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The Other Queen

(The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #15)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  39,178 ratings  ·  2,612 reviews
Two women competing for a man's heart.
Two queens fighting to the death for dominance.
The untold story of Mary, Queen of Scots.

This dazzling novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory presents a new and unique view of one of history's most intriguing, romantic, and maddening heroines. Biographers often neglect the captive years of Mary, Queen o

Kindle Edition, Reprint Edition, 464 pages
Published September 16th 2008 by Touchstone (first published 2008)
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3.65  · 
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 ·  39,178 ratings  ·  2,612 reviews

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Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book took me quite some time to get through. I have read Philippa Gregory's other books, and though they are not always factually correct, and most often read like gossip mags, I have come to enjoy them and expect that of her books. This was so long and drawn out, and not at all enjoyable. It is written from the viewpoint of Mary Queen of Scots and her two jailers, but you are never engaged with any of the three main characters. Gregory simply twists and repeats the same sentiments for each ...more
Erin Clemence
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This review is for the audiobook version of “The Other Queen” by Philippa Gregory, published by Recorded Books, and narrated by Stina Nielsen, Jenny Sterlin and Ron Keith.

Audio: 5 stars The narration for this novel is a full-fledged five stars. The story is told from three viewpoints (Bess, Mary and George) and each character gets its own distinctive and independent voice. I give bonus points when audio books do this, as they can be hard to follow with only one narrator (not to mention th
B the BookAddict
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Historical fiction
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Goodreads
Shelves: hist-fiction
 photo 220px-Mary_Stuart_Queen_zps9caa0637.jpg

The ill-fated Mary Queen of Scots.
The Tudor blood ran in her veins yet she was ousted from Scotland and denied the English crown in the event of Elizabeth's death. Her right to the crown is often debated amongst historians.

 photo 200px-George_Talbot_6th_Earl_of_Shrewsbury_1580_zps87e14ac8.jpg

Her guardian George Talbot 6th Earl of Shrewsbury.
A man torn between serving his own queen Elizabeth 1 and Mary who is thrust into his household.
He was in an unenviable situation; to serve England or to honor what is right and just.

 photo Bess_Talbot_Countess_of_Shrewsbury_from_NPG_zps85674d1f.jpg

His wife Bess Talbot Countess of Shrewsbu
I cannot fathom why every reader must compare every book of Gregory's to The Other Boleyn Girl. I understand that it was the most popular and was made into a film. That doesn't mean every comment should be "This is not like The Other Boleyn Girl" or "This is so much better than The Other Boleyn Girl". Can't an author write other books and in other writing styles?! Furthermore, I will bet a million dollars that 80% of the other readers NEVER read The Other Boleyn Girl and only saw the film which ...more
Jan 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gregory seems to have changed her style some since 'The Other Boleyn Girl'. This is certainly not a frothy bit of 16th century soap opera but quite a serious and well researched bit of historical fiction on life of Mary, Queen of Scots during the first few years of her imprisonment in England.

It also places a great focus on one of my personal heroines of the period, Bess of Hardwick. She is one of the three narrators. The others are Mary and Bess' husband George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, who s
Sep 20, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the latest book in the Tudor series and it is painful to get through. I can pick up The Other Boleyn Girl and read through it in one sitting, but each book in the Tudor series grows more and more tired until we are left with the mess that is The Other Queen. Using three different perspectives worked fine in The Boleyn Inheritance, but in this book they change so often, sometimes lasting only a page and a half, it is hard to grow attached, or even understand the point of view of one singl ...more
Tara Chevrestt
As a Gregory fan, I am very very disappointed. This book has the same style as The Boleyn Inheritance, in which it goes back and forth between narratives of three different people. That, I did not mind. The narratives themselves are awful. You have Bess Hardwich who just goes on and on and on about her properties and her candlesticks stolen from monasteries and her account books. She never talks of much else and she speaks every 2nd chapter. You have her husband George that just rambles on about ...more
Jan 10, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Insomniacs
Recommended to Iset by: No one

I groaned when I realised that Philippa Gregory had returned (why, oh why?!) to the formula she used in "The Boleyn Inheritance" of three different first person narrators. Three reasons why this format doesn't work for Gregory. One, she has a tendency to use this as a crutch so that she can "tell" rather than "show". Two, the voice of the three different narrators is indistinguishable and you only knew who was narrating which chapter because the chapter heading always said so. Three, in an effor
Nov 07, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Le sigh. I swore to never ever read another Gregory book. The sample sounds like I will loathe it. But how on earth am I supposed to resist the glorious combination of Richard Armitage and Alex Kingston? Huh? HOW??? Le sigh...
Brittany B.

This is Philippa Gregory's worst book. If this had been her debut novel, it would never have been published. I've read most of Gregory's books, Ive come to realize that the bad outweigh the good.

And here is her book of shame:

When the book opens, Mary, cousin to Elizabeth, seeks protection and refuge in England. She has been chased from France, following the death of her husband. The Scots hate and rebel ag/ her. She has no one but Queen Elizabeth. Elizabeth promises her safety, but keeps her g
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some great moments and a ton of repetition but still a good book
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
The Other Queen is everything I want in a Philippa Gregory book. Massive amounts of political scheming, told from three viewpoints, and details, details, details. I loved it. Gregory tells the story of when Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in Elizabethan England in the mid-1500s. If you’ve seen the 2018 movie Mary Queen of Scots, like I have, this is a bit more of the story.

The two queens are jockeying for position in their world. One is Catholic and the other Protestant. They may be cousins,
Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I love about Philippa Gregory's novels is that you fall in love with the main character, even if you hated them as a periphery character in a previous book; and you also find yourself hating periphery characters that were main characters in another novel and you feel like your world is all upside-down and you love it all the more for that. In this book I find myself hating Queen Elizabeth once again because of my complete sympathy with the main character of Mary, Queen of Scots. At the same ...more
Shari Larsen
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is based on the true life story of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.

Mary looks to her cousin, Queen Elizabeth of England, for sanctuary after fleeing the violent rebellions in Scotland. Though she is promised protection, Mary is perceived as a serious threat to the English crown, and finds herself imprisoned as a "guest" in the house of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsberry, and his wife, Bess of Hardwick. The newly married couple welcome the condemned queen into their home, hoping that servi
The latest in Gregory's Tudor Court novels is about Mary, Queen of Scots. It sent me back to my Anne Somerset biography of Elizabeth I to look at certain details, and like most historical fiction, has prompted an interest in reading more actual history about the characters involved.

The book surprised me by being *very* focused on the Queen of Scots, with little of Elizabeth at all. It makes sense, but still surprised me. What also surprised me was the assumption that the average reader would be
Mar 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Actually, what really got on my nerves was that Bess of Hardwick had to be such a jealous bi***. What can she expect Mary to do? Seduce old men or sell herself? She is born to be a queen, and a born sofisticated young women, and bold, and truely brave. Not to mention a beautiful lady. Bess, to me seems like an old ugly b****. I see that she's jealous about George, her husband the Earl of Shrewsbury, falling in love with Queen Mary, but what can the poor guy do? She's so intimidating and has such ...more
This novel deals with Mary Queen of Scots' early captivity in England whilst under the ';care' of Gilbert Talbot and his wife, Bess of Hardwick.

The book is written in the first person with each of Gilbert, Mary and Bess have a 'voice' in which to describe events as they have seen / experienced them. This is an interesting idea but imposes limitations on Gregory which in turn become major weaknesses - we cannot know anything the characters themselves do not know which leads to the introduction of
Rukhsana  Sukhan
Philippa Gregory writes brilliantly, and really draws her reader into the sights, sounds, feeling of the 16th century. She really brings history to life.
Sharon Robards
After reading a few of Philippa Gregory’s books set earlier in the Tudor period, I should have predicted the ending to this. But of course I went into this, knowing nothing about Mary Queen of Scots. Out of the books I’ve read from this author, this is my favourite, perhaps because I really wanted to keep reading because of my lack of knowledge of the heroine, if we can call her that, and the ending surprised me. Yes. I know. I should have known how it was going to end. It was also a pleasant ch ...more
Phillippa Gregory novels are sort of my secret shame - I love her books and pretty much devour them as soon as they come out. This one was...well, it was just okay. The historical focus(Mary Queen of Scots) is intriguing, but...I felt like it was sort of just..meh, as Gregory basically gave Mary no personality other than her bizarre obsession with freedom (honestly, the character must have said (or had commented about her) that she "had to be free" about 95 times. I GET IT, okay?) and did a lot ...more
Jun 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Not one of my favourite Gregory books.

THE OTHER QUEEN is about Mary Queen of Scots and covers the time from when she enters England to throw herself on her cousin's mercy. her cousin being, of course, Queen Elizabeth I - hence the title the other Queen. The story finishes at Mary's execution. Mary is kept in custody in England - and her jailers were husband and wife Bess and George. George falls in love with the doomed Queen and Bess just looks on. THE OTHER QUEEN is told from the points of view
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Not Philippa Grefory's best book by far, but it was okay. The story of Mary Queen of Scotts, this one was told from the view point of three different people, and while the comparison between Mary and Bess was interesting, the book did seem very repetitive on many issues, and did drag a bit.
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory is number #15 in 'The Plantagenet and Tudor' novels series, but just like the others in the series, it too can be read as a stand alone. Set in the mid to late 1500s, this story of Mary Queen of Scots is told from three perspectives: Queen Mary, her keeper George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife, Bess of Hardwick.

Bess's sections were incredibly repetitive; the one exception being the opening paragraph of the book told to us by Bess which was incredibly
Dele Haynes
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Philippa Gregory tells her story of Mary Queen of Scots and her flee from Scottish unrest from the view point of the three main individual in this story. George Talbot, the Earl whose care Mary has been placed, Bess of Hardwick, his wife and Mary herself. Listening to the audiobook, each one of the three has been give their own voice. I think it helped in the story telling and gives more depth to each character.

Mary had fled Scotland after a rebellion to the safety of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, read-2017
Not my favorite Philippa Gregory book.

I liked about a third of it, and that was Mary's third. I really didn't have any interest in Bess and George, though. Bess was just a bunch of repetitive talk about her fortune, and George was a bunch of repetitive talk about loyalty and honor. I just don't think they were written in a way that would have done their actual selves justice, because there really wasn't a lot to them.

I feel like this would have been a more interesting novel if it went between Ma
Trish at Between My Lines
This review is dripping with disappointment as I feel very underwhelmed. This was the book in the Tudor series that I has most looked forward to. Mary Queen of Scot’s book. I was hyped, I love Mary, I couldn’t wait to get her story. But it was meh. The tv series Reign has ruined me, as that is the only version of Mary Queen of Scots that I want to know about. I know it’s historical nonsense but that’s the passionate, clever, feisty Mary that I wanted to read about.

The book felt dull, and I was n
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit it - I love Phillippa Gregory. I love the court intrigue, the dynastic dynamic, the dresses, the balls, the hunts, the politics, the ever changing religious influences, and the rises and falls to power. And her writing, and the way she captures characters and tells the tale. A number of years ago, maybe 5? I read the first one in the chronological order - the Rivers of ? This one featured the mother of Elizabeth Woodville, who fell for and possibly entrapped with a family line of magic, ...more
Sep 20, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As an avid reader of Philippa Gregory's historical fiction, I was very excited for this book to hit the shelves but I ended up being somewhat disappointed with it. The book takes place during the time of the house arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots. The story is narrated from three viewpoints-Mary, her guardian George, Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife Bess. At first, newlyweds George and Bess are honored with Queen Elizabeth asks them to house Queen Mary and her court after her trial in London until ...more
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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

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)
  • The White Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #2)
  • The Red Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #3)
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #4)
  • The White Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #5)
  • The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #6)
  • The King's Curse (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #7)
  • 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)
“When a woman thinks her husband is a fool, her marriage is over. They may part in one year or ten; they may live together until death. But if she thinks he is a fool, she will not love him again.” 116 likes
“A woman has to change her nature if she is to be a wife. She has to learn to curb her tongue, to suppress her desires, to moderate her thoughts and to spend her days putting another first. She has to put him first even when she longs to serve herself or her children. She has to put him first even if she longs to judge for herself. She has to put him first even when she knows best. To be a good wife is to be a woman with a will of iron that you yourself have forged into a bridle to curb your own abilities. To be a good wife is to enslave yourself to a lesser person. To be a good wife is to amputate your own power as surely as the parents of beggars hack off their children's feet for the greater benefit of the family.” 59 likes
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