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The Queen's Fool [Mass Market Paperback]

Philippa Gregory
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 May 2004

A stunning novel set in the Tudor court, from the Sunday Times No.1 bestseller Philippa Gregory.

The rivalry between Queen Mary and her half-sister Elizabeth is played out against a background of betrayal, conflict and passion.

The savage rivalry of the daughters of Henry VIII, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth, mirrors that of their mothers, Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Each will fight by any available means for the crown and future of the kingdom.

Elizabeth’s bitter struggle to claim the throne she believes is hers by right, and the man she desires almost more than her crown, is watched by her ‘fool’: a girl who has been forced to leave her homeland of Spain, as a Jew fleeing the Inquisition. In a court where truth is wittily denied and lies are mere games, it is the fool who can speak plainly: in these dangerous times, a woman must choose between ambition and love. Elizabeth will not make the same mistakes as her mother.

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The Queen's Fool + The Virgin's Lover: 3 (Tudor series) + The Other Queen
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; New Ed edition (4 May 2004)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 0007147295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007743124
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 12.5 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the internationally bestselling novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Now she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds.

Her other great interest is the charity that she founded nearly twenty years ago: Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells for the primary schools of this poor African country.

Product Description

Amazon Review

The bitter enmity between Elizabeth the First and Mary Tudor, the daughters of Henry VIII (not to mention the conflict between their mothers Anne Boleyn and Katherine of Aragon) makes the squabbles between modern-day royals seem small beer indeed. This is particularly clear after reading something as enjoyable as Philippa Gregory's The Queen's Fool, which treats the period and its turbulent sweep with an almost operatic grandeur. In The Other Boleyn Girl, Gregory delivered a tremendous popular success and lifted this kind of popular historical writing from the realms of romantic fiction to something rich in authentic drama and convincing historical verisimilitude.

Mary and Elizabeth, the two young princesses, have a common goal: to be Queen of England. To achieve this, they need both to win the love of the people and learn how to negotiate dangerous political pitfalls. Gregory recreates this era with tremendous colour, and she makes the court an enticing but danger-fraught place. Into this setting comes the eponymous fool, the youthful Hannah, who (despite her air of guileless religiousness) is not naive. She soon finds herself having to deal with the beguiling but treacherous Robert Dudley. Dispatched to report on Princess Mary, Hannah discovers in her a passionate religious conviction (to return England to the rule of Rome and its pope) that will have fatal consequences.

From Tolstoy's War and Peace onwards, historical novelists have set fictitious characters among real-life personages with mixed success; the author's creations can often pale beside the historical figures. That is emphatically not the case here, and Gregory ensures that all her characters have a full and teeming life. Expect a major movie: something as colourful and exuberant as The Queen's Fool is a natural for screen adaptation. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Praise for Philppa Gregory:

‘Gregory's research is impeccable which makes her imaginative fiction all the more convincing’ Daily Mail

‘Gregory is great at conjuring a Tudor film-set of gorgeous gowns and golden-lattered dining. She invokes some swoonsome images…while the politics are personal enough to remain pertinent’ Daily Telegraph

‘Subtle and exciting’ Daily Express

‘Written from instinct, not out of calculation, and it shows’
Peter Ackroyd, The Times

‘For sheer pace and percussive drama it will take a lot of beating’ Sunday Times

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
116 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Queen's Fool 18 May 2009
By Jaclyn
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you are thinking about reading The Queens Fool you might like to know the chronological order of Philippa Gregory's books about the Tudor Court:-

The Constant Princess
The Other Boleyn Girl
(Read the book, the film misses out so much)
The Boleyn Inheritance
The Queen's Fool
The Virgins Lover
The Other Queen

Once I start to read these books I can't put them down.
I didn't think I was going to like The Queen's Fool as it was not directly about one of Henrys wives or daughters.
However Hannah Verde creeps slowly into your affections as the Royal Confidant and Holy Fool who falls for Robert Dudley who lovingly refers to her as 'Mistress Boy' Hannah nearly pays for that devotion with her life. when she is asked to use her gift of 'sight' to look into the future and advise of coming illness, death, births and ill doings in the royal household. Who will benefit and who will fall..only Hannah can provide the answers, but she plays a dangerous game.

Full of mystery and intrigue Hannah takes you from the bedside of the ailing Queen Mary to the frivolities at Hampton Court where the young Princess Elizabeth is waiting for her moment to be crowned the new Queen of England.

Will Hannahs loyalties cost her the chance to find once more the husband she walked out on and then too late realised was the love of her life.
Beginning with the demise of Kateryn Parr and endng with the death of Queen Mary and the first years of Elizabeths reign, this book is a must have holiday read, I loved it.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little slow, but a solid story... 4 May 2009
By Me read TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Long story, cut short.....Hannah Verde, Spanish, Jewish, settles in England with her father after their flight from the Spanish Inquisition, given over to the Royal court of young King Edward as his Holy Fool, on his death she transfers to Queen Mary as her fool and here the story begins.....

This is my third Philippa Gregory and as expected it is a solid story, but not on the same par as her Bolyen books. I felt as though I learned quite a lot about Queen Mary, who as the book progressed seemed to get more and more unhinged, and it's no surprise she earned the name 'Bloody Mary'. Elizabeth was portrayed as thouroughly unlikeable and self serving and I don't doubt that she was all that and more and even the main players at court were just as I imagined them to be; fickle, scheming, underhand, greedy and manipulative, but it was the main character who really spoiled things for me. No matter what situation was unfolding, Hannah was always right there in the thick of things and after a while she really started to grate on me.

She didn't have a bad word to say about anybody, regardless of how horribly they treated her, and she kept going back for more of the same. I realise she wouldn't have had a lot of say in matters regarding how she was put to use by her employers but one minute she's litterally wetting herself as she's about to be tortured as a heritic because Mary has a bee in her bonnet (to put it mildly) about non Catholics, even though she considers Hannah her trusted friend....then the next minute Hannah is all doe eyed at Mary's feet and defending her against any just doesn't make sense. She has the means to escape and put it all behind her, but she does everything in her power to stay.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as my first read 4 Mar 2004
By A Customer
When i first read(and i say first because it remains to be one of my most loved and read books) The other Boleyn Girl i was obsessed with the success this book had on me. Phillipa Gregory is a wonderful author who draws you into her story, allowing you to live as a character in her books, surveying the story as you read. she writes with such detail and you never get bored. When i heard that she was writing this book i ordered it in advance eager for its arrival and when i recieved it for christmas i was so excited. It was my first choice despite the eight other books i recieved and i was soon absorbed in Gregory's world of history. Despite The Other Bolyen Girl's success i felt that this novel,(although extremely good!!!)did not hold me as much as i had wished it to.
The characters are beautifully formed and described and the events never cease to surprise you. Gregory captures the true rivalry perfectly between the sisters, and you are left feeling terribly sorry for Mary,entranced by Elizabeth and falling in love with the captivating Robert Dudley.
Although i name this book a recommended read i also advise readers to read 'The Other Boleyn Girl'(and if you have read it again!!!) because i feel it captures the reader slightly more and the storyline is such an intriguing piece of history.
Overall view of this novel= very good read yet slightly disappointing following the success of other novels.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I was a fool...... 4 Nov 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was rather sceptical about this book when I heard it was going to be the October choice for my family book club. An historical novel. It conjured up terrible images in my mind. Bodice ripping yarns based on loose gossip and no fact. I even asked my Mother (who had suggested the book) what it was about and she said nothing. Not a great start.
But from the moment I opened it I could not put it down. The story flows so easily that before I knew it I had read 30 pages.
It is based in Tudor England. A time of great change and upheaval. Hannah is a little girl who has come to England with her father to flee the Spanish Inquisition. Her mother had been burned at the stake for being a heretic.
Hannah has a gift. A gift of the Sight. Something that could place her in great danger in such uncertain times. But luckily a Lord of the Kings court stumbles upon Hannah and her gift and takes her into his employment as the Kings Fool.
The rest is...history.
It wasn't just the story that captured my imagination but the backdrop of Tudor England. Being British myself I have visited many of the castles and houses mentioned in the Queens Fool so I was able to picture the settings with great accuracy. My Grandfather once took me to Hever Castle. I was standing in a room on a bit of old carpet. He told me to close my eyes and said "Charlotte, just think. King Henry the Eighth once walked across the floor you are standing on now". It sent shivers down my spine. My Grandfather gave me a love of British history and The Queens Fool has ignited that once again.
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