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Virgin Widow
 
 

Virgin Widow [Kindle Edition]

Anne O'Brien
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Review

'Better than Philippa Gregory.' --The Bookseller

Anne O'Brien has joined the exclusive club of excellent historical novelists. --Sunday Express

Anne O Brien has joined the exclusive club of excellent historical novelists. --Sunday Express

Product Description

Better than Philippa Gregory' - The Bookseller

'Anne O'Brien has joined the exclusive club of excellent historical novelists.' - Sunday Express

I was a penniless, landless petitioner, my Neville blood a curse, my future dependent on the charity of those who despised me…

Anne Neville is the heiress and daughter of the greatest powerbroker in the land, Warwick the Kingmaker. Trapped in a deadly tangle of political intrigue, she is a pawn in an uncertain game, used by the houses of Neville, York and Lancaster alike.

In England's glittering, treacherous court, not all wish to see the Nevilles raised high. The Earl of Warwick's ambition and pride lead him into an attempt to depose the Yorkist King; his treason forces his family into exile. Humiliated and powerless in a foreign land, Anne must find the courage and the wit to survive in such a dangerous man's world.

Compulsively readable, Anne O'Brien vividly evokes the story of Richard III's queen with a passion and vibrancy reminiscent of Phillipa Gregory and Alison Weir.


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More About the Author

Anne O'Brien was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire. After gaining a B.A. Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Masters in Education at Hull, she lived in the East Riding for many years as a teacher of history.

She now lives with her husband in an eighteenth century timber-framed cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire. It is a wild, beautiful place on the borders between England and Wales, renowned for its black and white timbered houses, ruined castles and priories and magnificent churches. It is steeped in history, famous people and bloody deeds as well as ghosts and folk lore, all providing inspiration.

She wrote her first historical romance, a Regency, for Harlequin Mills and Boon in 2005, followed by ten historical novels and a novella, ranging from medieval, through the English Civil War and Restoration and back to Regency. She has been published in the UK, North America and Australia as well as in translation throughout Europe and in Japan.

She is now writing novels based on the lives of historical characters. Virgin Widow is the story of Anne Neville, wife of Richard III. It was long-listed by the RNA for the Romantic Novel of the Year award. Devil's Consort tells of the early adventures of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her new novel, The King's Concubine (May 2012) about Alice Perrers and King Edward III can be seen to draw a parallel with modern royalty with it's tale of one marriage and three people; the proud king; loving wife and infamous mistress.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok but too romantic for me 9 Jan 2013
By Julia
Format:Paperback
Oh dearie me I should have been forewarned by other reviewers. If you want a romance set in the fifteenth century then this is for you but if you want to get some insight into the life of Anne Neville leave well alone.

Have to admit the author does a good job with the historical side of things - as accurate in the confines of fiction as she can be. She gives a good telling of the conflicts etc of Edward lV's reign and clearly knows her stuff.

What a pity that it is the main theme that lets the story down. O'Brien has clearly set out to write a love story and a love story is what you get! And how verbose this gets - pages & pages of angst from Anne - does Richard love me, has he forgotten me, why doesn't he say he loves me, should I marry him, why don't I know what he's thinking - oh for for heaven's sake, this was worthy of the Twilight saga!! On many occcasion I felt like giving this Anne Neville a real shake.

Even though written in the first person (again not one I like for this genre) I felt I never got to know Anne as a person, but only as someone wishing for the stars. The real AN was a shadowy figure, unfortunately, who was the perennial pawn in the political world of powerful men, as were many heiresses & noble women of the time. Regardless of any emotional attachment her marriage to Richard was probably the best decision she ever made - it secured her inheritance not only for him but also for her. Otherwise she would have lost everything. I doubt the real Anne would have hesitated!! I would like to think there was some affection - they had some shared experiences as family members & at Middleham after all.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars less romance please, more oomph! 22 July 2011
By J. Turner TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I have mixed feelings about this book to be fair. Although Anne O'Brien does a good job in telling the story of Anne Neville, and quickly elicits the reader's sympathy for the young woman who is just another pawn in the Wars of the Roses, the story irritated me for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, is the use of first person, which means the POV is limited. Although we are very (perhaps overly) aware of Anne's feelings, our view of Richard, Duke of Gloucester and soon to be King, is occluded by romanticism. Secondly, the book ends rather abruptly, and the fact that Anne and her child did not live long is glossed over, which is odd, considering that Richard was accused by his contemporaries of being complicit in her death. So the story of Anne Neville is not fully told, which is rather a shame. To balance this, we have the reasons that AN was a 'virgin widow' handled extremely well, as was the legend of her disguised as a kitchen maid, and the glimpse we do get of Richard shows him in a more kindly light than history has allowed. However, none of the characters apart from Anne are fully developed, Margaret of Anjou being two dimensional, though the hint of incest with her son was an interesting idea, perhaps a little more attention there might have rounded both those characters out. Having also read the authors book on Eleanor of Acquitaine, I would respectfully suggest that her next book leave first person alone!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 10 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I love historical fiction but the Wars of the Roses is a period I am not so familiar with but like a lot of people I tended to think of Richard 111 as an evil figure with a hump and a limp as depicted in the Shakespeare play. Not so in this version - in fact quite the opposite! He comes over as a loyal, charming and hansome (yes, hansome!) man who you begin to like more and more as the story unfolds. It is his brother, the Duke of Clarence who appears as the villain of the piece. Well, who knows which version is the nearest to the truth but it does make for an excellent read and I am now keen to read more books about Richard and the whole of this troubled period of history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite Philippa Gregory but give it time 13 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book and the other two I have since read by this author. When I first saw the 'better than Philippa Gregory' sticker on the book I was more than skeptical as I've seen it used before and ended up binning the books. Now, Philippa Gregory is one of my favourite authors ( although not her latest books I must say so this was a tall call by anyones standard BUT, Anne O'Brien is actually very good and very similar in her style to the early PG Tudor books, not as historically accurate and quite romantic but very enjoyable. For me, much more readable than The Sunne in Splendour which was very heavy going. I hope she continues to write like this as she has a new fan in me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written tale of love and woe! 28 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback
After reading a couple of Anne O'Brien's other works when the opportunity arose to get this one I jumped at it as I have thoroughly enjoyed her work before and this book is no exception, it's totally enjoyable!

In recent years there have been a few books about Anne Neville and her part in the War Of The Roses, most notable probably Philippa Gregory's The Kingmaker's Daughter, which I read and enjoyed too. I must admit that I actually prefer this version of the tale.

The book takes place in the period of Anne's life running up to her marriage to Richard Of Gloucester and as Anne's real life is a bit of a mystery the author has the opportunity to tell the tale in the way she wants and I appreciate that she had chosen the more romantic approach in this instance.

I like this approach for Anne as she probably had a pretty rough life leading up the marriage to Richard. She was pawn to her father's ambition for himself and his family, betrothed several times for political reasons, firstly to Richard of Gloucester, who she has loved since she was a child and then to Edward of Lancaster who she is forced to marry and has no feelings for whatsoever and who has none for her, he still thinks of his new wife as his enemy. She's emotionally tortured my the circumstances she finds herself in, over and over by both her new husband and his mother until she finds herself alone with no family, no husband and no support whatsoever after Edward of Lancaster's premature death. Anne is placed into the household of his sister Isabel and her husband, Richard of Gloucester's turncoat brother George of Clarence and Anne is kept as a virtual prisoner and treated as an enemy of York because of the marriage she never wanted and the inheritance she is entitle too that Clarence wants for himself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it.
Had a job to put this book down.
Published 11 days ago by Angela Barker
4.0 out of 5 stars Virgin Widow
I have read previous books from Anne O'Brien and although I haven't had chance to read this one yet it is a subject I am interested in and I'm sure it will be good.
Published 27 days ago by jill wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant historical page turner
I usually do not like books being compared to other ones, however little the effort may be to be better than an other author, but if Philippa Gregory stands for a standard in wide... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Isabella
4.0 out of 5 stars A book about Anne Neville
This is about the wife of Richard 111 before she married him, an interesting slant on her life. If true?
Published 4 months ago by Gill O'Rourke
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably reason for buying it
Did not put it down, many late nights,not interested who defeated who just a good read. probably would not buy any others!
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer Stan trev
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Like all her books this is told in the first person. This assumes the writer has got into the mindset of the historical character. Read more
Published 4 months ago by N. M. Davey
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Although most of the story is based on romantic fiction,still worth reading
Interesting to imagine life around Richard and war of the roses
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. Nicola Hedges
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for romance seekers
I enjoyed this book immensely. If you're after a bit of historical romance then this is for you! Just as good as the kingmakers daughter by Phillipa Gregory.
Published 6 months ago by Gemma Gjergji
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
Loved the storeyline could not put the book down for days. I would thoroughly recommend it to all tudor lovers
Published 8 months ago by pamela donaldson
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
i have only just discovered Anne O' Brien..so glad she writes with such feeling that you get carried away and can't wait to turn the next page
Published 9 months ago by JEAN BIRCH
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