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For a Queen's Love: The Stories of the Royal Wives of Philip II (Novel of the Tudors) Paperback – 2 Mar 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (CA); 1 edition (2 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307346226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307346223
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.7 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 817,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jean Plaidy, one of the preeminent authors of historical fiction for most of the twentieth century, is the pen name of the prolific English author Eleanor Hibbert, also know as Victoria Holt. Jean Plaidy's novels had sold more than 14 million copies worldwide by the time of her death in 1993.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
have this under a different title the Spanish bridegroom but it is an easier read which I am doing now
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A son, a husband, a father, a prince, a king, a man among men 21 Mar. 2010
By Sawyer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Jean Plaidy is unique among historical fiction writers. She is most interested in telling us of Philip's actions, and why he felt justified, or compelled, to take those actions. She is not a social historian - I never felt that I was living in the 16th-century, smelling the sweat of the workers, or eating a meal with the royal family. Rather, Jean Plaidy skillfully paints a portrait of a man of many faces, a very intriguing man. As a boy, Philip is never a child, but is always driven by a sense of duty and the need to behave as his father, Charles V, expects him to behave. At the age of 4, Philip attends a ceremony, "never for one instant letting any of them guess that he was weary and more than a little frightened." This is to be his credo for the rest of his life. Even when he is in love, Philip is a prince/king, unable to fully express his more tender emotions. The author, Jean Plaidy, has often been accused of a similiar reticence in writing of intimate moments. If you are looking for "hot" passages, you will be disappointed! As an example, when Philip is married to Mary Tudor, he feels pity for her, but no desire. When they are alone together for the first time, "he beseeched the saints, and the saints, it seemed to him, came to his aid. He thought of his father's words . . . to serve Spain and the Holy Inquisition."
The Inquisition - that word which has always inspired fear and loathing. As Philip was always a supporter of this heinous institution, Ms Plaidy has her work cut out for her. She has to effectively explain the reasons behind this mindset, and she does this through writing of the reactions of those people closest to Philip. Ruy Gomez da Silva, his closest companion, and his wife, Elizabeth(Isabella), are troubled by his fanatacism. Through their thoughts, and an explanation of Philip's own fears, this aspect of Philip is at least more understandable, if not praiseworthy. In fact, Ms Plaidy reaches the conclusion that many of Philip's most serious problems were caused by his intolerance. This book does not cover Philip's entire life, only going up to the death of his third wife, and the death of Don Carlos, his only son. In conclusion, an excellent character study of this very private man, forced to perform upon a very public stage.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Subtle, well-researched historical fiction 6 Mar. 2010
By M.Jacobsen - Published on
Format: Paperback
Jean Plaidy is a staple to historical fiction fans the world over and there's a good reason for that: she wrote consistently well-researched novels. While some may find her a bit simplistic in her presentation, but for this novel, For a Queen's Love: The Story of the Royal Wives of Philip II, a simpler approach serves the reader well.

The novel begins in Philip's childhood and progresses through his reign, chiefly focusing his relationships with each of his four wives and his children. Philip's simple and repetitive thoughts and actions underscore his stunted intellectual/emotional maturity. Don't mistake this technique for bad writing as I initially it turns out, it is a remarkably plausible for Philip's behavior throughout his reign. A little history:

Philip reigned as the powerful King of Spain during the mid-1500's. Plaidy plausibly writes him as a man who from infancy was raised to be a king and never, not for one moment, allowed to be a normal human being. Emotionally stunted by his childhood, Philip's social skills were understandably lacking. Couple this with his notoriously inbred Hapsburg blood and Plaidy presents a sad portrait of a man unable to see beyond his "duty to state."

As usual, Plaidy wrote a novel well-researched enough to give the reader a good, basic understanding of the time period and for those readers who find themselves very interested in the subject matter, this book is a great foundation of knowledge to go on and read more (fiction or non) about Philip's reign.

It's been my experience that you really can't go wrong with a Jean Plaidy novel!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The Spanish Bridegroom 12 Mar. 2010
By bagelpuss - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a re-issue of The Spanish Bridegroom by Jean Plaidy. Not sure why the publisher decided to change the names of so many of her books for re-issue, but if you read this book under the original title, don't bother buying this one. One the other hand, if you haven't read this book yet, I highly recommend it! Vintage Plaidy!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
For the Good of Spain 30 Mar. 2010
By Alex - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is the often untold story of Philip II of Spain. From all my encounters of him in fiction he is a mean, nasty little man with no emotion and evil plans. But in Plaidy's book he's not at all like that. She gives him a human face and a sometimes sad one at that. Born in a royal house where dignity came before everything else Philip had very littler choice in the manner of man he grew up to be. From the very beginning he has to be the Prince of Spain, destined to be King of Spain and ruler of many lands. But from the start he wished he could be something of a different person, more personable, loving and capable of expressing that love. However this is something he never truly learns to do, and because of this is the man we know as a "mean, nasty little man." He marries and falls in love with his first wife, who then dies tragically. He is forced into the, unpopular with not only England, but himself, marriage with Mary Tudor. This is an interesting part of the book, but if you want something more in depth you should read Plaidy's In the Shadow of the Crown: The Tudor Queens. Free of her and her tragedy, he marries his son's fiancee and loves her, but she never loves him in the manner he wishes. Philip is never one free from sadness. From his wishing to know and have love, to his crazed grandmother Juana of Castile, to wanting to be everything his father wished. This is a great book by Plaidy in her Tudor series and not one to be missed
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great Book, But A Huge Part Is Missing... 17 Jan. 2011
By Mercedes J. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first historical fiction book I've read that focuses on Philip II of Spain. Before reading this I knew pretty much nothing about the man, other than he was the husband of Mary Tudor. The further I got into the book though, the more research I did on Philip, just so I knew what to expect. As usual, Ms. Plaidy writes Philips story in such an easy going manner that you breeze right along through the highs and lows of his life. We meet him on the day he was born, when Rome has been sacked by Imperial Soldiers. It's a very bad omen to the fanatically Catholic Spaniards, and they worry that he will die as a punishment from God, but Philip comes through his birth strong and healthy.

We see him grow into a very serious, solemn little boy who strives to be the best Prince of Spain he can possibly be. He hopes to emulate the greatness that he associates with his father, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. As a teenager and young man, everything he does is in the name of Spain. He has little fun, and laughs very rarely, but he's a good Prince, and the Spanish people love him.

Philip will, in his lifetime, acquire 4 wives. Maria Maneola, his first wife, was wed to him at a very young age. He truly loved this wife, but as he grew up so quiet and restrained, he was never able to tell her his true feelings. Unfortunately, he never got the chance since their marriage was destined to be a short one, with Maria dying after childbirth. Mary Tudor, his second wife, was purely a political match. Philip was loath to wed Mary, but he knew it would be for the good of Spain to join with England, so he put on a mask of gaiety, and trudged though this short marriage.

The last wife represented in this novel is Elizabeth of Valois, the young daughter of Henry II of France, and Catherine de Medici. Regardless of the huge age difference, this marriage proved to be a successful one in terms of affection. Philip truly came to love little Isabella (as she was known in Spain), and she bore him 2 daughters. Unfortunately she was not strong enough to handle her 3rd and final pregnancy, and she too died shortly after childbirth.

And that's it...that's where the book ends. I have NO idea why though. Philip married one more time to Anna of Austria in 1570, and they were married for 10 years, the longest of any of his marriages. She bore him 5 children...4 of which were boys (something he was always longing for with his three previous wives)! I just can not fathom why Ms. Plaidy would get so far into the life of this man, then abruptly stop when he still had 30 years of life yet to live! I guess we'll never know.

Overall though, I did enjoy this book. It's extremely well written, and like every other Jean Plaidy book I've read, the pages just fly by. For what WAS included here, it was a very accurate account of the life of Philip II of Spain...I just wish she had finished the story.
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