The Virgin's Lover In the first two years of her reign, England's Elizabeth I went to war against France, squashed assassination plots against herself, and embarked on a… The Virgin's Lover In the first two years of her reign, England's Elizabeth I went to war against France, squashed assassination plots against herself, and embarked on a… 2004-11-16 Fiction Simon & Schuster
Book Review

The Virgin's Lover (2004)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Nov 16, 2004; Writer: Phillipa Gregory; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Simon & Schuster

In the first two years of her reign, England's Elizabeth I went to war against France, squashed assassination plots against herself, and embarked on a lusty affair with Sir Robert Dudley, a married man! Okay, so historians have never corroborated that last part, but such a scandalous possibility makes for a bodice-ripping read. Even juicier: The Elizabeth-Dudley rumors are linked to one of the 16th century's greatest unsolved mysteries. (Hint: It involves a suspicious death.) None of the characters in The Virgin's Lover are particularly fine-tuned (here the Virgin Queen is malleable! Here she's resolute!), and Gregory's style can be jarringly anachronistic — the phrase ''small fry'' in 1558? We daresay not! — but as lightweight historical fiction goes, this is jolly good fun.

Originally posted Nov 26, 2004 Published in issue #794 Nov 26, 2004 Order article reprints
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