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The Queen's Fool: A Novel (The Tudor Court series Book 4) Kindle Edition

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Length: 498 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


'Philippa Gregory! is a mesmerizing storyteller.' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'An atmospheric read for anyone who loves to wallow in Tudor intrigue.' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'After serving up the highly delicious The Other Boleyn Girl!Gregory has concocted yet another treat from the Tudor court!.I loved The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool is even better!.The pleasure to be found in this kind of historical fiction!.is a chair-by-the-fireside-on-a-cold-winter's-night kind of pleasure!it is the kind of pleasure only a born storyteller can offer.' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'A rich brew of passion and intrigue.' DAILY MAIL 'Potent historical romance!a thrilling plot.' MAIL ON SUNDAY 'Fascinating!engrossing!.memerising!riveting!.compelling!.a pacey narrative that is just begging to be read in one sitting. Most impressively of all, she has taken a story in which we all know the protagonists and the hand history dealt them and has infused it with an extraordinary sense of suspense, drama and surprise.' SUNDAY EXPRESS 'A splendid tale of passionate liaisons. Gregory exuberantly depicts the struggle between Mary and Elizabeth' WOMAN & HOME 'A hugely satisfying plot-twist-a-page story.' TIME OUT 'Burns with passion.' INDEPENDENT 'A gripping page-turner; this follow-up to The Other Boleyn Girl confirms Gregory as our best writer of historical fiction.' CHOICE Praise for THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL: 'It is a credit to Gregory that she is able to sustain interest in an epic-length tale when the ending is one of the most well-known moments in English history. The very believable dialogue and detail take you all the way into the claustrophobic privy chambers of the royal palaces!Gregory has launched herself into a popular period and produced something with that most underrated of virtues: readability.' THE TIMES 'This is an intelligent variation on a familiar tale [with] witty use of metaphor' TLS 'This compulsively readable novel is a wonderful account of the tudor court!This is the finest historical novel of this year' DAILY MAIL Further acclaim for THE QUEEN'S FOOL: 'With her excellent eye for detail, [Gregory] moves The Queen's Fool along at a great pace' MARIE CLAIRE AUSTRALIA 'Totally absorbing!This is a triumphant piece of storytelling, not least because Gregory manages to make familiar events fresh and unloved people fascinating' GAY TIMES 'Gregory offers a subtle examination of the tension between profound personal faith and the dangers of imposing that faith on others.' JEWISH QUARTERLY 'It combines history and invention in gripping and memorable style.' RED 'Gregory weaves a brilliant and complex fictional web around historical fact. Hugely enjoyable' SAINSBURY'S MAGAZINE 'Historical fiction at its most masterly. Meticulously researched and realised and with an engaging and totally convincing heroine, The Queen's Fool invites readers to rethink their opinions of both 'Bloody' Mary and the 'Virgin' Queen. Superbly plotted, exquisitely written with the enviable capacity to simultaneously thrill and provoke thought, this novel is even more 'unputdownable' than The Other Boleyn Girl' HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW 'Gregory serves up some more deliciously sombre moments from a factious Tudor court' INDEPENDENT 'Gregory's dramatic, plot-driven novel is thoroughly readable' SUNDAY HERALD


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

Product Details

  • File Size: 5430 KB
  • Print Length: 498 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (February 19, 2008)
  • Publication Date: February 3, 2004
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0014IZ5RA
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,824 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Born in Kenya in 1954, Philippa Gregory moved to England with her family and was educated in Bristol and at the National Council for the Training of Journalists course in Cardiff. She worked as a senior reporter on the Portsmouth News, and as a journalist and producer for BBC Radio.

Philippa obtained a BA degree in History at the University of Sussex in Brighton and a PhD at Edinburgh University in 18th-century literature. Her first novel, Wideacre, was written as she completed her PhD and became an instant worldwide bestseller. On its publication, she became a full-time writer.

Wideacre was followed by a haunting sequel, The Favoured Child, and the delightful happy ending of the trilogy: Meridon. This novel was listed in Feminist Book Fortnight and for the Romantic Novel of the Year at the same time.

Her next book was The Wise Woman, a dazzling, disturbing novel of dark powers and desires set against the rich tapestry of the Reformation. Then came Fallen Skies, an evocative realistic story set after the First World War. Her novel A Respectable Trade took her back to the 18th century where her knowledge of the slave trade and her home town of Bristol explored the human cost of slavery. Gregory adapted her book for a highly acclaimed BBC television production which won the prize for drama from the Commission for Racial Equality and was shortlisted for a BAFTA for the screenplay.

Next came Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth, based on the true-life story of father and son both named John Tradescant working in the upheaval of the English Civil War. In these works Gregory pioneered the genre which has become her own: fictional biography, the true story of a real person brought to life with research and verve.

The jewel in the crown of this new style was undoubtedly The Other Boleyn Girl, a runaway bestseller which stormed the US market and then went worldwide telling the story of the little-known sister to Anne Boleyn. Now published globally, this classic historical novel won the Parker Pen Novel of the Year award 2002 and the Romantic Times fictional biography award. The Other Boleyn Girl was adapted for the BBC as a single television drama and by Sony as a major motion picture starring Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn, Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Eric Bana as Henry VIII.

After adding five more novels to her Tudor Court series including The Constant Princess and The Queen's Fool, two of her best-loved works, Philippa moved back in time to write about the family that preceded the Tudors, the Plantagenets. Her bestselling six-book Cousins' War series tells the story of the bloody struggle for the throne in the Wars of the Roses from the perspective of the women behind the scenes. The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter were adapted by the BBC and Starz in 2013 as the hugely popular TV miniseries The White Queen.

Having completed The Cousins' War series with The King's Curse, Philippa has come full circle back to the Tudor court. Her next novel will be about Kateryn Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII: The Taming of the Queen. Her other work in progress is the young adult series The Order of Darkness, set in medieval Italy after the fall of Constantinople, feared at the time to be a sign of the end of the world.

A regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, with short stories, features and reviews, Philippa is also a frequent broadcaster, a regular contestant on Round Britain Quiz for BBC Radio 4 and the Tudor expert for Channel 4's Time Team. As well as her extensive array of historical novels she has written modern novels, children's books, a collection of short stories, and a non-fiction book with David Baldwin and Michael Jones: The Women of the Cousins' War.

She lives in the North of England with her family and in addition to interests that include riding, walking, skiing and gardening (an interest born from research into the Tradescant family for her novel Virgin Earth) she also runs a small charity building wells in school gardens in The Gambia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 124 people found the following review helpful By lisebouvier on March 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Phillipa Gregory does a wonderful job of recreating a historical period, and I did enjoy her other Tudor work, The Other Boleyn Girl. I expected to enjoy this one as much, but couldn't.
I found the indiscriminately sympathetic portrayal of Mary (known to history as Bloody Mary) troubling. The author seemed to think that because Mary was a wronged wife, her excesses were excusable. Even more disturbing, and harder to swallow, is that the main character, Hannah, a secret Jew who lives in fear of being burned as heretic, remains loyal and uncritical of Mary until the end.
Either Hannah is an insensitive hypocrite, indifferent to the suffering of others because of her own safety as a royal favorite, or she is a poorly drawn character. It is hard to believe someone whose own mother was burned at the stake could remain loyal to a woman who sent so many to be burned alive.
Gregory blames Mary's ministers, pretending Mary was largely unaware of what was being done. A ruler with Mary's absolute power "unaware"? That makes her either a disconnected, incompetent ruler (not Gregory's view), or one so weak she was completely dominated by her ministers, which there is no reason to believe.
Gregory did succeed in showing how sad Mary's life was in many ways: Early separation from her mother due to her father's selfish whims, loss of her position, a youth spent in a kind of exile, an unfaithful husband.
However, I also saw her parents' flaws in her: obsessive attachment to a indifferent man, fanaticism and sense of absolute truth which both parents possessed, and worse, a ruthlessness and cruelty in enforcing her will inherited from her father.
"Bloody Mary" traumatized her country and was, ironically, probably one of the reasons England turned staunchly Protestant.
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219 of 237 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 8, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This best selling English author of historical fiction has written yet another interesting work. This novel takes place during the reign of Mary Tudor, daughter of King Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon. She would leave a legacy that would cause her to be known as "Bloody Mary" for her burning of heretics.
The narrator is a girl named Hannah Green, a young teenager who has fled Spain and its Inquisition with her father, following the death of her mother. She had been burned alive at the stake as a heretic, when it was discovered that she was a "Marrano", a false Christian, that is, a Jew who has converted to Christianity but who follows the Jewish faith in secret.
Landing in London, where her father opens a book store, Hannah makes the acquaintance of a handsome rake, Sir Robert Dudley, who discovers that Hannah has the gift of sight. She develops a personal relationship with him that eventually sees her enter into Queen Mary's service as her fool. Hannah serves Queen Mary, but at the same time, is sent by the Queen to serve her half-sister the Princess Elizabeth and spy upon her.
Meanwhile, Sir Robert Dudley also uses Hannah in his treasonous plot to see the Princess Elizabeth on the throne of England. So, Hannah finds herself walking a dangerous tightrope and is fearful of discovery of her role in the political intrigues that are welling around her, as well as discovery of her own background, which would be grounds for death. Her worst fears are nearly realized when the Queen marries Prince Phillip of Spain.
In the midst of all this political intriguing that appears to be going on all around her, Hannah has her own immediate future to think about, as she becomes betrothed to another Marrano such as herself.
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98 of 106 people found the following review helpful By K. McDermott on February 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
Philippa Gregory is one of the best historical novelists writing today, and she's at the top of her game with this book. As in the Meridon trilogy and "Wise Woman," she infuses her historical romance with a touch of mysticism. She takes the daring approach here of making Mary the sympathetic Tudor and Elizabeth the nasty one, and creates a most likeable heroine in Hannah Green, a Jewish clairvoyant in boy's garb who is a nice mixture of audacity and empathy. It sounds far-fetched, but Gregory pulls you in with believable (though not exactly period) dialogue, discreet sex, and fast-paced adventure. Hannah's emotions and reactions are always realistic, and neatly woven into the fantastically convoluted events of 1552-58. She lets "Bloody Mary" off a bit too easily regarding the burning of Protestant heretics (though of course, real life punished Mary badly enough), and makes Robert Dudley seem more of a matinee idol and less the calculating courtier that he was, but then this story is told from the point of view of an adolescent girl, so it's not really a flaw. There are many hints of a sequel in the novel, so I'm looking forward to her next revisionist take on the legendary Tudor women. I just hope we'll see more of Hannah Green, too.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on February 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Philippa Gregory (authour of "The Other Boleyn Girl") returns to turbulent Tudor England in her latest novel, "The Queen's Fool." This time, our narrator-guide is a young Jewish girl, Hannah Green, who together with her father, has fled Spain and the Inquisition, for England. Here, they have taken great pains to live quietly and to show that they are fervent Lutherans, all the while practicing their faith in secret. That is until a chance encounter with the mysterious John Dee changes the course of their lives forever.
Hannah and her father have opened a bookshop, where Hannah (unlike most girls of her age) has been working at dressed as a boy and acting as her father's apprentice. One day, however, young Robert Dudley and his tutor, John Dee, come to the shop; and in the course of things, discover that Hannah has the 'sight.' Suddenly Hannah's future changes dramatically: where marriage to a distant cousin seemed to have been her fate, she's now dragooned into the service of the Dudleys, who plan to use her 'sight' for their own means. And soon Hannah finds herself torn on all sides -- strangely drawn to her new master, Robert Dudley and yet missing her father dreadfully; and not wanting to be confined to playing the role of mere wife and mother, and yet not wanting to close the door on that option either. Hannah is confused and fearful about her future. But not even in her wildest dreams would she envision the part she would play in the fortunes of the Tudors...
I made the mistake of picking up this book just before going to sleep. Such was the sheer brilliance of "The Queens' Fool" that I had to finish the book in one sitting. What a compelling and engrossing read this novel proved to be! And what a heroine Gergory has created in Hannah!
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