Kate's Reviews > The Virgin's Lover

The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory
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Jan 31, 12

Read in January, 2012 — I own a copy

** spoiler alert ** I read this because I've heard a lot about Philippa Gregory and she seems to be the go-to for historical fiction, and also because I love Elizabeth I. Regardless of that History Boys quote; "Queen Elizabeth [...] Less remarkable for her abilities than the fact that, unlike so many of her sisters, she got a chance to exercise them", she was still a kick-ass woman at a time when that was unheard of.

So, this book... This is meant to be the great love story - or at least, to me it is - but I've yet to see any love. Robert Dudley is manipulative and power-hungry, and every woman is taken in by him. We are regaled by his past experiences, told how many women have flushed at his glance, have quivered at his touch before. But he's SO unlikeable. He leaves a wife at home, Amy, who he doesn't contact for what seems like 6 months while he's off seducing the queen. Amy, rather than getting annoyed by this, mopes around the country, ignoring the rumours, and loving him for no reason, even when he does come and visit and basically shuns her.

And Elizabeth? She's been written as weak, gullible and ruled by inexplicable lust. It got to the point where she, Queen Elizabeth I, was incapable of making ANY decision without Robert Dudley to tell her what to do.

After all that it seems mean to grump about the writing. But...! While I realise it's not meant to be great literature, and it is very easy to trawl through... I misquote: 'Robert Dudley rose from his bed like an Adonis'. 'He was an angry, strong, handsome man'.
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Reading Progress

01/31/2012 page 335
76.0%

Comments (showing 1-3)




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message 3: by Charlene (new)

Charlene For good historical fiction, I recommend Restoration by Rose Tremain if you haven't already read it.


message 2: by Charlene (new)

Charlene Ooh, and I think Tracy Chevalier does quite good historical fiction. I've only read Girl with a Pearl Earring, but it was a great book!


message 1: by Kate (new) - rated it 1 star

Kate Charlene wrote: "Ooh, and I think Tracy Chevalier does quite good historical fiction. I've only read Girl with a Pearl Earring, but it was a great book!"

Thanks, I'll bear those in mind. I think I've read Girl with a Pearl Earring already...


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