Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

Review: The Other Queen

on March 2, 2009

I have read most, if not all, of Philippa Gregory’s historical novels, so I was excited to receive “The Other Queen” as a Christmas gift. “The Other Queen” tells the story of Mary, Queen of Scots, particularly of the time when she was held against her will, under a type of house arrest, in England. Mary’s years with the Earl of Shrewsbury, George Talbot, and his indomitable wife, Bess of Hardwick, are covered.
In some ways, this book was standard Gregory fare: the characters are well-developed and I felt I gleaned some insights into the difficult Elizabethan times in which this book was set. However, at the same time, I felt Gregory took more liberties with her characters than in other books. Queen Mary is seen as loving George Talbot, who is depicted as honorable to the point of being tormented by his sense of honor. His wife, Bess, is ambitious to a flaw. It is hard to imagine these as real-life characters as they seemed rather “created” to me. Additionally, at over 400 pages, this book didn’t move as quickly for me as Gregory’s other books.

Regardless, I did enjoy this book, and felt I learned a bit about Mary, Queen of Scots, a royal with whom I was not very familiar. I would give this book 3 1/2 Stars!

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