His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester
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His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  364 ratings  ·  35 reviews
One of the greatest loves of all time-between Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley-comes to life in this vivid novel.

They were playmates as children, impetuous lovers as adults-and for thirty years were the center of each others' lives. Astute to the dangers of choosing any one man, the Virgin Queen could never give her "Sweet Robin" what he wanted most-marriage- yet she insist...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by NAL Trade
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Ugh, Elizabeth and Dudley fan fiction.

This book, presumably, digs into the relationship of Elizabeth I and her favorite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. However, for some reason, 100% of it is a bodice ripper romance novel, 80% of it is focused on them as middle aged adults (why?), 20% of it is remotely historically accurate, and 0% of it is what I was hoping the book would be.

Ok, how to break this down? Let's start with the secondary and tertiary characters first. Like any good fan fiction ab...more
Apr 13, 2012 Hannah marked it as did-not-finish
I may need to take a break from novels (or re-read some old favorites), as this was yet another D-N-F in 2012....sigh.

At least with this one, I gave it the ole college try and made it to page 93, but it just wasn't compelling enough for me to slog on through. A shame, as I was really looking forward to a really good novel featuring one of my historical crushes, Robert Dudley. It would seem difficult to make "sweet Robin" boring and un-sexy. However, Westin managed to do it - at least for me :(

Kristen Elise
This was an interesting tale of the relationship between Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, well narrated and quite a page-turner. I really liked the way the novel was set up, beginning and ending with Elizabeth locking herself in her chambers with "his last letter." At times, I thought the sex was a bit gratuitous and the time-flipping maybe a little excessive. But overall, a great read if you're interested in this fascinating queen.
I did enjoy novel; there were many thrilling, exciting, beautiful parts, but there were also bland boring ones, as well.
I have never read fiction so late into Elizabeth I's reign as 1585-1588, when she was in her mid 50s. I do like how Westin still portrays her as relatively youthful. I believe Elizabeth's temper was portrayed well, although honestly I think her character was made a bit too 'soft.' When Dudley angered Elizabeth, I doubt she came running back to him once he said "I love you."
I h...more
Here's my review for The Associated Press:
¶ "His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester" (New American Library, $16), by Jeane Westin: More than 400 years after it ended with the death of Queen Elizabeth I, the Tudor period seems back in vogue with a successful movie, sexy cable series and slew of books dedicated to England's most powerful monarchs.
¶ While Henry VIII has received a romantic makeover with the 2008 film, "The Other Boleyn Girl," and Showtime's "The Tudors," his daughte...more
In 'His Last Letter', Jeane Westin gives readers a nearly exclusive look at the complex relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley the Earl of Leicester by focusing her narrative on several different critical periods in their lives with little attention paid to the queen's other favorites or politics.

Westin's chronology of events is completely out of order; she begins her story describing events that occur in 1588. The story unfolds when Elizabeth or Robert are reminded of something...more
I had floated around this book in my local Barnes & Noble for a while; however, wary of similar period works of fiction such as those written by Philippa Gregory (no offense to anyone who's a fan of her work ... I have no problem with speculation on history, except that so many people try to think of her work AS history now!), I avoided taking the plunge. By the time I finally read it, I must admit I ended up disappointed.

The non-linear style is a complaint I've seen a lot of people make ......more
Lori Twichell
While doing any research on Elizabeth, you quickly realize that many people know a little about her, but not many know much beyond that. Fewer still understand or recognize the depth of her relationship with Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester. Author Jeane Westin, based on much research and a deep abiding knowledge of Elizabeth’s life, bases this book on the love story and romance that held during the lifetimes of Elizabeth and Dudley. With beautiful scenes and a fast moving yet easy to follow...more
Stephanie Tracy
I am a huge fan of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, so this book really excited me. I think their love story is beautiful and it was perfectly illustrated in this wonderful story. It bounced around to different times in their romantic, yet tumultuous, relationship, but started and ended in the same place. Robert's words and actions were sweet enough to make the reader fall in love with him as well, as I already was. :P I highly recommend this book to anyone who's a fan of Tudor history, and es...more
This novel about the relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester is based on spare historical fact, but is interesting and informative regarding the Virgin Queen's reign and her time. Although I prefer something with more verifiable factual information, this book does give a probable inside view of Elizabeth's personal life. It certainly gives the reader a view of the Elizabethan Age at court and its intrigues. It also tells of England's conflicts with the Spanish and concer...more
"I'm a man...just a man who loves a woman more than life."
Sigh...it is lines like this that I found throughout this book that made me fall in love with the story of Elizabeth and Robert Dudley. This book only made my fascination for Bess and her Robin grow deeper. It is a wonderfully written book that will draw you in from the very first page, and warm your heart as you envision their love story. I would give this book more than 5 stars if I could!!
Linda Shook
It was long and at times a very slow read but I could not put it down. Very interesting account of Queen Elizabeth 1, the daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn. Referred to as 'The Virgin Queen' Elizabeth seems to have had a long running relationship with a childhood friend but she never married. After reading this book, I have now ordered the DVD set, starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth 1.
This is a story I enjoy hearing again and again. I do wish it would have been told in chronological order after the initial flashback.
Christy English
I do love Elizabeth...and Robert loved her, so I love him too...
In Jeane Westin’s sophomore release she tackles one of the most intriguing love stories in history...that of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

His Last Letter focuses on the last three years that Elizabeth and Robert were together before his death and alternately goes back to various pivotal points in their relationship. I thought the author did a fantastic job at this, giving the reader glimpses of their tempetuous past and then bringing it back to their final ye...more
Kylie Cheung
I was excited to read "His Last Letter" -- I've loved the Elizabeth and Dudley forbidden love since Philippa Gregory's "The Virgin's Lover", and this book was dedicated entirely to them. I truly wanted to love it, but HLL fell a bit flat for me in some areas.

Firstly, while this was understandably historical romance, it was romanticized to the point of being a little cliche... okay,a LOT cliche. I don't doubt Robert Dudley was in love with Elizabeth, but I feel like Westin should have addressed t...more
His Last Letter opens with the biggest triumph of Elizabeth I's reign: the defeat of the Spanish Armada. They say it could never happen, that the fleet was unsinkable, especially by some fledgling island country led by an unmarried woman who is the daughter of a supposed witch and whore. But they were wrong. Thanks to Elizabeth's less than ethical relationships with pirates, for lack of a better term, such as Sir Francis Drake, she brought England one of its greatest victories and began the decl...more
I suffered my way through this book in the misguided belief that it might finally get better. It didn't. The characters were shallow and poorly written. There were problematic views of both genders; the novel painted men as being entirely unable to control themselves when faced with carnal desire despite being told No, and showed women as secretly wishing to be ravaged because it is in their nature. "Sweet Robin's" infidelities are glazed over again and again because as a man it would be both "w...more
Tudor Book Blog
A The Tudor Book Blog Review(http://www.thetudorbookblog.com).


Westin begins the story on the eve of Elizabeth’s victory over the Spanish armada. Elizabeth. As she goes through the intricacies of the court celebrations, she notices Robert Dudley, her favorite, is not there. It is then that she receives the letter, his last letter. Robert was dead. She locked herself alone in her room and begins to remember their life together.

My Thoughts:

This novel is a mix of present and past events for...more
Read my full review on my blog: Confessions and Ramblings of a Muse in the Fog.

Having just defeated the Spanish Armada, Elizabeth I spirits could not be higher; that is until she receives word that her long time love, Robert Dudley, has perished. All of her joy and laughter quickly vanishes and she is thrown into deep despair. As she is drawn into her private chambers by loyal subjects, we are taken on a journey through the final years of Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley's erratic and passionate re...more
i have recently loved reading novels about tudor england. i liked this book, which more deeply shows the queen and her love's relationship, but i have 2 confessions.

1. i think i like the Elizabeth that Phillipa Gregory depicted a bit better. i don't see her as wishy washy as she was showed.

2. to contradict my earlier complaint, we have NO idea what she was really like, and what their relationship consisted of. gregory says they were intimate, westin said they came close, but never came to it....more
This novel assumes the reader knows something about the history of the Tudor period. I think a reader new come to Tudor history would have to do other reading to understand it. That said, I knew enough of the period to enjoy the novel and see the motives behind Elizabeth's behavior toward her beloved Robin. There are flashbacks here to help the reader understand their entire relationship from the time they were children together.The POV switches between Elizabeth and Robert. The author plays on...more
I have not read the Virgin's Daughters perhaps that would have helped ease me into Ms. Westin's writing style. At first the flash back chapters, out of order, were hard to keep track of and distracted from the story. Using the Chapter Guide at the beg. to keep track of the dates and places does help. Refering back to it before I read each new chapter kept things from becoming to confusing. Once I got into the flow of the book I was caught up in the story of a timeless love. The star-crossed love...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lindsey Cook
an enjoyable book, but not engrossing. Gives possible insight into this relationship. I like how this book was more about the relationship with the politics taking a back seat. The structure was also very interesting having it mainly set in three years with some flash backs to their earlier relationship. An enjoyable read.
Stacie Whittaker
I couldnt quite get along with this particular book. Although the writing itself is very good, the narrative jumps around quite a lot and is sometimes rather hard to remember where in the story you actually are at times.

thats my only quibble with this book. in all other aspects it is a good read.
HIs Last Letter was disappointing, mainly because I kept hoping the author would develop the characters more fully, but in the end I never really got to know them in depth. Elizabeth was the most developed character, but I would have enjoyed more information regarding her life, and her other relationships.
It was OK. I tend to dislike books that jump around in the time line, and this one jumped around quite a bit. I found it rather difficult to read and follow because of that, which is why it seemed to take me forever to read it.
Goodness. This book was so "engaging", I forgot I was reading it! O.O
And I am a Tudor fan, non-fiction as well as fiction!
I might give it another chance in a few months...
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Jeane Westin's professional writing career began with a humourous camping disaster article for her local newspaper. National newspaper and magazine articles followed until she moved on to non-fiction books and then to long hardback historical novels. Jeane's second novel, 'Swing Sisters' came out of her youthful love of jazz, the major record collections she carted about the country and from wonde...more
More about Jeane Westin...
The Virgin's Daughters: In the Court of Elizabeth I The Spymaster's Daughter Lady Anne's Dangerous Man (Lady Trilogy, #1) Lady Katherne's Wild Ride (Lady Trilogy, #2) Lady Merry's Dashing Champion (Lady Trilogy, #3)

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