Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Virgins Lover by Philippa Gregory.

Author: Philippa Greogory
ISBN: 0-00-714731-7
Genre: Historical Tudor Fiction

Publisher: Harper Collins

"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!"

This is the second Philippa Gregory book I have read. I wasn't expecting it to be very good because I had heard some negative reviews about it. However, I really enjoyed it. I felt apart of the novel and also felt like I had been transported back in time.

Queen Elizabeth I, in this book is portrayed as a weak queen, very indecisive and a constant worrier. Whether she was really like this, I have no idea? I did find that because she was portrayed this way, the book did seem to loose it's royalty feel to it. Where as in 'The other Boleyn Girl' the royalty is felt throughout the book.

I loved Lady Amy Dudley in this book, she was portrayed as a strong woman. She didn't deserve the hand she was dealt in life and I very much felt sorry for her.

At the end of this book I was left with an eerie feeling, I was pretty sad especially when I read the authors note. Another thing that I love is how I have learnt from reading Philippa's books. I know it's fictional but the stories are based on true historical facts.

My Verdict: Loved it!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Author: Philippa Greogory
ISBN: 0-00-651400-6
Genre: Tudor Fiction

Publisher: Harper Collins

Fabulous historical novel set in the court of King Henry VIII. Mary Boleyn attracts the attention of the young king and becomes his mistress; when he tires of her, she sets out to school her sister, Anne, as a replacement. Politics and passion are inextricably bound together in this compelling drama. The Boleyn family is keen to rise through the ranks of society, and what better way to attract the attention of the most powerful in the land than to place their most beautiful young woman at court? But Mary becomes the king's mistress at a time of change. He needs his personal pleasures, but he also needs an heir. The unthinkable happens and the course of English history is irrevocably changed. For the women at the heart of the storm, they have only one weapon; and when it's no longer enough to be the mistress, Mary must groom her younger sister in the ways of the king. What happens next is common knowledge -- but here it is told in a way we've never heard it before, with all of Philippa Gregory's characteristic perceptiveness, backed by meticulous research and superb storytelling skills."

This was my first Tudor fiction and also Philippa Gregory book. I was excited about reading it as I have heard so many good reviews about her. I haven't heard anyone put this author down.

Reading this book felt like I took a step back in time, I felt as though I was looking through Mary Stafford's (Boleyn) eye's. I felt her emotions and went through every part of this story with her. At some parts in the book I was reeling with anger and others, I was moved near to tears and others laughing with Mary.

As I read the book I also found myself being filled with knowledge and I loved the descriptions of the Castles and their dresses. Oh yes I loved the dresses!

In the book, I learnt to love Mary, she was a gentle soul who was loyal to her sister Anne. But Anne who was so selfish, gave no thought for anyone but herself. I really hated her in the book and to be honest when she was beheaded, I didn't feel much sympathy. As when things were going good, she treated her family poorly, especially Mary, but when things were bad she wanted them around. I was really angry with Anne through pretty much all of this book! LOL. I try to remember the book is fiction, so I try not to judge Anne, but in this story she was a right bitch! The only part I felt for her was when she had her miscarriages.

There are other factors to this book, like their parents who were totally selfish too and how George Mary & Anne's brother stuck by them. I liked him in the book and didn't feel he deserved to be executed.

My Verdict: A Smashing book, the very best!