Sophia Musgrave's Reviews > The Queen's Fool

The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory
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Jul 25, 10

Read in July, 2010

SO I see some other reviews of this are whining that it is not historically accurate, and all I can say is so what? it is a piece of fiction, although it may be historically based at points, seriously if you want a real history book go read a text book!!! I think this was great book, the story about Hannah Green being claimed as a fool by the court is engaging, at times very troubling and at times very touching. Based upon the reign of Bloody Mary we get to explore several what ifs-- what if one of England's most ill thought of Monarchs was just human? What if she too had normal everyday concerns and issues? What if her reign was deeply affected by these issues? It delves into a world of the author's creation that questions our assumptions about a little known Monarch. I have to admit that the story is a bit hard to get into, and it does seem to go on forever at times, but if you stick with it and open you narrow mind up just a hair, you may be pleasantly surprised! Told from the perspective of a servant girl with a special sight, we get to see the unfolding of Queen Mary's rule from the perspective that not many people would have bothered with, yet it proves to be a fascinating way to present a heart wrenching time in England's history. Because who really was affected by all the bloody deaths? It was more the people, the peasants and servants and those who had very limited power.

Although there is a lot of political intrigue (which I did not really like just because that is not my interest), I really did like play on Hannah being a Jewess in hiding and continually pitted against circumstances of intense religious persecutions. She lived so long in hiding that she became a boy as a child and young woman to the point that when she could feel somewhat safe coming out of being a woman that she had to continue to pretend ignorance to a certain extent that she almost had no idea who she was any longer. It is a beautiful coming of age story that mirrors the turbulent times. I also really liked the comparison of the not so innocent Elizabeth who would become queen. They both grew up in the same time period but that was about where the similarities ended. Suffice it to say, this novel delves into the what ifs and shows the world different perspectives of a very scary time in England's history. But don't go getting ticked off or disappointed if it is not what you expected, because until you read it, you don't really know!!!
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