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Publisher's Summary

In the autumn of 1558, church bells across England ring out the joyous news that Elizabeth I is the new queen. But one woman hears the tidings with utter dread. Amy Dudley, wife of Sir Robert, knows that the peal of bells she hears will summon her husband once more to power, intrigue, and a passionate love affair with the young queen. Elizabeth's excited triumph is short-lived. She has inherited a bankrupt country in which treason is normal and foreign war a certainty. Her faithful advisor, William Cecil, warns her that she will survive only if she marries a strong prince to govern the rebellious country. But the one man Elizabeth desires is her childhood friend, the irresistible, ambitious Robert Dudley.
Only Robert truly revels in the opportunities of the new reign. He knows he can reclaim his destiny at Elizabeth's side. Elizabeth cannot resist his courtship, and as the young couple slowly falls in love, Robert starts to think the impossible: could he set aside his wife and marry the young queen?
Philippa Gregory paints a portrait of a country on the brink of greatness, a young woman grasping at power, a young man whose ambition is greater than his means, and the wife who cannot forgive them.
©2004 Philippa Gregory (P)2004 Simon and Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon and Schuster Audio Division, Simon and Schuster Inc.
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Critic Reviews



Audie Award Finalist, Romance, 2005
"An engaging story." (Booklist)
"Best-seller Gregory captivates again with this expertly crafted historical about the beautiful young Virgin Queen....Gregory amasses a wealth of colorful period detail to depict the shaky first days of Elizabeth I's reign." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Amy on 10-23-06

Not for Elizabeth fans

I enjoy reading about Queen Elizabeth, and I also enjoy fictionalized history (a la Tracy Chevalier) but this book was disappointing. I know it is fiction, but it painted a picture of a whiny and powerless Elizabeth. That tone ruined the entire story for me. Did not enjoy it at all.

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11 of 12 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Sarah on 12-21-04

Interesting new twist on the

This book is extremely well written, while bringing to the table an entirely new point of view - that of Leicester's wife, Amy Robsart Dudley. I have always wondered about her, and this was a fascinating journey into her experiences, based on historical fact. Elizabeth appears in this novel in all of her sparkling glory, but very human as well. Phillipa Gregory injects the wild ride of political intrigue into the story, as we jump back an forth between Amy and the court. I wish I could read it again. My only complaint is the length - I would have read twice the length!

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17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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