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The Queen's Fool

(The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #12)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  90,894 ratings  ·  3,229 reviews
A young woman caught in the rivalry between Queen Mary and her half sister, Elizabeth, must find her true destiny amid treason, poisonous rivalries, loss of faith, and unrequited love.

It is winter, 1553. Pursued by the Inquisition, Hannah Green, a fourteen-year-old Jewish girl, is forced to flee Spain with her father. But Hannah is no ordinary refugee. Her gift of "Sight,"
Paperback, 504 pages
Published February 4th 2004 by Harper Collins (first published February 4th 2003)
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Kakakakakate all her books can be read independently of the others, they merely complement each other. This one goes pretty well with The Virgins Lover.
Lisa Shardlow I have since found the answer to my own question. On Philippa Gregory's website, in the section specifically about this book, she states: "Whenever pe…moreI have since found the answer to my own question. On Philippa Gregory's website, in the section specifically about this book, she states: "Whenever people tell me their favourite of all my books, this is the one that is most often mentioned. I think people love the character of Hannah, who is invented but inspired by the existence of a real female 'Fool' who served Mary I. If you have a hardback edition you can see the royal picture which is thought to show her in a doorway in the endpapers. It is one of my favourite books and led on to The Virgin's Lover."

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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Queen's Fool (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #12), Philippa Gregory

The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory is a 2004 historical fiction novel. Set between 1548 and 1558, it is part of Philippa Gregory's Tudor series.

Nine-year-old Hannah Green sees Thomas Seymour and Elizabeth flirting when she delivers books for her father. When asked why she seems surprised, she tells him she has seen a scaffold behind him. Seymour is executed within a year.

Hannah and her father run a book shop on Fleet S
Oct 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Philippa Gregory Fans, Historical Fiction Fans, Tudor History Buffs
Recommended to Annie by: Alaine Bucknall, Sheree McLeod
Shelves: favourites
Gregory, the reigning Queen of historical fiction, weaves a tale that is as much an insight into the Tudor court as it is into religious history. The protagonist Hannah, is a secret Jew serving a Catholic Queen and befriending a Protestant Princess. What a catalyst for an electrifying plot!

Being that this story is based in history and immersed in fact, there are twists and turns that you will anticipate. However the addition of a completely fictional heroine adds a layer of intrigue and provide
I was pretty excited about reading my first Philippa Gregory book. I mean, she has like a thousand books and they've been turned into movies and miniseries and who knows what else. She clearly knows her shit where historical research is concerned, particularly the Tudor period.

And yet, I only made it to page THREE before I noped my way out of this book. Here's a summary of those three pages:
- 14 year old girl.
- Grown ass married man sexually pursuing 14 year old girl.
- Seriously. He's encourag
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
Personally, I thought the story would have been better if there was less of actual historical figures and more original characters. At this point, it just feels like fluff and I would have liked for the main character/narrator to have her own adventures, away from the intrigue of the royal court.
Drinking game! Every time Queen (Princess, here) Elizabeth I is referred to as a whore in The Queen's Fool, take a sip of wine. By the time you finish the book, your blood alcohol level will be infinity.


Aside from the misogyny party (everyone's invited!), the problem with this book (as opposed to The Other Boleyn Girl) is that the main character is an outsider with her own story. She's a secret Jew from Spain, whose mother was killed in the Inquisition. So you have this balance between the in
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book tremendously, with the exception of the ending, which felt weak and rushed compared to the rest of the book. Excellent historical fiction. I'm buying all this author's books. ...more
Crystal Starr Light
Hannah Verde "Green" is a young Jewish girl who poses as a boy to apprentice to her father, a bookkeeper. But when Lord Robert Dudley realizes she has "The Sight", she becomes King Edward's Fool. Hannah The Fool gets to experience the King's death, Queen Mary's rise to the throne, and Princess Elizabeth's eternal scheming to get on the throne all from the front seat of the court. But the real question is: Will Hannah ever find Twoo Lurve?

The last Philippa Gregory book I read, The Other Boleyn Gi
Dec 04, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dudleys picked on in school
Recommended to Mariel by: hood on my hair
Philippa Gregory writes royalty fanfic, pretty much. Sometimes she'll throw in a Mary Sue stand-in based on an actual figure from history (such as Mary Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl) and ground her story on some small fact she wanted to do a what-if on. That's okay, but it still feels like putting in your own new character into someone else's story (this time a real one) and adding importance to them that they didn't have. Just like fanfics.
The Queen's Fool hones in on fictional Spaniard Jewis
Bookish Ally
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Did you know that the day, Nov 17th, of Mary Tudor’s death was celebrated (and I DO mean CELEBRATED) as a holiday in England for centuries?

I actually read this book half grudgingly, I can’t remember why now other than that I like to switch historical periods. I was very pleasantly surprised.

I haven’t read many books from the period of “Bloody” Mary Tudor, as it’s not the most popular period to write about and it’s a blot on mankind to read what we did to each other during those years of the Sp
Book number twelve in the Tudor saga, The Queen’s Fool seems to me to be one of Gregory’s weaker efforts, or perhaps I am growing tired of her at last. I love historical fiction that contains MORE of the historical and LESS of the fiction. I have loved Gregory at times because I felt her fictional accounts fit so perfectly into the narrative that we know to be true, into the facts that surround the tale. I cannot say that I felt she did a good job here, though, as I walked away thinking that the ...more
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was the first book I've read (more specifically, listened to) by Philippa Gregory. After seeing the enormous popularity of The Other Boleyn Girl, I had kind of wondered what it was that made this author so appealing.

Before reading this, I already knew that most of Gregory's books were historical fiction told from the perspective of women who lived or might have lived during medieval and early modern times. So, I wasn't surprised to find strong female characters who nonetheless live within
Jen Burke
Jul 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dublin-book-club
I wanted to like this book. It's set during an interesting period of history. It features a Jewish heroine, Hannah, who must hide her faith. The overarching theme is about religious and personal freedom. But the writing is so awful (it reads like a trashy romance novel) I just couldn't like the book. Nor could I like the heroine. Being free isn't equivalent to being unprincipled. And Hannah "loves" everyone she meets; she ends up loyal to no one. Moreover, the characters are all over the place. ...more
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
"And all they will remember of this queen is that she brought the country floods and famine and fire. She will be remember as England's curse when she was to have been our virgin queen, England's saviour."

That quote is exactly what I knew of Queen Mary Tudor, Elizabeth I's older sister and predecessor. The Queen's Fool is a factual and fictional retelling of Mary's evolution from the miserable child who saw her mother divorced and put aside by Henry VIII, to the woman who would become queen
Sophia Musgrave
Jul 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Sonja Arlow
May 12, 2016 rated it liked it
I have been SO lazy writing this review, putting it off for days after finishing the audio version. This normally only happens when I am slightly underwhelmed by my reading experience.

As always, the audio narrator Bianca Amato gave a stellar performance and I enjoyed the fact that the book was written from the viewpoint of a non-royal, especially one that has an uncontrollable power of prophecy. I also really enjoyed learning about the lives of Jews during this time of persecution and the danger
This is a fast-paced, lively read about an independent, young woman who finds herself at a crossroad in her life and begins a voyage of self-discovery that will change her life. The story takes place in sixteenth-century England, amidst all the political rivalry and religious turmoil of the time. The author weaves a pleasing tapestry of historical events and personages together with the intrigues in the Tudor court of the Queen who would become known as Bloody Mary.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-2019
Highlight!!! - 😍😍😍
Feb 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction
An engaging heroine--if somewhat too contemporary in her attitudes for the 16th Century, IMO--narrates this unusual perspective on Tudor England which I enjoyed very much. Not an instant favorite, but definitely a diverting read that I don't regret spending time on. I'll have to read a few more titles by the author before I can say whether or not she's earned her title as queen of Elizabethan fiction.

One thing I found especially intriguing was her unusually sympathetic portrayal of Mary Tudor. M
Janet Wertman
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
A bit of a mixed bag here. I liked her characterization of Mary - mostly. I didn't really like Hannah - again, mostly. The story had a fantastic concept - a woman with the "sight" who would then be in a perfect position to be present with Edward, Mary and Elizabeth but ALSO show us life as an outsider. It also had moments where the writing "sang" (when Philippa Gregory is "on", she's really "on"). But it didn't fully deliver on the promise because the characters were inconsistent in their streng ...more
Jul 26, 2007 rated it did not like it
The Queen's Fool was stupid. Historically inaccurate and completely out of touch with the tone of the era. Some books - Michael Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White comes to mind, or Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell - can walk and talk like historical fiction, and still prove irresistably interesting to contemporary audiences. (Postmodernist historical fiction?) This one, however, fails miserably. I thought I was going to like it. I really, really didn't.
Aug 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
tw for gendered language/slurs just in case!

the way i HATE this book.

picture little teenage me, so excited to get into adult historical fiction after reading every children's/YA female-focused historical fiction series (dear canada, the royal diaries, those tudor books incl. mary, bloody mary) that i could get my hands on. hearing all about the other boleyn girl, seeing philippa gregory's name, and finding out that she wrote a book about elizabeth i. desperately trying to get my hands on it, th
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of a young girl, Hannah Green, from a Jewish family that hides their identity to escape persecution while secretly holding on to their faith and nationhood.
Hannah and her father have come from Spain, where Hannah's mother was burned as one of the thousands of innocent victims of the Spanish Inquisition.
Hannah has the gift of a seer. She is dressed as a boy in order to protect her, and soon comes to the attention of Lord Robert Dudley, who recruits her to the court of Queen Mary
Feb 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, own, 2020
Every time I pick up a Gregory novel, I want more. I love her Tudor series so much I went out and bought almost every Tudor book I could find (at Border's going-out-of-business sale). My obsession began when my best friend said, hey, you know that movie The Other Boleyn Girl, I just read the book and I know you are going to think I'm crazy because it's so smutty, but I loved it... you should try it too. Of course, I was hesitant at first, but she's my best friend, if I can't trust her reading re ...more
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gregory truly captured an "underdog" in her novel depicting Hannah, the Queen's fool in the novel by the same title. Hannah, a Jewish exile is brought to court and although she is a "Fool", she becomes so much more. Strong, intelligent, and ambitious; Gregory shows that even "lesser" court members were at the top of their game.

The novel is very vivid to say the least (do you expect any less from Gregory?) and is an entertaining and easy read. How historically accurate is it, you ask? Well, let'
Shirley Revill
I have never been disappointed with a Phillipa Gregory book as yet and this book was no exception.
Highly recommended.
Eleanor (bookishcourtier)
Philippa Gregory is one of my favourite authors, and her books will always be really important to me. They are the books that inspired my great love of Tudor history, and influenced me in so many ways. I will always admire her writing ability and the nostalgia I feel every time I read one of her books, whether it is a new read or not. However, this is one of her older books, and I know that I tend to prefer her latest works, so I wasn't sure how I would feel about this one. In all honesty, I a ...more
Trish at Between My Lines
2.5 stars

So far my least favourite book in this series.

I think because we get the view of someone outside of the Royal Family circle. Harrah is the Queen's Fool. Most of the time I liked her, and admired her independence. But at the same time, it grinded my gears that she was on everyone's side. Can you say people pleaser. Whoever she was with, that's whose side she was on.

And she wasn't doing it to be cunning, she was just very empathic. But it irked me.

That said it was interesting to see Mary'
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it
This novel was compelling to read, as all of Philippa Gregory’s novels have been for me, and I rate this at 3.5 stars.

Our narrator for this book is not one of the English royals as usual but an immigrant fleeing from the burning death of the Inquisition in Spain. Our Jewish heroine is tasked with telling us the tale of Robert Dudley and King Edward and then Queen Mary and Princess Elizabeth, heirs of the Tudor dynasty.

My inability to fully engage with this device was perhaps the youth of Hannah,
Ashley Marsh
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, 2016
I'm so, so conflicted with this one. Anyone who knows me knows I CAN'T refuse Philippa Gregory. I go into each of her books with the solid KNOWLEDGE, not expectation, that I'm going to enjoy it. I have so many thoughts about this one. This is probably going to read more as a rant than as an actual review, but I'm still trying to sort out my thoughts.

Unlike the rest of the series, this is told from the point of view, not just of an outsider, but of an entirely fictitious character. Hannah's narr
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect page count 4 10 Jan 14, 2021 04:37PM  
philippa gregory 2 3 May 21, 2020 10:12PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory 1 24 May 02, 2015 06:32AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 16, 2015 03:36AM  
Loved The History 4 46 Oct 24, 2012 08:22AM  
Bible in Spanish 11 62 Dec 02, 2011 07:19AM  

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Philippa Gregory is one of the world’s foremost historical novelists. She wrote her first ever novel, Wideacre, when she was completing her PhD in eighteenth-century literature and it sold worldwide, heralding a new era for historical fiction.

Her flair for blending history and imagination developed into a signature style and Philippa went on to write many bestselling novels, including The Other Bo

Other books in the series

The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Lady of the Rivers (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #1; Cousins War #3)
  • The White Queen
  • The Red Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #3; Cousins War #2)
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousins' War #4)
  • The White Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #5; Cousins War #5)
  • The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #6)
  • The King's Curse (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #7; Cousins War #6)
  • Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #8)
  • The Other Boleyn Girl (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #9)
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #10)

Articles featuring this book

Philippa Gregory is best known for reimagining the lives of famous royal women in bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn...
70 likes · 33 comments
“I have seen sights and travelled in countries you cannot imagine. I have been afraid and I have been in danger, and I have never for one moment thought that I would throw myself at at a man for his help.” 54 likes
“Because all books are forbidden when a country turns to terror. The scaffolds on the corners, the list of things you may not read. These things always go together.” 18 likes
More quotes…