Emily Ann Meyer's Reviews > The Other Queen

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
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's review
Dec 03, 2008

did not like it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, 2008
Recommended for: no one
Read in December, 2008

** spoiler alert ** I have enjoyed Philippa Gregory's books in the past, but this book had such a fundamental and fatal flaw that in spite of otherwise tight storytelling, she's lost a reader in me. This flaw comes in the way she chose to portray Mary Stuart. Now, I get that Mary was a creature of contradictions - as any monarch in that time period, especially one raised in the French court would have to be. Especially when your mother-in-law is Catherine d'Medici and your mother is Marie d'Guise. However, when Philippa Gregory chose to extend those contradictions into her relationship with Bothwell to the point of sexual roleplaying vis-a-vis rape? She lost me. I don't care if the historical record is contradictory regarding the nature of the relationship, this "No," I say as his weight comes down on me. It is what I always say to him. It is the word which means desire to me, to us. It is the word which means yes: "No." is inexcusable. The End. Period.

Sure, the story of Bess and George was fascinating. Yeah, I appreciated learning more about her time in captivity. But NO MEANS NO. And to romanticize it into the story of a contradictory queen undoes so very much.

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