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Virgin Widow: England's Forgotten Queen

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,458 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
This title is about England's forgotten Queen. England, 1469. A daughter of Warwick the Kingmaker, Anne Neville cannot dictate her own future. Her marriage will be political, made purely to advance her family's interests. But at the age of fourteen, her father's treason forces her into exile, and into an uneasy betrothal with Edward of Lancaster. Edward is changeable and c ...more
Paperback, 601 pages
Published May 21st 2010 by Mira Books (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 21, 2012 Julia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ellen Ekstrom
Aug 24, 2012 Ellen Ekstrom rated it really liked it
Anne Neville is on my list of favorite queens - I prefer the outrageous and the neglected ones, hence Eleanor of Aquitaine and Anne Neville being way up there on the notepad. Anne O'Brien's story of the early life of Anne Neville (or Nevill), youngest daughter of celebrated earl Richard Neville of Warwick, aka "The Kingmaker," was refreshing, different and followed the historical timeline with artistic license. The histories are silent regarding Richard the Third's queen save that she was a poli ...more
Mar 02, 2011 Kathleen rated it it was ok
I guess we should thank Phillpa Gregory for a revival in historical romance; if only the hangers on had her talent! I have read a slew of do-I -want- to- be-a bodice ripper-or-do-I-want-to-pretend-I-have-historical-value-novels.This one probably falls in the middle of the pack as far as readability and historical accuracy goes. I think the authors of this genre should pay attention to how the authors of historical mysteries (like Margaret Frazier and Paul Doherty) weave their fact and fiction.
Girls Gone Reading
As a fan of historical fiction, I was excited to read The Virgin Widow. I was even more excited to find out that it was a fast, fun read that was interesting throughout.

O’Brien lists Anne Neville as the “forgotten queen”, and although she might be forgotten she shouldn’t be.Traded back and forth like the perfect commodity, Anne was two times a queen. Posed on both sides of the War of the Roses, Anne was never able to choose a husband for herself. Instead, Anne made the only choice available to h
Miranda Lynn
DNF after 80 pages

Ugh. UGH.

So boring. I just couldn't make myself continue.

I got sucked in at the bookstore by the intriguing and so cliché title, but it just wasn't a very good book. After 80 pages, pretty much NOTHING had happened, and there wasn't even any good characterization or a tantalizing romance to keep me interested.

Oh well!
Teresa Gibson
Feb 07, 2011 Teresa Gibson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Richard III was SEXY!!! I completely enjoyed this fresh look at a much maligned person from history, no thanks to William Shakespeare. Anne O'Brien is a historian who thoroughly knows this time period (War of the Roses). As an American, I was somewhat unfamiliar with the history of the Houses of York and Lancaster and their struggles over the throne of England. But O'Brien's storytelling (although I realize that most scenes and all dialogue were fictionalized) help to breathe life into the histo ...more
Maria Grazia
Aug 19, 2012 Maria Grazia rated it it was amazing
As soon as Anne O'Brien talked to me of her first book on Anne Neville, VIRGIN WIDOW, while we were arranging her interview for my blog to present her second historical novel, Queen Defiant, I wished I could read it. After Sharon Key Penman's The Sunne in Splendour, and Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time , I wanted to know more about those events linked to the War of the Roses and to King Richard III's personal story. I was curious to see those known fac ...more
Aug 05, 2010 Mieke rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book; I find Anne Neville and her story fascinating. The book is a nice enough run-through of what little we *do* know about Anne, as well as her part in the Wars of the Roses, and I enjoyed it as a novel, but I didn't walk away loving it. I also found the "closure" a bit unsettling ~ after spending many many pages learning about Anne and coming to care for her, a one sentence "she died in ...." was a bit harsh!

And, also, the title is a bit misleading ~ the book cove
Susan Wang
Sep 05, 2011 Susan Wang rated it liked it
Despite the story being set in historical times, this is first and foremost a romance novel. The story is told through the voice of a very young Anne Neville, so all her idealizations of the various characters, in particular of Richard III, were justified, though rather unbelievable. The romance between Anne and Richard is extremely, well, romantic -- not a blemish of insincerity could be found. While the purity of this love is the one aspect of the book that compelled me to finish the book, I h ...more
Three and a half stars

The Virgin Widow is a historical romance set during the war of the roses concerning Anne Neville, youngest daughter of the king maker, the Earl of Warwick. We are introduced to a young Anne, at the age of 6, and follow her journey through England and France, as well as, her father’s shifting alliances between the houses of York and Lancaster. Although very much a pawn in these royal intrigues, Anne demonstrates courage, strength and fortitude, as her life takes her from pri
Megan Andrews
A stirring romance painted on a historical canvas of palace intrigue, ambition, deceit, and betrayal. Prepare to discover one of the world’s oft-overlooked heroines, who lived during England’s notorious Wars of the Roses. Daughter of The Kingmaker and beloved of the future King Richard III, Anne Neville’s voice will leave a powerful impact long after you turn the last page.

Anne O’Brien’s debut novel is nothing short of an impressive start to what could very possibly evolve into an illustrious wr
Very little information comes to us about Anne Neville, queen to Richard III. Anne O'Brien has written an entirely fictitious account based on what little is known of her. Richard and Anne Neville fall in love in their youth but politics, war and ambition for power separate them. Her father wants power over the crown. Edward IV would reign on his own. Henry VI, imprisoned and insane has a bitter wife and egoistic son who also want the crown. Caught between all this intrigue, Anne becomes mainly ...more
Aug 06, 2011 Karen rated it liked it
This is an unashamedly romantic view of the life of Anne Neville, daughter of Warwick the Kingmaker. With the novel's focus being from Anne's childhood to her marriage with Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the writer leaves us with a happy ending, but brief notes at the end explain that Anne died aged 28/29, her only child predeceasing her, and of course, many readers would alreay know what became of her husband. The author's chosen timeline means that we never actually see Anne Neville become queen ...more
This book looked specifically at the relationship between Anne Neville and Richard, brother of King Edward. They were betrothed to each other as children, then the betrothal was broken and Anne was forced to marry Edward the Lancastrian prince. Edward was a cruel boy with a sickening relationship with his mother. Anne is left feeling lonely and unwanted in their marriage. When Anne and Richard are finally reunited, things are not as they were when the two left each other.

O'Brien's writing is ver
Jan 25, 2012 Starry rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic-fiction
This book had such a promising beginning that I was shocked by the difference in the quality of the writing once the characters arrived in France and in company of Margaret of Anjou and Edward of Lancaster. I don't deny the writer the right to depict these characters as abusive and volatile, but it is unfortunate that it could not be done in a more sophisticated way instead of in a histrionic and tawdry manner like an over sensationalised television soap opera. This is the kind of writing that u ...more
Sep 05, 2010 Julie rated it liked it
I enjoyed this tale of Anne Neville, as it was a historical figure that hasn't been done to death, like many of the tudors. Therefore it was nice to learn some of the historical facts of the time.

The thought of being married off at 14 seems so foreign to us, and the lack of control of their lives that these women experienced is scary. To be at the whim of your father, brothers, husbands, sons and in some case kings was the way the world worked.

Oct 11, 2015 Elisabeth rated it liked it

This historical romance is based on the story of Anne Neville, youngest daughter of 'the kingmaker' the Earl of Warwick and how she came to marry the man who was became Richard lll even though her father instigates a treacherous plan to depose Edward lV and put Henry Vl back on the throne.
This action forces the Neville family into exile which will have far reaching consequences for all of them.
Having read previously about Anne Neville in various book - this was a romantic take on the story fro
Thea Wilson
Jan 28, 2014 Thea Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading a couple of Anne O'Brien's other works when the opportunity arose to get this one I jumped at it as I have thoroughly enjoyed her work before and this book is no exception, it's totally enjoyable!

In recent years there have been a few books about Anne Neville and her part in the War Of The Roses, most notable probably Philippa Gregory's The Kingmaker's Daughter, which I read and enjoyed too. I must admit that I actually prefer this version of the tale.

The book takes place in the per
Feb 07, 2011 Kelly marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I want to read this, but all the books I read about Richard III invariably fall short of Sharon Kay Penman's Sunne in Splendour. THAT is the definitive portrait of RIII.
More romance than historical. Full review here,
May 16, 2014 Jaclyn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Teenage girls
This is a historical romance. The first half of the book was pretty good, as it develops the main characters, Anne's family, the background of the Wars of the Roses. The rest was not as interesting. I felt it was overly dramatic, really drawn out. On one hand Anne has grown up in the midst of politics and has some exposure to 'the game', but on the other she is totally clueless, always surprised/shocked by the outcome. Perhaps that is to show her innocence and youth, but it makes her rather bori ...more
May 25, 2014 Athornton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably really a 3 1/2 star book. It was nice to get the story of Anne Neville, not a character who is normally featured in history since she was not a king or queen for a long period of time. I liked the continuation of the story from childhood to adulthood and how the love story evolved, but felt the book was a little wordy at some points. Certainly does not portray a good portrait of Edward of Lancaster, nor his relationship with his mother which according to this book, was questionable. I d ...more
Hevel Cava
May 04, 2013 Hevel Cava rated it it was amazing
Excellent, primordial, engaging...!
“Virgin Widow” is the story of Anne Neville, Richard III's wife, even though the book ends before she becomes queen. This is a shame, but I can see why O'Brien decided not to go there: the book is mostly about the love story between Anne and Richard, and their last years were not very idyllic.

It is clear from the beginning that this is more a historical romance than a historical novel. The book is fluffy, there is no denying it. However, there are several interesting things happening which do no
This is the story of Anne Neville, from the time Richard first entered her world when she was a young girl and he came to live and train under the tutelage of her father, through their betrothal and its eventual negation, through her exile from England and enforced marriage to a one-time enemy, to her return to England and battle for significance and even survival. It is an unlikely love story, but then those are often the best and most poignant. Perhaps because so little fact is known about thi ...more
Dec 03, 2010 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, romance
"The Virgin Widow" is a historical romance set in England and France during the War of the Roses. Though not a typical romance, the story started with the budding romance in 1462 and ended with it's seemingly impossible fulfillment in 1472. It did cover her child's birth in 1473, but that's where it stopped. It didn't cover Anne becoming queen.

Considering how young Anne Neville was (ages 6 to 16 years old during the story) and how little control she had over her future, I felt the author did a g
Jan 17, 2011 Aly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: one-time-read
This book takes time to really get into. It was nice to have the details of the childhood history between Anne Neville and Richard of Gloucester, but it felt slow in the telling. I simply had to get into the mindset that this information would somehow be referenced to toward the end. Once I was roughly 45% of the way through the story started to pick up.

I LOVED the portrayal of Anne Neville, she is compassionate, smart, feisty, and does not let people push her around. She is the extreme contras
Stephanie Tracy
Mar 04, 2013 Stephanie Tracy rated it it was amazing
I literally could not put this book down. I won it in a historical blog Christmas giveaway and I am SO glad that I did! I knew absolutely nothing about Anne Neville or Richard III (other than all the hype surrounding him right now because of his remains recently being found and identified), so I was excited to read about them and delve into a period of history that I was unfamiliar with. While I usually stick to Tudor-era novels, this was foreign territory for me, but it absolutely opened up a n ...more
Rosanne Lortz
Jun 20, 2011 Rosanne Lortz rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 21, 2010 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Virgin Widow tells the typically unknown story of Anne Neville, one of the many cousins of the famous Plantagenet family, a British royal house whose descendants caused the famous Cousins' War -commonly known as the War of the Roses.

When readers first meet young Anne, she is fleeing with her family to France after her father, the Earl of Warwick, has been branded a traitor by King Edward of York, even though Anne's sister Isabel is married to Edward's older brother. As they near shore, Anne
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 20, 2015 09:13AM  
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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.

My home is in the Welsh Marches, although much of my early life was spent in Yorkshire, most recently in the East Riding.Ann O'Brien The Marches is a remote region of England, surrounded by echoes from the past. Hereford is close with its famous Mappa Mundi and chained libr
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