781416549147
Characteristics: 440 p. ; 21 cm.


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Sep 24, 2014

This story is well-travelled ground, but Gregory's tactic of focusing mostly on one period and alternating chapters between three characters (only one of which is royal) makes it seem fresher.

Nov 01, 2013

I really like historical fiction and generally enjoy this author. This is an interesting story of Mary Queen of Scots captivity in England. It is told from the perspective of the couple who have been "selected" to house her for several years before she winds up in the Tower. No one comes out of this novel lilly-white-all the characters have flaws, which makes it so very real.

Jun 14, 2013

I have generally enjoyed Philippa Gregory's books, but I did not like this one particularly. It started out quite good, and I like the character of Bess, but it just dragged on too much and was too tedious and repetitive. While I'm sure Mary's life was also tedious and repetitive, this did not make for an enjoyable novel! But do give her other books a go, they're great.

May 16, 2013

Some of Gregory's books are much more interesting to read than others. I found the Red Queen not much fun, but The Lady of The Rivers was very good. I'll try some more. Also, A Respectable Trade was very good.

Sep 20, 2011

I picked up “The Red Queen” and “The Other Queen” randomly at the library. I am a fan of historical fiction, but I hadn’t read anything by Philippa Gregory yet. I finished “The Red Queen” and it wasn’t a huge page turner for me. I made it 60 pages in to “The Other Queen” and gave up. I can’t fault Gregory’s research, but the books plod along for me. This one was especially slow switching between the three viewpoints and I simply wasn’t enticed by Gregory to care what happened to any of them. I don’t think it is fair for me to rank it as I didn’t finish it. Other writers in the genre such as Sharon Kay Penman, Anne Easter Smith, Robin Maxwell, and Anya Seton romanticize their characters a bit, but I think their stories are more engaging.

May 10, 2011

I really enjoyed this book - perhaps more than some of her others. the book is at least as much about Bess of Hardwick as about Mary. Bess built and maintained a fortune in an age when most women were completely dependent on men - and then nearly lost it when she and her husband were forced to host Mary. Her determination to hold onto her estates and leave a legacy for her children adds an extra dimension to this book.

Dec 22, 2010

She really puts you inside the characters heads.

Jul 13, 2010

This was not my favorite book of Philippa Gregory's by far. I felt that the novel dragged on and on, which is probably what happened in real life for Mary, Queen of Scots. When the novel was over, I was relieved. I have read most of Gregory's other books about English royals and loved them. Just not very impressed with this one.

Sep 14, 2009

An excellent account of Mary, Queen of Scots. Gregory has proven again that she is a master of historical fiction.


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