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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  384 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Scott's imagination created "Kenilworth," a romance novel of conflicting characters. He has brought to life the character of Queen Elizabeth with the most brilliant and enchanting effect. The novel tells the story of the secret, tragic marriage of Amy Robsart to Robert Dudley that is marred by ambition. The theme of selfishness versus selflessness and ambition versus love...more
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Published July 13th 2009 by ReadHowYouWant (first published 1821)
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I’m sorry to say that I hated this a little bit. I had such hopes for Walter Scott, and I find myself in a pickle because I’m determined to finish my three-novel omnibus regardless of my impression of this first attempt. With any luck Ivanhoe and Quentin Durward will be better, but I just don’t know how hopeful I am. What really gets me is that I thought the plot had such promise; it’s the story of Amy Robsart, the secret wife of Queen Elizabeth’s famous favorite, the Earl of Leicester. I like c...more
Malvina Yock
*Slight spoilers below*

I was told to read this because I hope to visit Kenilworth Castle. Part 1 sets the scene for this tale of mystery, deception, court politics and murder, set in 1575 when Elizabeth 1 did indeed visit one of her favourites - Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester - at Kenilworth. There is a large smattering of historic licence from Walter Scott, but it all makes for a terrific tale.

It's rather a hard slog to read at first, but it picks up in Part 2 with the entrance of Elizabeth...more
Hmmm, what to say. Once I was about 40% into this book, I enjoyed it much more. Granted the ‘stage’ had to be set so much back-story was provided before the real interesting bits began (read that to mean the character of Queen Elizabeth I entered ).
Having visited Kenilworth for the second time this last summer and being honored to see the recreated gardens that were mentioned by Scott (from a primary source of the time of Elizabeth’s visit) this book had added enjoyment and interest. The myste...more
I picked this up on a recent visit to Kenilworth Castle and I had high hopes for it as it features one of my favourite historical figures in Robert Dudley. I can't say exactly why but it just didn't do it for me. The plot revolves around Elizabeth I's progress in 1575 where she was entertained at Kenilworth Castle by Robert Dudley in what was considered a last ditch attempt at romantic courtship. In Scott's novel the subplot is the concealment of Dudley's marriage to Amy Robsart, the eventual un...more
I THINK this is the edition I've got. My copy has no publication date, but I would say it WAS a nineteenth century book. Some parts of it had evidently never been read: the pages hadn't even been cut.

As with most Scott books, edition evidently matters quite a bit. The edition I have has a strangely lacking glossary. Only about 1/3 of the words I looked for were in the glossary.

This edition also contains one of Scott's idiosyncrasies. I never have figured out why Scott decided to put indeces in n...more
This book was a long haul. The plot is all about court intrigues in Elizabethan England, but Scott beats around the bush a lot, possibly to add more Elizabethan detail to the story. For example, Queen Elizabeth spend several pages debating the merits of the new-fangled Shakespeare plays compared to the more traditional pastime of bear-baiting. There are pages of descriptions of entertainments and banquets, as well as appendices giving further descriptions. Genuine historic characters are introdu...more
I read this after visiting Kenilworth Castle. If your unaccustomed to reading eighteenth century English prose, you may struggle a bit with the language, but the reward does more than outweigh the effort. If you like castles, mysteries and history this book is for you.
Sep 17, 2014 Laura is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Misfit
Recommended to Laura by: Christina Dudley
Free download available at eBooks@Adelaide.
Better organized than most of Scott's novels and has a good plot. Amy herself is almost unbearably stupid and bratty, but that's only to be expected--who else would want to marry that Leicester guy? Oh right, Elizabeth...but I don't think she seriously wanted to marry him. ;) Janet, Tony Foster, Tressilian, and Varney are the characters that interest me. If you like Elizabethan romance/adventure that doesn't feature tacky pregnancy plots, you might enjoy this story. I warn you, the ending is sad...more
As the book opens, Amy Robsart has left her family home and has secretly married Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Amy's father, Sir Hugh and the man her father intended her to marry, Edmund Tressilian, have no knowledge of Amy's whereabouts and suspect foul play at the hands of Dudley's sneaky master of the horse, Richard Varney, and Tressilian goes in search of Amy at an old manor house, Cumnor Place. As Elizabeth I's attraction to Dudley grows, so does Dudley's ambitions to reach for the star...more
Ruthie Jones
Review to come later.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"...when stakes are made, the game must be played; that is gamester's law, all over the world." ~ chapter III

"Well--it is wise to practice beforehand the part which fortune prepares us to play--the young eagle must gaze at the sun, ere he soars on strong wing to meet it." ~ chapter V

"I had never more need that the heavenly bodies should befriend me, for my earthly path is darkened and confused." ~ chapter XVIII

"...but the truth is, that a...more
Apr 22, 2010 Andrea rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adrienne
This romantic story revolves around a damsel in distress, her husband Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and his evil genius, and the Virgin Queen of England, Elizabeth. From the beginning this damsel is in a difficult situation. She has married, but her husband is keeping the marriage a secret while he attempts to win Elizabeth. His evil genius reminds me of Rasputin who influenced Tsarina Alexandra or the character of Count Fosco in The Woman in White. At every turn Robert Dudley and Barney eva...more
Classics can sometimes have a magical quality, beneath the formal dialogue and lengthy descriptions often hides a brilliant and surprising plot, wit and humor or captivating drama. Not so with Kenilworth. For the 500 pages of type, only 20 pages or so were of any substance, and near dull at that. All of the characters, with the exception of poor Tressilian, were annoying with few redeeming qualities and, to sink the story entirely, diverted down so many irrelevant trails and side tales, I found...more
Picked this up on a whim at the library without knowing the plot and could not get into it. The overly flowery language (even for 18th century) lost me at points and I found myself unable to follow what was even going on. Are we arguing? Are we gossiping? Who bloody knows.
Once you get used to the language, Kenilworth is an interesting read. While it may not be historically accurate, it is Scott's vision of what went on during 1575 during the reign of Elizabeth I of England.
In Scott's story, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester has become a favorite of Elizabeth I and has ambition to become king. There is only one little matter standing in his way and that is his marriage to Amy Robsart, who is not of royal birth. Also, being married is not such a great idea for a m...more
James Violand
Jul 08, 2014 James Violand rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone.
Shelves: own
Intrigue at court in the reign of Elizabeth. Ambitious, Dudley is secretly married, yet encourages the Queen in her romantic desire for him. Seriously? Not too smart. Yet Scott makes the story so believable that you suspend your incredulity.
Never, ever read the preface of a historical novel before you read the book. It ruined this book for me.
First, you gotta understand that I am not a fan of sad or morbid or heart-break endings. And the preface that I read gave me the historical background for what this book was about to outline. And it made it clear that if the book stuck anywhere close to the facts, it must necessarily have an ending in which the heroine dies. After I found that out I had a terrible time reading the book. I comp...more
Christina Dudley
This fictionalized account of the love triangle between Queen Elizabeth I, the Earl of Leicester, and Amy Robsart, swung between interesting-and-very-nearly-suspenseful to mind-numbingly dull. Fortunately, the dullest parts were skimmable without great harm done. I did miss the backstory on Wayland Whatshisname because the pedant character that preceded him sent me into a coma of boredom, from which I was several chapters in recovering. The best parts featured Elizabeth and Leicester's interacti...more
I read this as a teenager, but enjoyed it quite a lot the second time around, too. It's pretty wordy, some of the descriptions go on way too long and the humor is a bit forced in places. Still, gripping story, pretty good characters and lots of historical detail. I've just gotten onto a Gutenberg Project kick and will most likely be reading something old, on my iPod, most of the time now. It sure makes it more fun to wait for band/play rehearsal/ski practice/interact/quiz bowl to be over while w...more
Bethany Hansen
The book was compelling but I detested the story. It was so very sad.
My second or third try at Scott. Not sure why people love(d) him. This one is a not-very-historical historical novel that is about as depressing as they come. Read the first third (no mean feat) or so and then checked the end to see if anything good happened in there. Nope! Has anyone read something by Walter Scott that actually ended really happily and that they liked? Why are the women characters who the heroes are in love with such brainless beauties? No depth, no brains.
Kenilworth ha tutto ciò che mi piace di Scott: bella prosa, ricostruzione storica, personaggi ben delineati, dramma, intrigo, etc. Mancano però quei momenti più spiccatamente umoristici che in altre sue opere spezzano il dramma alleggerendo la narrazione (es. The Bride of Lammermoor è un altra "cronaca di una morte annunciata", ma scivola via molto molto meglio).
Although Scott was a groundbreaker in terms of the historical novel genre, his style is a bit hard to take, especially for modern readers. He does some interesting things in terms of plotting, and there is a definite element of suspense in this Elizabethan themed piece, but compared to other authors who came shortly after him, he is lacking.
The text is interesting because the time period is vastly different. The novel takes place in 1575. The arc of the story is rather hum-drum, but the reader is introduced to a few historic characters. Queen Elizabeth is a major character in the story. There is a cameo appearance from both Will Shakespeare and Walter Raleigh.
Angela Joyce
This book comes to life when Elizabeth appears on the pages; otherwise, it's a bit of a complicated yawn. But no one could make Elizabeth Tudor boring, I have found! Historical dates-wise, there are a few snags that I found hard to overlook. It's all worth it for Elizabeth's scathing speeches, though. They are marvelous.
This was a very slow book to get in to, but I'm tolerant and once all of the background information was behind me I really enjoyed the story. The copy I read had notations of what was historical fact and fiction. I found it so interesting. I usually need happy endings, so I was surprised how much I liked this book.
lynn parounagian
Great book

Great book

very historical
loved it
everyone should read this in their life Walter Scott is the man on this period of time

John Mccullough
A long novel dealing with a part of English history. As usual, Scott panders to the English but it is deserved.
An entertaining yet long novel by Scott regarding the death of Robert Dudley's wife, Amy Robsart. The plot is tightly woven but the author weighs the novel down by long prose scenes. This is a great novel though and an interesting perspective on another unsolved historical mystery.
Anthony Pannell
This book did not interest me at all. It started off very slow, which made it very hard to get into and continue to read. I do not recommend this book, although someone else might find it more interesting to me. It was a well written book, just not suitable for my interests.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Sir Walter Scott was born on August 15, 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scott created and popularized historical novels in a series called the Waverley Novels. In his novels Scott arranged the plots and characters so the reader enters into the lives of both great and ordinary people caught up in violent, dramatic...more
More about Walter Scott...
Ivanhoe Rob Roy Waverley The Talisman The Lady of the Lake

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“The schoolmaster is termed, classically, Ludi Magister, because he deprives boys of their play.” 5 likes
“I pretend not to be a champion of that same naked virtue called truth, to the very outrance. I can consent that her charms be hidden with a veil, were it but for decency's sake.” 1 likes
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