Friday, 20 June 2014

The Queens Fool
by Philippa Gregory
Rating:  4/5

Pages: 490
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978-0-00-714729-8

Summary (via Goodreads)
A young woman caught in the rivalry between Queen Mary and her half sister, Elizabeth, must find her true destiny amid treason, poisonous rivalries, loss of faith, and unrequited love.

It is winter, 1553. Pursued by the Inquisition, Hannah Green, a fourteen-year-old Jewish girl, is forced to flee Spain with her father. But Hannah is no ordinary refugee. Her gift of "Sight," the ability to foresee the future, is priceless in the troubled times of the Tudor court. Hannah is adopted by the glamorous Robert Dudley, the charismatic son of King Edward's protector, who brings her to court as a "holy fool" for Queen Mary and, ultimately, Queen Elizabeth. Hired as a fool but working as a spy; promised in wedlock but in love with her master; endangered by the laws against heresy, treason, and witchcraft, Hannah must choose between the safe life of a commoner and the dangerous intrigues of the royal family that are inextricably bound up in her own yearnings and desires.

Teeming with vibrant period detail and peopled by characters seamlessly woven into the sweeping tapestry of history, The Queen's Fool is another rich and emotionally resonant gem from this wonderful storyteller.


I really enjoyed this book: a story within a story. I admired Hannah and how she bravely stuck to who she really was despite how easy it would have been in Tudor England to just turn her back on her own religion. This is why I love Philippa Gregory's books so much, she brings history to life through fiction and despite the differences that exist between women of the Tudor dynasty and now, there would still have been similarities. Her female characters are always strong and determined women who make the most of their situations.

For me, this book really showed how hard life would have been for those that didn't fit the "correct" English citizen and what happened to those caught. It brings to life the question of What would you do in that situation? Would you stick to your own beliefs or would you conform?

I recommend this book for its beautifully described settings and the amazing lives of the royal Tudor children described through the eyes of a complete outcast.

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