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The Virgin's Lover
The Virgin's Lover
Author: Philippa Gregory
The National Bestseller
In the autumn of 1558, church bells across England ring out the joyous news that Elizabeth I is the new queen. One woman hears the tidings with utter dread. She is Amy Dudley, wife of Sir Robert, and she knows that Elizabeth's ambitious leap to the throne will draw her husband back to the center of ...  more »
Info icon
ISBN-13: 9780743269261
ISBN-10: 0743269268
Publication Date: 8/30/2005
Pages: 464
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 685 ratings
Publisher: Touchstone
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

FindingJackie avatar reviewed The Virgin's Lover on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
I've always heard good things about Gregory's books. This was my 1st one and I have to say I was a little underwhelmed. It was not a bad story, per se, but not the great story that I was expecting.

I was disappointed in the way Queen Elizabeth was portrayed. Gregory shows Elizabeth as an almost weak-willed, indecisive woman ruled by her love of a person she knows she can not not have. She can not make a firm decision about war with France. She's left scandal about her and Dudley to run amok, let her attention stray from matters of state and her safety, since early in her reign it was anything but secure, all for her love of Dudley.. except when Dudley is ready to be her King and not King-Consort, as Phillip was for Queen Mary. And then she was ready to scheme with Cecil to remove him as a love interest and remove any hope Dudley has of becoming her husband and King of England. The switch was too sudden for my taste. In a night's time, she is gone from not being able to function without Dudley to being able to put him aside.

Also, from the jacket cover, the story outline leads you to believe this book is about the issue of Amy's death and the impact it had on the Queen and her court, especially Dudley. This is not even really touched on. Amy didn't die until almost at the very end of the book (her death was on page 410 of about 438 pages of actual story material). The scandal of her death and Elizabeth and Cecil's seemingly forehand knowledge is barely mentioned. As a book that takes place during a period of history that I find very fascinating, I have to say it was not nearly as good as I would have hoped and didn't really explore the aftermath of the scandal in the depth I thought it would.
reviewed The Virgin's Lover on + 174 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
A very different picture of Amy Dudley than was in the Queen's Fool. Also a very different picture of Queen Elizabeth than most biographies would show. Even so, this was a very enjoyable read and follows right along with Ms. Gregory's historical novels.
paigu avatar reviewed The Virgin's Lover on + 120 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I probably should've read the "prequel", The Queen's Fool, prior to reading this since there were lots of references made. I couldn't really get into this book because quite frankly, the two main women, Elizabeth and Amy Dudley, annoyed me to no end. The book started to read as a broken record esp. with Elizabeth's dialog. Started to pick up at the end, though, as we read more into foreign policy and negotiation (well, I find that stuff interesting). The historic note at the end is really thought provoking.
reviewed The Virgin's Lover on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Well, I think this book was a bit over hyped and a let down to Philippa Gregory's prior works. Any fan of the Tutor age will love this book. The writing is sharp, clever and is written so colorfully that you really do have an idea of how people were back then. An enjoyable read full of lust, deception and plotting (not unlike our modern day politics). Go ahead and try it!
Ladyslott avatar reviewed The Virgin's Lover on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
While I loved The Other Boleyn Girl, and enjoyed The Queens Fool, this book was a bit of a disappointment. While I still enjoy the way Gregory makes historical figures real, I was very disappointed with her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in this book. Instead of the strong Queen, after which an entire era was named, we have a whiny, insecure, indecisive ninny. This I took great exception to. Although I am willing to accept a great deal of leeway in fiction, this seemed over the top to me. I did enjoy the rationalization of the crime, distasteful as it may be, but for the most part found the depiction of women in this book to be rather misogynistic. Not one of her better efforts.
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reviewed The Virgin's Lover on + 75 more book reviews
I am not quite through reading it yet, but I am enjoying it thus far. I have the feeling that Gregory is not the biggest fan of Dudley, but she does portray him at least somewhat sympathetically. So I'll give her points for that. :)
reviewed The Virgin's Lover on
Not the best book by Philippa, but a very great read. There was plenty of excitement and drama. Really brings the era to life.
justreadingabook avatar reviewed The Virgin's Lover on + 1705 more book reviews
A really great read, you won't be disappointed with any of her books. They are excellent in details and intrique.
reviewed The Virgin's Lover on + 42 more book reviews
characters are believable.
MKSbooklady avatar reviewed The Virgin's Lover on + 926 more book reviews
Not sure how much is history, how much is fiction. All in all a fairly entertaining tale about Elizabeth the 1st. If you know your history at all, you know what is and isn't going to happen. Still, interesting. Not sure how much I believe, though.
reviewed The Virgin's Lover on + 10 more book reviews
I enjoyed The Queen's Fool (precedent to The Virgin's Lover) very much so thought that this would read in a similar manner. It didn't. I found the back and forth between Dudley and wife Amy to get old fast. And Elizabeth came across as mostly a kitty in his hand. The characters between the two books felt like different people with not much follow through in character development. Another friend read it and felt the same way but said to give The Other Boleyn Girl a try.
reviewed The Virgin's Lover on + 92 more book reviews
Wonderful, rich, experience at court and of love between a man and a woman who were limited by her position and his ambition. The drama was breath taking, and scary. Sad too the life of Amy, wife of Robert Dudley, who was cast aside for his love of Elizabeth, and then her death to limit his climb to power. Loved it!
reviewed The Virgin's Lover on + 8 more book reviews
I actually loved this book so much that I'm going to need to get the printed copy to keep on my bookshelf to refer back to. Of Philippa Gregory's Books, I loved "The Boleyn Inheritance" the most, but this was close. It makes you want to learn everything possible about this period of history and about the fascinating people in it.

Book Wiki

Elizabeth I (Primary Character)
Robert Dudley (Primary Character)
William Cecil (Major Character)