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Harlot Queen Paperback – 30 Nov 2011

23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (30 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752439472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752439471
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 794,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

PRAISE FOR HILDA LEWIS: 'Hilda Lewis is not only mistress of her subject, but has the power to vitalise it' THE DAILY TELEGRAPH; 'A born storyteller' THE YORKSHIRE POST. Praise for Hilda Lewis's Wife to the Bastard: 'The private life of William the Conqueror and his wife Matilda of Flanders... convincingly worked out, and the historical background carefully painted in' THE DAILY TELEGRAPH; 'Matilda, wife to William the Conqueror, is painstakingly depicted through her deflowering, marriage, much child-bearing, some jealous violence and repentance... well documented historical fiction' THE OBSERVER; 'A work of quiet distinction... her subject is treated well and movingly, with dignity and insight' THE SUNDAY TIMES; 'A spankingly good story about Matilda, whom the legends call gentle but she calls a good deal more' THE SPECTATOR.

About the Author

Hilda Lewis was one of the best-known and best-loved of all historical novelists, known for her authentic application of period detail to all her books. She was born in London and lived for much of her life in Nottingham. She wrote over 20 novels, most published in hardback by Hutchinson and paperbacked by Arrow. Hilda Lewis died in 1974.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Good day sunshine on 16 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
Harlot Queen tells the story of Isabella of France, married to King Edward II.
Lewis charts Edwards affairs with Pies Gaveston and Hugh Despenser, which eventually turned Isabella to the arms of Mortimer of Wigmore, causing war between the King and Queen.
The readers sympathies swing from Isabella to Edward before the book reaches its ultimately satisfiying ending.
If there is one thing Lewis does well, it is leaving you with a sense of satisfaction and an ending that will stay with you, a rare thing in a book.
This tale of passion and war is well told by Lewis. She keeps the story as historically accurate as she can, unlike some modern historical ficton writers.
The style is somewhat formal but her books are always well peopled and the characters believable. A fantastic piece of serious historical fiction.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. L. Araujo on 24 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third Isabella book I have read and it has to be my favorite if you have not read anything on her I suggest you go straight for this one. Isabella of France is married to Edward the second of Britain and in doing so she causes herself much grief. Edward has no real interest in women instead he prefers the company and love of men and showers them with riches including some of the Queens own jewels and money. Of course this is bound to cause some ill feelings towards Edward on the Queens part, setting in motion a series of events that will mark the dramatic end for a king. What sets this book apart from all others is Isabella and her character we find how she was the manipulator behind every decision made and had the Despenser's never entered onto the scene she could very well have ruled Britain well behind the scenes. What makes this book the best is the twist at the end both heart breaking but beautiful, a wonderful end that will never in my mind be beaten!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sakerfalcon on 5 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
Isabella of France was long known to history as the She-Wolf of France, and castigated for her betrayal of Edward II, both as her husband and her king. Hilda Lewis brilliantly shows us how this vixen was not born but made, as a result of the neglect and shame inflicted upon her during her years of marriage. We see her first as a hopeful young bride, in a new country, trying her best to do all that is expected of her. As such, she is a delightful heroine, one whom it is impossible not to like. However, as her story progresses, we gradually see how her sweetness turns to bitter hatred and anger. Concurrently, our own feelings of sympathy change too, as Isabella changes from victim to oppressor.

I really appreciated that Lewis did not try to whitewash Isabella's violent actions to maintain our sympathy, but rather forces us into criticism and even condemnation. At the same time, we are not left agreeing with the historians who painted her as pure evil; rather, we see a woman whose natural strength was twisted over time until channeled into extreme acts of revenge. This is an outstanding character study, which forms the core of an excellently written historical novel. The supporting characters are all well-drawn, the settings convincing, and the prose very readable. It is wonderful that the success of Philippa Gregory is (presumably) responsible for the reissue of this and other historical novels, including those of Norah Lofts and Jean Plaidy.

Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ga Bronsdon on 1 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
i enjoyed this book, it was nice to see Isabelle from a different angle, she is so often painted as - the harlot queen - yet in reality she was a proud princess from a royal court and it must have been galling to see your family jewels draped over your husbands 'boyfriend' the day you arrive at court.
i really enjoyed this book - well written, good description of the age and factual
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glilla Bear on 3 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel has given me a good deal of pleasure. As others have noted, it deals with Isabella, wife to Edward II of England. Her fortunes rise and fall and her ultimate pitfall is her infatuation with a much younger man, just as her husband, much to her chagrin, had become infatuated with handsome young men in earlier days. The impeccable prose, slightly formal yet none the less absorbing for that, leads naturally and ineluctably to a huge ironic twist at the end, one which does no violence to history, since history is undecided on the matter. Besides being a work of craftsmanship, this is a truly exciting tale, exquisitely told. I urge all lovers of reputable historical fiction to read it: you will not be disappointed.
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By Alison on 22 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't think that Hilda Lewis is the easiest author to read - her style is very 'of her time'. By the same token, a bit of concentration is no hardship and this book is certainly worth reading. I've never really had any opinion of Isabella other than she was unfortunate enough to married to Edward II, which can't have been any kind of fun for a female, but this is before the period which interests me. However, this book is so well-written that you end up totally understanding Isabella and her behaviour; you want to scream at Edward for his sheer foolishness whilst almost sympathising with him - in another life, had he not had the kingship thrust upon him, he could have been happy. It brings home yet again how awful these dynastic marriages could be for both participants, trapped and either unwilling or unable to even try to make it work. Ms Lewis brings the period to life in a wonderfully evocative way, and I thoroughly recommend this book. Well worth a read.
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