Book Review – The Virgin’s Lover

The Virgin’s Loverthe-virgins-lover
Written By: Philippa Gregory
Published By: Simon & Schuster, A Touchstone Book, 2004, First Edition, 448 pages, hardcover
ISBN 978-0743256155

The Virgin’s Lover reveals the stirring, emotional struggle of the new Queen Elizabeth I; a forbidden love affair, remorseless treachery and the new Queen’s precarious, first years on the throne.”

Product Description – From
“In the autumn of 1558, church bells across England ring out the joyous news that Elizabeth I is the new queen. One woman hears the tidings with utter dread. She is Amy Dudley, wife of Sir Robert, and she knows that Elizabeth’s ambitious leap to the throne will pull her husband back to the very center of the glamorous Tudor court, where he was born to be. Amy had hoped that the merciless ambitions of the Dudley family had died on Tower Green when Robert’s father was beheaded and his sons shamed; but the peal of bells she hears is his summons once more to power, intrigue, and a passionate love affair with the young queen. Can Amy’s steadfast faith in him, her constant love, and the home she wants to make for them in the heart of the English countryside compete with the allure of the new queen?

Philippa Gregory’s The Virgin’s Lover answers the question about an unsolved crime that has fascinated detectives and historians for centuries. Philippa Gregory uses documents and evidence from the Tudor era and, with almost magical insight into the desires of Robert Dudley and his lovers, paints a picture of a country on the brink of greatness, a young woman grasping at her power, a young man whose ambition is greater than his means, and the wife who cannot forgive them.”

The Virgin’s Lover is a really interesting take on the romantic entanglement between the devastatingly handsome, Robert Dudley and Queen Elizabeth I. I enjoyed this story because it showed me how naïve a young Queen can be; how her fallibility and her weakness against the lustful pulls of the flesh could lead to a loss of power and control.
As the new Queen comes to power, the married Robert Dudley comes racing to be at Elizabeth’s side, as her favourite and as a passionate and all-consuming lover. By charming and seducing the Queen, Robert believes he will have control over the throne of England. Lady Dudley, Robert Dudley’s wife, is such a wonderfully morose character until her husband is near, when she shines like a beacon of unrequited love and hope. You can not help but feel badly for her state of affairs.
The story has wonderful flow and the plot is well written and well timed. The characters and their personalities are very carefully carried through from one novel to another. I love Philippa’s writing as she moulds and shapes the characters, developing and changing them because of their experiences and interactions. Some of the great highs and lows that the characters feel are often mirrored by my own emotions as I cheer for the victory of some and dearly wish for a humbling fall, for others.
I highly recommend this book!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it

Link to the Author’s website:
Link to the Publisher’s Website:

A special thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy


7 thoughts on “Book Review – The Virgin’s Lover

  1. Great Review. I haven’t read this author yet but perhaps I will have to mark that on the TB pile.

    Check out my blog I gave you an award. Talk to you soon. :)

  2. Thank you so much, Teddy and Cindy!! To be awarded twice is doubly wonderful and I am so pleased that you both like my blog this much!
    I really appreciate it. Thanks again!

    You’ve both made me smile :-D

  3. This was actually the first Philippa Gregory novel that I read and it completely sucked me in from the very first page. I do find her novels “unputdownable”, meaning that I have to carry them around with me and generally read them in a day or two. I moved from that one on to the Wideacre Trilogy which were also brilliant and I would highly recommend them.
    Great review, Bobbie.

  4. Hi Claire (TheAnneBoleynFiles),

    Oh, that’s really neat; this book was pretty racy eh? :-) I think it’s a wonderful compliment to an author when you can’t put their book down! Thanks for sharing.
    I really should get the Wideacre Trilogy sometime; it looked like a great series too, thanks for recommending it. :-)
    I’m so glad you enjoyed the review, Claire.

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