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Watch the Lady

(The Tudor Trilogy #3)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  836 ratings  ·  149 reviews


Penelope Devereux is a legendary beauty in the court of Elizabeth I, with a smile that would light up the shadows of hell. But it's not just her looks which have won her favour with the Queen wing; her canny instinct for being in the right place at the right time,
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published June 18th 2015 by Penguin (first published June 9th 2015)
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Nicole No. While each of the three books take place in Tudor England, they all involve different characters and different historical events.

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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  836 ratings  ·  149 reviews

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B the BookAddict
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Historical Faction buffs
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Marita
The famed beauty Penelope Devereux, reported to be the muse of poet Robert Sidney, was born in 1563. She’s the great grand-daughter of Mary Boleyn by Henry VIII and her mother is Lettice Knollys who vexed Elizabeth I by marrying her favourite Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester after Penelope’s father dies. Her beloved brother is Robert, second Earl of Essex and she will support him in all his political endeavours, even the final one: (view spoiler) ...more
``Laurie Henderson
Once again Elizabeth Fremantle fails to impress.

Penelope Devereux, the sister to Robert, led a very exciting life during the Renaissance reign of Elizabeth I and I've tried to read every book I could find about her.

With such riches from which to mine when writing this book, Fremantle's characters never come alive and the book is never exciting.

For new readers just discovering this subject I imagine it would be a very exciting read.
BAM Endlessly Booked
For many of us history buffs, the story of the Earl of Essex is well known, but not so much the story of his older sister , Penelope. The author of this book expressed her desire to adhere to historical fact whenever possible, but she often had to resort to conjecture because so much is not known. Having said that, I finished this book having developed great respect for the courage for this great lady of the Elizabethan age. She had guts for sure. She lived life by her rules.
I also realized I h
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was another great read by Elizabeth Freemantle. This time she delves into the later years of the reign of Elizabeth I by telling the story of Penelope Devereux, lady in waiting to Elizabeth and sister of Elizabeth's favorite of the time; the second Earl of Essex, Robert Devereux.
What I loved most about this novel was how the author was able to create the atmosphere of backbiting and jealously in Elizabeth's court. The rivalry between Robert Devereux and Robert Cecil (son of William Cecil, L
"Watch the lady; watch and wait" Lord Cecil admonishes his overeager son. "Water hollows a stone, not by force but by falling often."

The lady in question is Penelope Devereux, a descendant of Mary Boleyn and therefore related to Queen Elizabeth I. She is also the object of Robert Cecil's wrath, convinced that she and her brother Essex are traitors to the Queen. The wheel of political power is forever turning and churning, with Cecil at the top, then the Devereux back again, in a court intrigue t
I've given this an A-/B for narration and a B+ for content at AudioGals.

Watch the Lady is a fascinating piece of historical fiction based on the life of Lady Penelope Rich, the sister of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. Penelope is widely believed to have been the inspiration for Sir Philip Sydney’s famous sonnet sequence, Astrophel and Stella; and her life was an unconventional one, to say the very least. She was beautiful, possessed of a fine mind, took a keen interest in politics and, for a wo
Shirley Revill
I enjoyed reading this book it was really interesting. Recommended.
Shirley Revill
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed. Recommended.
I liked that this was about completely different members of the Tudor Mess.
Still this dragged in places and was too romantic for me.
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book! A fascinating look at the last 15 years or so of Elizabeth I's reign, a time that rarely receives attention, focusing on charismatic siblings and Elizabeth's favourites Penelope Devereux and the Earl of Essex.

Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Penelope Devereux, daughter of Lettice Knollys, the woman Queen Elizabeth I called the “She-Wolf” for marrying the royal favorite, is pitted against the Essex faction’s rival, Robert Cecil, in this panoramic Tudor narrative. Penelope, beautiful, level-headed and witty, makes a perfect waiting lady and voice for the out-of-favor Devereux family, though it is her brother who catches the Queen’s attention.

Robert Cecil, son of the Queen’s most trusted advisor, Lord Burghley, has loathed Robert Dever
Blodeuedd Finland
It was hard, but I refrained from googling to I could see how it all turned out! Oh, but it was so hard! My fingers were itching to see how it all would play out, but I stayed my course, and finished the book, and then googled! A good historical fiction novel always makes me google everything, and everyone.

Penelope Deveraux, the name does not tell me anything. Her brother, Earl Essex tells me more. But then the author does mention how history likes to erase those women who did more than they sho
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Terelyn Marks
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's good to read something about the OTHER people in the courts -- Penelope Devereaux, Elizabeth's cousin, lived a fascinating life and one you don't hear much about. She was actually quite influential and close to the queen. ...more
Jules (Never enough time to read)

Elizabeth Fremantle is fast becoming my favourite historical author.

Morgan Dhu
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
The final book in Elizabeth Fremantle’s Tudor trilogy, Watch the Lady, features a woman who was both prominent and notorious in her own time, but mostly forgotten today - Penelope Devereux. Most of those familiar with Elizabethan England will be well aware of her younger brother, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, favourite of the aging Queen Elizabeth and, ultimately, traitor. Penelope, however, was in her own way just as dashing, just as brilliant, and just as dangerous.

The Devereux siblings wer
Michelle Ryles
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
I think it's safe to say that Elizabeth I would not have liked this book as she is not the star of the show, instead it is someone I had never heard of: Penelope Devereaux. I had, however, heard of her famous brother: the queen's favourite, Essex. I do love to read both fiction and non-fiction set in the Tudor period and it does seem to be a popular topic with lots of authors, but what makes this stand out from the crowd is the main character, Penelope.

Penelope is the queen's goddaughter and als
Laura Tenfingers
A very interesting and engaging story of the later part of Elizabeth I's reign. I've read more about her earlier days with Robert Dudley and William Cecil but this story is focused around Elizabeth's later favourite, Robert Devereux, his sister Penelope Devereux and Robert Cecil. Palace intrigue, vying for power and plenty of treason.

The story is told alternating Penelope's and Cecil's points of view. Both characters are very well developed and fun to follow, but Cecil was definitely my favouri
Helena Wildsmith
I absolutely loved this book! It was truly fascinating reading about Penelope Devereux and learning more about that period of history. I would definitely love to read more books by Elizabeth Fremantle.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read all the books in the series and loved them all. I love how the characters are written, especially the women, and how the story progresses. There was no point where I was bored and I just wanted to read more. I will definitely read more from this author.
Marie Z. Johansen
I have been a fan of Elizabeth Freemantle's and this, her latest, is surely one of the best.

The Devereux and Knollys families were key peers during the Elizabethan period. Penelope was the daughter of the Queen's nemesis, Lettice Knollys, and the sister of the Queen's young favorite, the Earl of Essex. Penelope appears to have been the brains of the Devereux clan, while the Earl was the charmer of the family who gained great notice by being doted on by the Queen.

As a fan of non-fiction, I was pl
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is set in the time of Queen Elizabeth I and focuses on the people in her innermost circle who are constantly vying for position and at the same time they are all trying to feather their own nests and predict the replacement in anticipation of needing a new monarch.

Penelope Devereux, a beauty who can also sing wonderfully, and her family i.e. her mother Lettice who has been banished from court for life. Her sister Dorothy – also banished from court for marrying without permission. Her
Manda Scott
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ever since Queen's Gambit took the world of historical fiction by storm 3 years ago, Liz Fremantle's books have been the ones to watch in the world of Tudor fiction. The combination of depth, intelligence and real historical imagination that she brings to bear on the lesser-known (but immensely powerful) women of the Tudor era is unmatched in contemporary writing and gets better with each book. Not that either of the previous ones were sub par - far from it, they were exceptional - but, as with ...more
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
V.E. Lynne
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
The last years of Elizabeth I's reign were perilous times for many courtiers but particularly so for the Devereux family: Robert, the charismatic and unpredictable Earl of Essex and his sister Penelope, beautiful, spirited, married to a man who doesn't desire her as well as becoming the muse of renowned poet/soldier Philip Sidney. Penelope's role as 'Stella' to Sidney's 'Astrophil' takes up part of this book, and was a deep but unconsummated love, however for the most part 'Watch the Lady' is ta ...more
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Stella star of heavenly fire,
Stella lodestar of desire.

Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophil and Stella

Penelope Devereux is a beauty that inspires exquisite poetry. But that is not all she is; fascinating, intelligent, prudent, unafraid of flirting with danger... had she been a man, she would have surely been a renowned figure in English history. Goddaughter of Queen Elizabeth I, sister of the Earl of Essex, she loves Philip Sidney but her heart is to be broken when she is forced to marry another.

Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have been fortunate to be asked to review this authors other historical novels, so when I was asked by to review Watch the Lady I was pleased and intrigued.
I was familiar with the character Penelope Devereux in that was an English noblewoman and was the sister of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. She married Robert Rich, 3rd Baron Rich(later 1st Earl of Warwick) and had a liaison with Charles Blount, Baron Mountjoy, (later first Earl of Devonshire), whom she married in an u
Karen Mace
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Received this via the GoodReads Giveaway competition before release so thankyou to the publishers.

This story follows Penelope Devereux and her trials and tribulations through her time in court with Queen Elizabeth. Her brother is The Earl of Essex so a huge favourite of the Queen which leads to others trying to find fault and cause more rifts.

Fascinating studies of the lesser known characters of the time and it's full of wonderful detail and history that really captures the essence of life in Tu
Deanne Wildsmith
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was very happy to have received this book from Goodreads Giveaway as Elizabeth Fremantle is an author I have wanted to try for some time. Whilst I have read books about Elizabeth 1 and various other characters from that era, I did not know anything about Penelope Deveraux, Lord Essex's sister.
Whilst I knew Essex's fate, I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened to Penelope. I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to people who like historical fiction.

I will definitely read
I know that I did not read the previous books in the series. But I still liked this one. It was nicely written and despite the fact that Historical Fiction is not really my cup of tea, I was able to appreciate the story here, the pacing and character development was pleasant. I will be honest with you, I will not be checking out the other books in the series, but this one I did enjoy.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 4 Mar 21, 2015 03:04PM  

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Elizabeth Fremantle is the critically acclaimed author of Tudor and Elizabethan set novels: Queen's Gambit, Sisters of Treason, Watch the Lady and Times Books of the Year: The Girl in the Glass Tower and The Poison Bed, a historical thriller written under the name EC Fremantle described as 'a Jacobean Gone Girl.'

Her latest novel is The Honey and the Sting, published August 6th 2020 as EC Fremantle

Other books in the series

The Tudor Trilogy (3 books)
  • Queen's Gambit (The Tudor Trilogy, #1)
  • Sisters of Treason (The Tudor Trilogy, #2)

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