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My Enemy, the Queen
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My Enemy, the Queen

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  2,519 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
It was Lettice who married the Earl of Leicester, whom Elizabeth I loved. And it was Lettice who was the mother of the Queen's beloved Earl of Essex. That young earl would one day break the Queen's heart.

It was always Lettice, the constant spoiler in the triangle of love surrounding Elizabeth...
Mass Market Paperback, 0 pages
Published September 12th 1981 by Fawcett (first published 1978)
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Aug 20, 2008 Misfit rated it really liked it
The court of Elizabeth I from another viewpoint. Interesting read, I was fascinated to learn more about Lettice Knowles. From previous books I have read about the period, I had heard Lettice's name occasionally, and knew there was some speculation about whether or not Henry VIII fathered her mother during his affair with Mary Boleyn. We'll never know.

All in all an enjoyable read - not the greatest in the historical fiction genre, but worthwhile to learn more about the secondary players in the t
Just arrived from Finland through BM.

The first part of this book was just about the love affair between Lettice, Elizabeth I and Earl of Leicester, nothing else. After Leicester's death then the plot became quite interesting with the characters of Earl of Essex, Francis Bacon and Raleigh.
Saándhra Solita
Jun 06, 2017 Saándhra Solita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una novela que trata sobre la vida de Lettice Knoyles, quien fue prima lejana de Elizabeth I, la "Reina Virgen", cuyas vidas estuvieron entrelazadas por dos hombres: Robert Duddley Conde de Leicester y Robert Devereux, Conde de Essex.
La novela está escrita por Eleanor Alice Burford quien escribió muchos dramas de corte histórico,romandico,góticos bajo varios seudónimos: como Phillipa Carr novelas románticas, de corte gótico y de misterio, como Jean Plaidy escribió la mayoría de sus dramas histór
Nov 08, 2010 Rusty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lettice Devereaux tells the tragic story of Elizabeth I and her love for two men - the Earl of Leicester and the Earl of Essex. One must move past the persona Lettice projects to see the essence of this tale. Lettice's life revolves around court and the Queen who is her cousin. A vain woman who prides herself in her beauty, she falls in love with the queen's favorite, the Earl of Leicester, a womanizing and most ambitious man. He is handsome, charismatic, and devilishly capable of extracting him ...more
Slow going, unfortunately. Lettice is neither likable nor entertainingly bitchy. Hoping things will pick up.

Update: finally picked this one up and finished it. On the whole, I liked it, but I never really warmed to Lettice, especially in her behavior to Robert Dudley. This did whet my appetite for reading Margaret George's new novel about Elizabeth, though.
May 07, 2008 Susan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Elizabeth I
"The Other Boleyn Girl" should be this good. Victoria Holt could tell a story and make it fascinating with nary a ripped bodice in sight.

I didn't believe Lettice Knollys actually existed until I came across a reference to her in a scholarly work. She was the granddaughter of Henry VIII and Mary Boleyn, the second wife of the Earl of Leicester and the mother of the Earl of Essex.

If you can find this book, read it.

I read this back in grade school when I was first getting into historical fiction. Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt was one of the first authors I read because my mother had lots of her books. I enjoyed this one immensely when I read it, but later Plaidy reads haven't been nearly as exciting. IMO Plaidy is a great author to learn about a time period or historical figures, but one you know the history the prose gets kinda dull as it tends to read like lightly-dramatized biography.
Jun 01, 2008 Kelly rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite historical novel ever! I had just recently traveled through England, and Holt talks about all the amazing places that I had just seen the ruins of. It is a must to anyone who has traveled through London and the surrounding countryside. I had read so many different accounts of the Earl of Leichester and the Queen, and this was absolutely the most engrossing.
Nov 06, 2007 Christine rated it really liked it
I read so many Victoria Holt books that I don't remember much about them individually. But this one did stick with me. It was a great read and I really enjoy historical fiction especially about the old royal families.
Dec 04, 2012 Neja rated it liked it
Shelves: my-childhood
Books written by Victoria Holt are so cheesy, but sometimes that's exactly what you need. I've read a loooot of her books when I was 14/15 years old..that was the last time I've read them. I absolutely loved them at the time. I'm thinking of reading one of her books just for the old times sake! =)
Jun 26, 2008 Meghan rated it it was amazing
Loved it! So detailed, and she tells the history beautifully and describes Queen Elizabeth in a way few writers do.
Lindi Peterson
May 26, 2011 Lindi Peterson rated it it was amazing
I've probably read this book at least 10 times--and I love it every time I read it.
Sandra Ferrer  Valero
Una novela apasionante de principio a fin. Me ha encantado. Tenéis mi reseña completa aquí

I hated this book.

I hated these characters.

I am glad everyone is dead now.

 photo anigif_enhanced-buzz-1093-1355426175-3_zps724d686a.gif

I feel so icky now, and jittery and slightly depressed. Why did I do this to myself?

What we have here is an account from Lettice, Countess of Leicester on her life serving the queen, falling in love with the Queen's favorite beau and their strange three legged relationship that followed.

I don't know who I hated more, vain and evil Queen Elizabeth or vain, evil, and selfish Lettice. OR vain and evil Leicester,
Kylie Cheung
May 27, 2013 Kylie Cheung rated it really liked it
Shelves: tudors, elizabeth
Most people familiar with the Tudors will know that Elizabeth was in love with Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, her whole life and died with his last letter close. Most will also know that Anne Boleyn was her mother, and it was her cousin, Lettice Knollys, the daughter of Anne Boleyn's niece, who 'stole' married this great love of hers. I've always been endeared by Elizabeth's forbidden love with Leicester and so by proxy, was never a fan of the star of this book -- no other than Lettice Knolly ...more
May 09, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it
I haven't read this since I was about thirteen, but remember it fondly as a really engaging if slightly overblown story of Robert Dudley's second wife. Lettice Knollys was the cousin of Elizabeth I, and was one of her ladies in waiting right up until she secretly married Robert Dudley, at which point she was banished from court. The whole story is told from the point of view of Lettice and charts the feud that was sparked by this marriage between herself and her cousin, the Queen. This does stic ...more
Dec 28, 2014 Deena rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I had my own struggle to finish this book , I listened to it as an audio book through bus trips on my trip to Korea. I slept in many parts of the story but I didn't miss much because the events were at least once mentioned again and again by Lattice. Many of the characters were shown in a boring and superficial way since it seems that Lattice consider physical appearance as a way to judge people. I hated all men in the story maybe because they were explained by Lattice point of view. All in all ...more
Nov 14, 2011 Ngdecker rated it really liked it
I just finished Elizabeth I by Margaret George and had been disappointed in it. Since it started when Elizabeth was 57, I wanted to know more about her earlier life. This book was mentioned in the back by Ms. George. I happen to have it on my bookshelf, but had never read it, so I thought I would try it now. I really enjoyed it. It filled in a lot of gaps and I felt I knew the characters a lot better. (I should probably now go back and reread the novel by Margaret George, but that isn't going to ...more
Jan 01, 2010 Kaye added it
This one is amazing. Honestly, i don't like history but when I encountered this wonderful book of victoria holt, I can't help but read it, and re-read. The story was fantastic and the use of first person point of view to make it more entertaining. In some sense, ,lives of women during the elizabeth era, I say was not given much importance. I never encountered situations in the book that reveals the prerogative of women to holt high office (exception of course, the queen) and to serve during warf ...more
Jan 16, 2012 Salsadancer rated it really liked it
Told in the 1st person with so much feeling and verisimilitude, I kept forgetting it was a novel I was reading, not actual history although it was well-researched and historically correct. Queen Elizabeth loved two men: the Earl of Leicester and later the Earl of Essex. Leicester married Lettice, a Bolyn cousin of the Queen; it is her story. She was also the mother by a previous marriage of the boy who became Earl of Essex. This love triange with Elizabeth, Lettice and the men they loved is the ...more
Jan 15, 2016 Sharon rated it it was amazing
This was the very first novel that I read by Victoria Holt. After reading this book, she instantly became one of my all-time favorite authors. This book certainly did not disappoint. I loved the fact that it was a historical novel that covered the life of Elizabeth I. It is a captivating novel that follows the life of Elizabeth I from her childhood to her death. The story is told from the point of view of Lettice, a cousin of the Queen. It is fascinating to read about their relationship which in ...more
Feb 13, 2011 Nitramjules rated it it was ok
So this book started off pretty good a little slow but I hate the fact that author gives away bg things before they happen so you know whaen someone is going to die (for instance)so then you know whats going to happen next which doesnt exactly keep you sitting on the edge of your seat. I got down to the last like 50 pages and stoped reading it beacuse i knew how it was going to end. So over all - disappointed.
Nov 07, 2011 Megan rated it liked it
I'm between liking it and really liking it. Victoria Holt is a wonderful story teller, but I found this one to be a bit lacking I think because as opposed to being fully fictional it was historical fiction. I found the main character, Lettice, to be quite repetitive, but she was obsessed with the Queen her entire life so Holt was just telling a story of what happened.
Mary Caserta
Apr 11, 2014 Mary Caserta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Si Lettice no hubiese sido tan irritante durante el 98% de la historia, le hubiese dado cinco estrellas a este libro. Considero que es una lectura obligatoria para aquellos que, como yo, adoran la época Isabelina y para quienes quieren saber un poco más sobre las relaciones más íntimas de la gran y adorada Elizabeth I.
Katie Hilton
Sep 09, 2013 Katie Hilton rated it liked it
This is a good historical novel about Lettice Knollys, who was in the unusual situation of being the wife of Queen Elizabeth's longtime admirer, Robert Dudley, while she also was the mother of the queen's admirer later in life -- Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex.

Elizabeth didn't like sharing, it seems, so she and her cousin Lettice were enemies for life.

A good read.
May 06, 2008 Jennie rated it liked it
This was good. A lot of information historically. This book cover almost 100 years and gives all the events of Lettice Knollys' life, but also historical events of England. It's not a frilly and fluffy as other historical fiction, which I would have like more of. It was a bit slow also, perhaps because it didn't have the frills to make it a more elaborate story.
Melissa Morales
Oct 11, 2013 Melissa Morales rated it liked it
This is one of Victoria Holt's most talked about novels but I have to admit it was lacking that classic Holt mystery/romance element that has enthralled me in the past. It was interesting, and reading about Queen Elizabeth and her complicated self was intriguing, but I felt let down at the end, it just stopped before the whole story was told/finished. It felt very anti-climactic.
Feb 01, 2010 Caratstick rated it liked it
I read this ages ago (like back in high school) when I was fascinated with Elizabeth I. I don't remember much about it, but I've never been able to part with it because I have a feeling that if I really liked it. Which could easily mean it was melodramatic and trashy.
Sep 12, 2013 Jessica rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this book when I was a tween- having found it on my mothers book shelf! This book truly started my love and obsession with Queens and reading biographies on them. *a SENTIMENTAL book for me!
This is the book that sparked a life long fascination with history in general, and the Tudor period in particular. I read it for the first time when I was 11, and read it about 5 more times that year. I've read it more times than I can count, and yet, it never loses it's charm.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subjec
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