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

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  578 Ratings  ·  42 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 insis
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Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by NAL
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Community Reviews

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MAP
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
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Hannah
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 :(

Ma
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Kristen Elise
Jul 16, 2013 Kristen Elise rated it really liked it
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.
Kylie
Dec 16, 2011 Kylie rated it really liked it
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
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Michelle
Aug 03, 2010 Michelle rated it it was ok
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
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Barb
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
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Crystal
Aug 21, 2011 Crystal rated it liked it
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 ...
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Lori Twichell
Oct 22, 2013 Lori Twichell rated it really liked it
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
Oct 31, 2011 Stephanie Tracy rated it it was amazing
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
Peg
Aug 30, 2010 Peg rated it really liked it
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
Dallas
Aug 19, 2013 Dallas rated it it was amazing
"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
Feb 16, 2014 Linda Shook rated it it was amazing
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.
Mitzi
Dec 19, 2013 Mitzi rated it really liked it
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
Nov 20, 2010 Christy English rated it really liked it
I do love Elizabeth...and Robert loved her, so I love him too...
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Jul 07, 2014 Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* marked it as helpful-review-pass-on-this-one
Review by Map(thank-you).....pass!
 Sammie
Jul 14, 2015 Sammie rated it liked it
i made it to page 155 before i saw how bad this book was going to be.

first off i love the tudor family history and everything about it, i have followed them for over eight years intrigued by King Henry and his six wives, the most spell binding being the death and life of his second wife Ann. and their daughter Elizabeth.

I know Elizabeth's and Roberts relationship left a big gap in history giving people the freedom to write what they believed happened but i didint agree with this book. i dont b
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Amy Bruno
Aug 29, 2010 Amy Bruno rated it really liked it
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
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Kylie Cheung
May 31, 2013 Kylie Cheung rated it really liked it
Shelves: tudors, elizabeth
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
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Amanda
Dec 29, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it
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
MayaBea
Jul 18, 2013 MayaBea rated it did not like it
Shelves: 50in2013
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
Aug 30, 2013 Tudor Book Blog rated it really liked it
A The Tudor Book Blog Review(http://www.thetudorbookblog.com).

Summary:

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
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Svea
Dec 16, 2010 Svea rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, tudor, elizabeth-i
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
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Carlie
Jan 07, 2011 Carlie rated it liked it
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.
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Gaile
May 17, 2011 Gaile rated it really liked it
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
Cindy
May 02, 2015 Cindy rated it it was amazing
The queen made me crazy, I have no idea how he put up with her.
Jennifer
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
Tarotemp
Sep 13, 2010 Tarotemp rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nancy Xyooj
Oct 14, 2014 Nancy Xyooj rated it it was amazing
The cutest and loveliest book I've read with Elizabeth and Robin. You'll fall in love instantly and wished this really happened (but what if it did???). Definitely one I would re-read over and over in the future! Just can't get over the emotions you feel for both characters. You're so frustrated with Robin, but he has his rights too! and then Elizabeth is so difficult, but can we truly understand her fears? So much pulling back and forth, but they always come back to each other.
Noel
Aug 16, 2015 Noel rated it did not like it
This was awful. It seems as though the author wrote the book in chronological order, giving each chapter a date, but then her publisher told her to move back and forth from 1535 to 1585. But that really was only mildly annoying. There are so many really quality books on Elizabeth, that this seemed a waste of time.

'Nuff said.
Liz Wharton
Sep 04, 2015 Liz Wharton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-owned
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 12, 2015 12:14PM  
  • All the Queen's Players
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • No Will But His: A Novel of Kathryn Howard
  • The Queen's Handmaiden
  • At the King's Pleasure  (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #4 )
  • The Queen's Pleasure
  • Three Maids for a Crown
  • Rival to the Queen
  • The Countess and the King: A Novel of the Countess of Dorchester and King James II
  • Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • At the Mercy of the Queen
  • Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)
  • Secrets of the Tudor Court
  • Pale Rose of England
  • The Sixth Wife
  • Gay Lord Robert (Tudor Saga, #11)
  • Mistress of Mourning
  • Jane Seymour: Henry VIII's True Love
194471
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
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“The Tudors hated to be wrong, and therefore never were.” 4 likes
“Pain was the only sign to her that she was alive and could feel emotion.” 4 likes
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