Book Addicts Welcome

I created this blog as a way for book addicts like myself to share their new favorite books and to find suggestions for great reads. Comments and suggestions are appreciated!

To Read List

The Hunger Games

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Other Queen

While this book doesn't have the same level of intensity and scandal that was found in the Boleyn Inheritance and The Other Boleyn Girl it is still a wonderfully written account of the battle between Mary Queen of Scots and her cousin Queen Elizabeth. As the Queen of Scots flees her kingdom after a plot has left her a widow and her life is in danger she turns to her cousin the Queen of England who she believes will protect her. As power and wealth often do, Queen Elizabeth has turned into a hard women who thinks only of her own throne and protection and little of her kin. Queen Mary is a prisoner in the very country where she is the rightful heir to the throne. Gregory writes from three different perspectives in this novel. First, is the voice of Queen Mary, then her captor/ guard, The Earl of Shrewsbury, and finally his wife, Bess of Hardwick. Through each character you get a very different account of what really happened during the years that Mary was imprisoned under the care of the Earl and his wife. From each you get a varying look at Queen Elizabeth and what her rule over England was truly like.
Of course. The answer to this is simple. Bien sûr. No one must ever pity me. They can love me or hate me or fear me. But I shall never let anyone pity me. Of course, when they ask me, did Bothwell abuse you? I will answer nothing, not at all, never a word. A queen does not complain that she has been ill-treated. A queen denies that such a thing could happen. I cannot be robbed of myself, I cannot mislay my own divinity. I may be abused but I will always deny it. Whether I am seated on a throne or wearing rags, I am still a queen. I am no commoner who has to hope for the right to wear velvet or live out his life in homespun. I am above all degree of ordinary men and women. I am ordained, I am chosen by God. How can they be so dense as not to see it? I could be the worst woman in the world and I would still be queen. I could romp with a dozen Italian secretaries, a regiment of Bothwells, and write them all love poems, and I would still be queen. They can force me to sign a dozen abdications and lock me in prison forever but I will still be queen and anyone who sits on my throne will be a usurper. Je suis la reine. I am queen till death. It is not an office, it is not an occupation, it is an inheritance of blood. I am queen while the blood flows through my veins. So I know. So everyone knows. So even they know, in their faithless hearts, the fools.
If they want rid of me there is only one way, but they will never dare to take it. If they want rid of me they will have to sin against the order of heaven. They will have to defy the God-given chain of being. If they want rid of me they will have to behead me.
Think of that!
The only way I cease to be Dowager Queen of France, Queen of Scotland, and the only true heir to the throne of England is when I am dead. They will have to kill me if they want to deny me my throne. And I wager my title, my fortune, and my life that they will never dare to do that. To lay violent hands on me would be the same as throwing down an angel, a sin like crucifying the Christ again. For I am no ordinary woman, I am a sanctified queen, I am seated above every mortal; only the angels are my superiors. Mortals cannot kill such a being as I. I am anointed with holy oil, I am chosen by God. I am untouchable. They can fear me and they can hate me, they can even deny me. But they cannot kill me. Thank God, I am at least safe in this. I will always be safe in this.
Phillipa Gregory's books read like a story although they are infused with history. She is one of my favorite authors and continues to be. For those who enjoy historical fictions this is a must read. For those who have never read one of her books, you are missing out!

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