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The Queen's Fool (The Tudor Court #4)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  58,349 ratings  ·  2,518 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 Touchstone (first published February 4th 2003)
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Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Best Historical Fiction
46th out of 4,688 books — 18,527 voters
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa GregoryThe Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison WeirThe Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa GregoryThe Constant Princess by Philippa GregoryThe Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory
Best Books About Tudor England
5th out of 429 books — 1,179 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 20, 2008 Annie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Philippa Gregory Fans, Historical Fiction Fans, Tudor History Buffs
Recommended to Annie by: Alaine Bucknall, Sheree McLeod
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'm done with Philippa Gregory.

This is the 4th book of hers that I've experienced. I was hoping that, not being constrained by the limits brought by a historical figure, she could create a fuller character than the shallow cardboard cutouts of Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Anne of Cleves, and Katherine of Aragon in her other novels. But no... The character of Hannah Green was by far the most confusing and maddeningly inconsistent character I've read outside of fanfic. This wasn't complexity, bu
Oct 07, 2010 Mariel rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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.
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
Mira, a escriba
Desejava perder-me nos corredores dos castelos, conhecer personalidades fascinantes e cativantes, e, principalmente lançar-me nos meandros da História de uma forma que só Philippa Gregory consegue recriar. Depois de ler 5 livros da autora já sei com o que posso contar e estava ansiosa por ler este - embora soubesse que a personagem principal é fictícia, ao contrário, dos restantes livros.

Oliver e Hannah Verde “Green”, pai e filha naturais de Aragão, Espanha, são honestos e trabalhadores, esforça
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
Feb 22, 2008 Azar rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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
Sophia Musgrave
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
Dec 05, 2011 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own, 2011
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
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'
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.
Brittany B.
3.5 stars.

Judging this as a work of fiction and for its entertainment value, it is better than I expected. On the other hand, Gregory took liberties with her writing that were beyond ethical, in historical fiction.

To keep for me now, and I will write a review soon.
Aug 08, 2014 Iset rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Philippa Gregory fans
Recommended to Iset by: No one

Let's begin by discussing the leading premise of the book - Hannah's Sight. The premise of a character with an uncontrollable power of prophecy is undoubtedly interesting, but it jars with the historical setting, so this would be best viewed as historical fantasy. There is a second issue, and that's the fact that Hannah's Sight basically serves no function or usefulness in the plot. Let's just think about this for a second. Hannah has no control over her episodes, and frequently she can't unders
Written in my hotel room after reading this too late: I should be asleep, but I couldn't put this book down. I stayed up way too late in my hotel room, reading, and now I must go to bed! But I have to say that I loved this book -- definitely more than any of her others that I've read so far, and was totally engrossed. I loved the story, I loved things like the Verde/Green name, I loved Hannah's choices to be honorable, I loved Mary, Daniel, etc., etc.

I know nothing of the Jews during this time i
Gregory has become one of my favorite authors and I look forward to finding her other books. The Queen’s Fool is set in the mid-1500’s and spans the reign of a young king and eventually an older queen. The narrator of the story is a young girl, Hannah, who has spent her life running to protect herself. She is a Jew living in a non-tolerant world, surrounded by death and destruction. But, in the middle of it all, she manages to find love and a few friends, namely Queen Mary, Lord Robert Dudley, a ...more
Jen Burke
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
Susan O'Bryant
I rarely give a book a full 5 stars, but this one truly deserves the highest rating possible. I've never read a piece of historical fiction that brings the characters to life as much as this novel does. I love to learn new things, and this book prompted me to read more about that period in European history.

This was the best historical fiction novel I have ever read. Whenever I pick up a book of any genre of fiction, I'm always hoping that I will find a character (or characters) who will be inter
May 08, 2008 Annalisa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Annalisa by: Melinda
What I did like about this book is that she showed us Queen Mary's court from a Jew hidden in a battle between Catholic and Protestant loyalties where the wrong choice could get you killed. This girl had fear of both sides. It was an interesting choice of voice. What Gregory didn't seem able to give voice to were the fool's wits. And now I see why she never showed us Anne's wit in The Other Boleyn Girl: she herself is void of intelligent humor.

I enjoyed grasping bloody Mary's motives. One thing
Aug 17, 2007 Lee rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lady Historical Fiction Fans
Our protagonist is a young Jewish girl who escapes the Spanish Inquisition by fleeing to England with her father where they pose as non-Jewish bookmakers. She eventually works her way into favor with Henry VIII's eldest daughter, Queen Mary, because she has flashes of clairvoyance [a "fool" at this point in history is a person kept around by royalty for any kind of amusement - not a moron, as the title might suggest...].

She's also of interest to the future Elizabeth I, and her infamous lover, Lo
Patricia Rodrigues
Neste livro acompanhamos a história de Hannah Green, uma jovem judia que fugiu de Espanha juntamente com o seu pai para fugir à inquisição, com um espírito livre, mas prometida a um noivo judeu.
Após conhecer Robert Dudley, Hannah é levada para a corte como bobo, mas para trabalhar como espia, primeiro a Mary e posteriormente a Elizabeth.
Apesar de a personagem principal ser uma personagem fictícia, acompanhamos a história de Mary Tudor, desde a morte do irmão, a tornar-se Rainha, o seu casamento
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Maggie Anton
I used to enjoy Gregory's novels more, but now I've pretty much had it with English royalty in general and the Tudors in particular. While I appreciated her including a Jewish heroine in "The Queen's Fool," her inaccurate description of 16th-century Judaism was a real turn-off. As a Jewish historical novelist whose heroines are also Jewish, I expect other authors to do their research on this delicate subject. Good historical fiction can teach readers a great deal about history, particularly abou ...more
I must admit I read the end quarter faster, perhaps because I'd already read the last chapter [blush].

Anyhoo, the author has created a character that can slip into the history without ruffling the vibrations and yet still add a layer of excitement to the read. She is a marrano, a hidden Spanish Jew who pretends to be Catholic for her health. Nevertheless, her mother is dragged off to the stake which event causes her father to pack up and go to England.

But they still have to pretend, because Kin
Toni Osborne
The story is told from Hannah Green's perspective, a young Jewish girl who flees Spain with her father to escape persecution and lands in England. Hannah is a seer and has visions, a sought after talent during the troubled times for the Tudor court, she first serves King Edward, then his sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, as a holy fool. She is also a vassal to Robert Dudley who she adores. This is a very dangerous time where every action is under scrutiny and many lives are in peril due to laws again ...more
Jun 11, 2013 Cassy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anna Silverburg
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It took me several starts to get into this book-- I used to love this kind of novel when I was a teenager and would sit curled up in the stacks at my school library, reading during study hall. I'd mark my place at the end of each study hall and put the book back on the shelf to resume reading the next school day. (My high school, at the time, only allowed students to check out 1 novel at a time, figuring no one would read more than that at once. They just didn't understand the ways of serial rea ...more
Scarlet Tartlet
The Queen's Fool is now tied with A Constant Princess for my favorite Philippa Gregory book. (Keeping in mind I've not read the new War of the Roses series yet.)

I'd read The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance, and A Constant Princess, in that order, and was thoroughly engrossed in her Tudor series. I wasn't as immediately drawn to The Queen's Fool, from just reading the blurb about it--I believe because the main character is truly fictional and not a facsimile of a historical personage. S
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 04:36PM  
Loved The History 4 40 Oct 23, 2012 10:22PM  
Bible in Spanish 11 59 Dec 01, 2011 08:19PM  
  • The Thistle and the Rose (Tudor Saga, #8)
  • Between Two Queens (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #2)
  • Innocent Traitor
  • The Queen's Rival (In the Court of Henry VIII, #3)
  • The Tudor Throne
  • The King's Daughter (Thornleigh, #2)
  • The Queen's Bastard
Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acc ...more
More about Philippa Gregory...

Other Books in the Series

The Tudor Court (6 books)
  • The Constant Princess (The Tudor Court, #1)
  • The Other Boleyn Girl (The Tudor Court, #2)
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3)
  • The Virgin's Lover (The Tudor Court, #5)
  • The Other Queen (The Tudor Court, #6)
The Other Boleyn Girl (The Tudor Court, #2) The Constant Princess (The Tudor Court, #1) The White Queen (The Cousins' War, #1) The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3) The Virgin's Lover (The Tudor Court, #5)

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“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.” 42 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.” 13 likes
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