Category: Romance, Sagas & Historical / General
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 4 May 2004
Number of pages: 496
A stunning novel set in the Tudor court, from the Sunday Times No.1 bestseller Philippa Gregory. The rivalry between Queen Mary and her half-sister Elizabeth is played out against a background of betrayal, conflict and passion. The savage rivalry of the daughters of Henry VIII, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth, mirrors that of their mothers, Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Each will fight by any available means for the crown and future of the kingdom. Elizabeth's bitter struggle to claim the throne she believes is hers by right, and the man she desires almost more than her crown, is watched by her 'fool': a girl who has been forced to leave her homeland of Spain, as a Jew fleeing the Inquisition. In a court where truth is wittily denied and lies are mere games, it is the fool who can speak plainly: in these dangerous times, a woman must choose between ambition and love. Elizabeth will not make the same mistakes as her mother.
After winning the Parker Romantic Novel of the Year in 2002 for the brilliant The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory returns to the Tudor court in this equally absorbing novel. It is 1553, Henry VIII is dead and his young son Edward is now king. 14-year-old Hannah Green, a determined Jewish girl with the gift of foresight, has come to England with her bookseller father to escape the Inquisition in Spain. After a chance meeting with the dashing Lord Robert Dudley at her father's bookshop, Hannah finds a new life as a court fool - and a spy. Reporting to Dudley all that happens around the sickly king, Hannah is also sent to spy on Princess Mary, with whom she strikes up a loyal and lasting friendship. When Edward dies, Hannah finds herself directly involved in the plots and schemes that abound at court as Mary comes to the throne, and struggles with her loyalty to the queen and subsequently to her sister Elizabeth. She wrestles with her sexual awakening, her love for Dudley and her betrothal to her cousin, Daniel, but ultimately cannot fight the male-dominant world she lives in as with her gift of foresight she is constantly manipulated by the powerful men around her for their own ends. Will Hannah be able to survive in a time of treachery, bloodshed and burnings, where her own religious beliefs could be questioned at any time? Unlike the many authors who concentrate on the times of Henry VIII or Elizabeth I, Philippa Gregory has turned her attention to the tumultuous period between the two reigns and takes us from the death of Edward VI up to Elizabeth's ascension with an assured historical touch. We see behind the pomp of the Tudor Court and into the minds of Mary and Elizabeth, rivals for the throne like their mothers before them. This is a powerful and moving tale of an important period in history, seen through the eyes of a young woman who is both observer and player in these tempestuous times. (Kirkus UK)
What the papers say:
Praise for Philppa Gregory: 'Gregory's research is impeccable which makes her imaginative fiction all the more convincing' Daily Mail 'Gregory is great at conjuring a Tudor film-set of gorgeous gowns and golden-lattered dining. She invokes some swoonsome images...while the politics are personal enough to remain pertinent' Daily Telegraph 'Subtle and exciting' Daily Express 'Written from instinct, not out of calculation, and it shows' Peter Ackroyd, The Times 'For sheer pace and percussive drama it will take a lot of beating' Sunday Times
Philippa Gregory is an internationally renowned author of historical novels. She holds a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. Works that have been adapted for television include A Respectable Trade, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool. The Other Boleyn Girl was made into a major film, starring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana. Philippa Gregory lives in the North of England with her family.
In Stock: 19 copies