October 09, 2011
The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory
Queen Elizabeth is newly come to the throne and she discovers with it that it is deeply indebted and she has enemies on all sides. The church does not agree with her and everyone of her advisors wishes her to marry and produce a heir. But she's fallen in love with Robert Dudley. A man who is already married and with a young strong wife whom he ignores, Dudley is in love with the Queen too. But he also sees her as a stepping stone to rise to the position of King. The Queen's main adviser William Cecil knows this can't happen or she'll lose her crown, but it is very hard to stop love.
The characters were rather weak in this novel. Especially the women characters. It was rather sad how they looked to a man for everything, especially Elizabeth who was supposed to have been a strong woman. She was a simpering ninny in this book and it was very disappointing. She was also ruthless when it came to some things. Robert Dudley was a hard man to like and I could feel myself resenting him for the way he treated his wife and for the way he controlled the Queen and manipulated her. William Cecil was about the most logical one in the book, but he too was not very likable.
I thought it was a pretty boring book. Like some of her others she gets lost in the details and conversations and not a lot actually happens in the book. It moves slowly and I kept wondering when the next scene of the Queen and Dudley would be over as they were pretty repetitive and similar. There are some mentions of sex in this book and they are a little more descriptive than they are in some of the other books. I'm no historian so I can't say anything on how accurate the book is, but this one isn't very much fun to read. It was well written with clear writing, but that's about the only thing it had going for it.
Another not so good book from Gregory. It makes me a little apprehensive to read anything else by her.
The Virgin's Lover