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The Other Queen

(The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #15)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  45,593 ratings  ·  2,883 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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Aurora "Order of Darkness: Dark Tracks" (2018) and Order of Darkness (Volumes 1-3), (2017)
"Order of Darkness: Dark Tracks" (2018) and Order of Darkness (Volumes 1-3), (2017)
Stacey Sharpe-Jones No. Each book has a standalone quality and is sufficiently detailed that you don't have to have read the other books to understand what is happening.…moreNo. Each book has a standalone quality and is sufficiently detailed that you don't have to have read the other books to understand what is happening.(less)

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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
Aug 02, 2022 rated it really liked it
Queen Mary of Scots has always been of high interest to me. So much written about her beauty and intelligence, perhaps equally as much as her foolishness and cunningness. Could they all be true? Philippa Gregory attempts to drawn conclusions in the last book, The Other Queen, of her Plantagenet and Tudor Novels. The end of era when she is put to death, or at least a few decades before the real end when Queen Elizabeth her cousin passes away. I'm intrigued by the couple, George and Bess Talbot, w ...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
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Other Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #14), Philippa Gregory
The Other Queen is a 2008 historical novel by British author Philippa Gregory which chronicles the long imprisonment in England of Mary, Queen of Scots. The story is told from three points of view: Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots; Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury, also known as Bess of Hardwick; and George Talbot, the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury.
Mary Stuart, cousin to Queen Elizabeth, has fled to England after she has lost t
B the BookAddict
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre: Historical Fiction

The Other Queen is the fifteenth and last book in the Plantagenet and Tudor series. I can’t believe the series is over! This installment tells us the story of Mary, Queen of Scots, and how she struggles to regain her throne and Kingdom. But her cousin Queen Elizabeth is like a huge barrier between her and her goal. Elizabeth and her advisor Cecil force Mary to live under the guard of Bess of Hardwick and her husband George. What Bess did not expect was her hu
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
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
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
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Having enjoyed some of Phillipa Gregory's work I chanced upon this with great expectation. This was a major disappointment which I could not finish. Little insight is gained into Mary, Queen of Scots, and the other two narrators, Lord Shrewbury and his Lady Bess, came across as pathetic. This is such an exiting period of history and Mary, queen of Scots was such an interesting character that I found it hard to believe that story could be made so dull by the alternating missives of the three narr ...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.
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
This is the last of the Plantagenet and Todor novels if you read them in chronological order but this is one of the earlier books when it came to publication.

If you know the facts of the life of Mary Queen of Scots, it really is sad. It sounds like she did not have much happiness in her life, and given her position, it's clear many people saw her as a pawn. I'm not saying that she was an angel or a very good person, but in that kind of clime it's not hard to see how that could affect someone's m
Full review you can find on my blog:

Anyone interested in history should find this fascinating. Although there are multiple interpretations of the accountability of Mary and all those involved with the many plots to restore her to the Scottish throne Gregory’s story is as plausible as any and more fascinating than most.
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 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
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

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
Apr 25, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am dipping into Elizabethan England through Phillippa Gregory books. The fifteenth century is rather hazy to me. The writing is descriptive and brisk without overlong chapters. I have better understanding about Mary of Scots and Queen Elizabeth and sympathy for their passion. Bess of Hardwick was a most interesting surprise to met in these pages.i felt the horror that the Duke of Shrewsberry faced. I am glad to have read The Other Queen.
Lois is recovering slowly
I liked this considerably better on the 2nd reading.
I'm much more familiar with Bess of Hardwick.
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,
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
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
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprisingly fun tale of Mary Queen of Scots.
My first Philippa Gregory book, and probably not my last.
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
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
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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)
  • 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)

Articles featuring this book

We asked the Kenyan-born, Britain-bred writer what she likes to read before tucking in.
37 likes · 11 comments
“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.” 133 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.” 67 likes
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