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The Other Queen [Paperback]

Philippa Gregory
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 25 2009
A dramatic novel of passion, politics and betrayal from the author of The Other Boleyn Girl. Mary, Queen of Scots, fights to regain her kingdom whilst under the guard of Queen Elizabeth's trusted accomplice, Bess of Hardwick. Mary is Queen of Scotland but she has been forced to flee her land and take refuge in an England that is ruled by her cousin Elizabeth. But England, precarious in its Protestant state, set against the mighty powers of Spain, France and Rome, doesn't need a charismatic Catholic figurehead at large. So Elizabeth's chief advisor, Cecil, devises a plan in which Mary will live under guard with his trusted accomplice: Bess of Hardwick. Bess is a self-made woman, a shrewd survivor. She is newly married to her fourth and most distinguished husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury. But what marriage can withstand the charms of Mary? Or the threat of rebellion that she always carries? Mary must wait in her privileged imprisonment for the return to Scotland and her infant son; but waiting is not the same as doing nothing...With her characteristic combination of superb storytelling and authentic historical background, Philippa Gregory brings to life this period of great change, in a riveting tale of betrayal, loyalty, politics and passion.

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Praise for Philppa Gregory: 'Written from instinct, not out of calculation, and it shows.' Peter Ackroyd, The Times 'For sheer pace and percussive drama it will take a lot of beating.' Sunday Times 'Gregory is great at conjuring a Tudor film-set of gorgeous gowns and golden-lattered dining. She invokes some swoonsome images...while the politics are personal enough to remain pertinent.' DailyTelegraph 'The contemporary mistress of historical crime fiction is Philippa Gregory. Her novels are filled with strong, determined women who take their fate into their own hands...Gregory brings to life the sights, smells and textures of 16th-century England.' Kate Mosse, Financial Times

About the Author

Philippa Gregory is an internationally renowned author of historical novels. She holds a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. Works that have been adapted for television include A Respectable Trade, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool. The Other Boleyn Girl is now a major film, starring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana. Philippa Gregory lives in the North of England with her family.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Other Queen Dec 9 2008
To be honest, I was truly disappointed in this novel. I am a very big fan of Philippa Gregory's as well as historical fiction. I forced myself to finish reading it as I had waited months for this book! I would suggest that those readers interested in Mary, Queen of Scots, to read Margaret George's Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles. It provides much more information on Mary, not just her last days as a prisoner of Queen Elizabeth.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hardship, hardship, hardship... Nov. 30 2008
Did anyone else feel like they were stuck on repeat while reading this book? While jumping back and forth between the 3 characters who are telling the story, it seems the author forgot she needed to move the plot along as well. Yes, we understand Bess made herself from nothing, worked hard to get where she did, blah, blah, blah. And Mary was a queen under the divine eye of god, her body was sacred, blah, blah, blah. Readers are not stupid, we do not need these facts beat into us in every chapter. The repetition made this book tedious and boring. As an avid reader of any tudor-era novel, I would say this is one of the worst. Which is sad, since some of this author's previous work is fantastic, and definately worth checking out. Try "The Virgin's Lover" or "the Other Boleyn Girl", which have great character development and an interesting story line.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT WORTH YOUR TIME OR MONEY... March 10 2009
By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
There are many excellent books that have been written about Mary, Queen of Scots. Unfortunately, this is not one of them. Although I have enjoyed many of the author's books over the years, this one was almost painful to read, with its laughable dialogue and one dimensional, vapid characters. Even though the book appears to have been well-researched, the author manages to turn one of the most intriguing and tragic figures in history into someone about whom the reader could not care less.

The story focuses on the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots, by order of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. The Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife, Bess, are to be her jailers. When their "guest", Mary, chafes under the restrictions imposed upon her, plots abound to set her free, much to the consternation of the Earl and his wife. The story is told via formulaic, first person narratives by Mary, the Earl, and Bess, all of which plod along, boring the reader to tears with its repetitive and lamentable prose.

It took me weeks to finish this book, and I looked upon it as a chore that I needed to complete. When the last page was finally turned, I breathed a sigh of relief, having been freed at last from reading anymore of this book, which I did not at all enjoy and would not recommend to my worst enemy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as her other books. Oct. 29 2008
The bottom line is - this book is just not as good as her others. It's not a complete waste of time - but I had a hard time finishing it, as I lost interest half way through.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing!!! Nov. 10 2008
I was so looking forward to this books release, but after reading it, I am very disappointed. The book is written in the style of the Boleyn Inheritance, from the perspective of 3 people: Bess of Hardwick, George Talbot, and Mary, Queen of Scots. I feel this wasn't the way to go with Mary's story. Having a little background on Mary's life, the book would have been better told about her life before being held captive by Queen Elizabeth. I know the author was trying to show the hardships of the Talbots, having to house the Queen, and the troubles she brought them. While also trying to show Mary's struggles at re-claiming her throne, but Mary is such a fascinating woman in her own right, and I believe she deserved a better story focusing on only her. I felt the focus was more on Queen Elizabeth's struggles with her kingdom, then on Mary's struggles with her kingdom in Scotland.

I expected much more from this book. I believe that Mrs. Gregory missed a golden chance to tell the story of this most fascinating Queen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars surprised and dismayed Feb. 5 2009
I am very disapointed in this book, even more than I was at the terrible screen adaptation of The Other Boleyn Girl! It is the first and only book by Ms Gregory that I have put down more than once and started another book. It seems to flit from one person to another more like an attempt at a screenplay than a novel. It is so hard to get involved or like the story which anyone with an interest in history or major films will have already heard before but on a much more interesting scale. I never thought that I would have a bad word to say about my one time fav author but the love affair is now over and Ms Gregory needs to get back to her roots and stop chasing the movie rights!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing for a Philippa Gregory book... Feb. 12 2009
I'm in the process of reading this book and find it's not like the other Philippa Gregory books that I've read. I find this book hard to get in to, whereas It would normally only take me a couple of days to finish.The plot seems to drag on and each character seems to repeat themselves, never getting you any farther. I bought this book because I am interested in Mary, Queen of Scots and I feel as though I haven't learned anything about her. This book has not discouraged me from reading other books by her because I know what a great author Philippa Gegory can be, although if this had been the first novel I read by her I probably would have missed out on her other great books!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It's fun to read for recreation
Philippa always captures the essence of the period using fact and contemporary accounts for the underpinnings of fiction. Read more
Published 1 month ago by BGreenwood
1.0 out of 5 stars Lacks the Familiar Touch
Ms. Gregory is well liked and known for her interpretation on historical events and providing her readers with hours of enjoyment. Read more
Published on June 16 2012 by Toni Osborne
2.0 out of 5 stars A dull, repetitive read
What a disappointment. This novel was so tedious, and drawn out. It repeated the same thread of storyline over and over again, and was just a total bore. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2012 by Jan
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read
I enjoyed reading this book. It covers the lives of three characters, Lord and Lady Talbot and Mary Queen of Scotts and is written in the first person of each of these... Read more
Published on March 28 2011 by Barbara
3.0 out of 5 stars Mary of Scotland: Seductress or Queen of Tantrums?
(I should review before reading the other reviews. They've influenced what I intended to type.) Thinking upon it overnight, I didn't find this book too bad. Read more
Published on July 24 2010 by microfiche
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I haven't listened to the critics.
This book is amazing. Interesting! and I have learned so much. Thank you Philippa, this nover is just wonderful! The 7th novel I have read from you... Read more
Published on March 21 2010 by Martin Pitchon
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the Greatest.
The Other Queen focuses on Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I's rival. You read the story through the eyes of Queen Mary, and her two hosts/jailors: George and Bess Talbot... Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2009 by Karoline
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh.
The Other Queen

I gave this book a pretty low rating. Don't get me wrong- I LOVE Philippa Gregory- I think she is a fantastic writer, however this is not one of her... Read more
Published on June 3 2009 by GeekSquadofOne
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT ONE OF HER BEST
I agree with the other reviewers here. This book did not live up to my expectations of a Philippa Gregory book at all. Read more
Published on May 30 2009 by caseygirl
3.0 out of 5 stars A good bedtime story. It will put you to sleep.
Reading the first two-thirds of this book was the equivalent of having my eyes pecked out by vultures. Read more
Published on May 30 2009 by Candice
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