Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Virgin's Lover

Here is another book about the Tudors. This time it is about the last Tudor, Queen Elizabeth I. The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory is about Elizabeth's relationship with Sir Robert Dudley. It also addresses Sir Robert's marriage to his wife Amy. The book also focuses on the Privy Council desire for Elizabeth to find a husband and the first two years of Elizabeth's reign as Queen.

I had issues with how Gregory portrays Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth I is portrayed as a weak, scared, unsure girl. This portrayal is not how I visualize the Queen. Even if this is her first two years as queen, I don't believe Elizabeth would be unsure and weak. I always saw Queen Elizabeth I as a strong manipulative person. Even when she was young I felt she knew what she wanted and went for it.

Gregory makes it seem that Dudley is controlling the relationship with the Queen, he is manipulating Elizabeth in the hopes that she would marry him and make him King. As I was getting more and more frustrating with this version of Queen Elizabeth; it dawned on me. Maybe Gregory was showing how the Queen was manipulating everyone Dudley, Cecil, and the Privy Council. In her way she was controlling the situation and making everyone believe that they were manipulating her. With this thought, I felt better. Every time Elizabeth did something I felt that was out of character for her; I thought this and I felt better.

Overall, I did enjoy this bit of Tudor history. Now I have to read other books about Queen Elizabeth I and see how they portray her.


Anonymous said...

I have this series down to read this year. Still haven't, but hope to soon!

Great review!

Jacquie Reaville (The Book Imp) said...

The Tudor period is one of my favourite in history. I must admit I see Elizabeth as a strong minded woman so I do understand what you mean. After all she was lucky to be alive to ascend the throne - so manipulation must have been somewhere in her make up.