The Other Queen : The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels

  • by Philippa Gregory
  • Narrated by Stina Nielsen, Jenny Sterlin, Ron Keith
  • Series: The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels
  • 15 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Two women competing for a man's heart....
Two queens fighting to the death for dominance...
Here is the untold story of Mary Queen of Scots, in which New York Times best-selling author Philippa Gregory presents a new and unique view of one of history's most intriguing, romantic, and maddening heroines. Biographers often neglect the captive years of Mary Queen of Scots, who trusted Queen Elizabeth's promise of sanctuary when she fled from rebels in Scotland and then found herself imprisoned as the "guest" of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury and his indomitable wife, Bess of Hardwick.
The newly married couple welcome the doomed queen into their home, certain that serving as her hosts and jailors will bring them an advantage in the cutthroat world of the Elizabethan court. To their horror, they find that the task will bankrupt them, and as their home becomes the epicenter of intrigue and rebellion against Elizabeth, their loyalty to each other and to their sovereign comes into question. If Mary succeeded in seducing the Earl, or if the great spy master William Cecil linked them to the growing conspiracy to free Mary from her illegal imprisonment, they will all face the headsman.
Heralded as "the queen of royal fiction" by USA Today, Philippa Gregory uses new research and her passion for historical accuracy to place a well-known heroine in a completely new story full of suspense, passion, and political intrigue. The Other Queen is the result of her determination to present a story worthy of this extraordinary heroine.


What the Critics Say

"Mary's hell-bent assuredness combines deliciously with brisk chapters and rich historical detail. Indulge." (People)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Nothing to Write Home About

I am a huge Phillipa Gregory fan but sadly this particular title did not live up to the high expectation I had. There were three narrators and of the three I truly only enjoyed one of the three narrators whilst the story, though interesting just lacked something for me.

The Other Queen follows the life of Mary, Queen of Scots during her imprisonment leading up to her death. As much as Mary's storyline is a real focal point, a rather fascinating storyline also includes Bess and her husband George Talbot. The three weaves a rather interesting relationship especially when you add Queen Elizabeth as well as William Cecil.

It's mostly a typical Phillipa Gregory type novel with the intrigue, love and treachery. You find yourself both disliking and liking all of the main characters at one point or another whilst seriously disliking both Queen Elizabeth and William Cecil. Cecil's character was definitely not spared during this conversation and as for the main characters they all seem to have at least one fundamental fault that makes them particularly difficult to like completely.

The narration though was what killed it for me. I found Ron Keith (the voice of George Talbot) so completely infuriating that I honestly wanted to just skip through his sections completely. He truly sounded like a whimpering school boy to me throughout the whole entire book. The voice of Mary was done relatively well while the voice of Bess had it moments for me.... and no all these moments were of a positive nature.

Overall the book is able to serve up what you have mostly come to expect from Phillipa Gregory. But as a whole it seems to be lacking a little bit in terms of the storyline whilst the narration for me just made it all the worse in my vantage point. It's an 'OK' listen for me, but nothing to write home about.
Read full review

- Theodore ""A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons"

Interesting but repetative.

What did you like best about The Other Queen? What did you like least?

The various characters are always well developed and true to themselves in Philippa Gregory's novels. This time; however, the characters repeat themselves and their thoughts over and over and over. It moved much slower than her other books in this series.

If you’ve listened to books by Philippa Gregory before, how does this one compare?

I still enjoyed the book from the historical standpoint, and she definitely got across what the politics and lives of the people of England were during this period. It also illustrates how society had to deal with changing times. I enjoyed Bess's "self made woman" approach to life. She, too, was an example of how society was in transition from royal and noble rule to people rising in status due to cleverness and hard work.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Bress remains my favorite and the character I was rooting for, but her husband was soooo noble and lost in his love and concern as well as caught up in the change of status for the nobles that my heart felt for him as well.

Did The Other Queen inspire you to do anything?

I will use this book to reinforce what life was like in England during this time frame with my fifth grade class. It is so difficult for them to understand just how trapped women of that time were as well as all the political plots which can be applied to politics just about anywhere and any time.

Any additional comments?

Philippa Gregory is a master at making history interesting. I am basically a fan of mysteries and detective novels. She fits this genre as well as historical fiction.

Read full review

- Bella "teacher"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-20-2011
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio