So Elizabeth's chief advisor, Cecil, devises a plan in which Mary will live under guard with his trusted accomplice: Bess of Hardwick. Bess is a self-made woman, a shrewd survivor. She is newly married to her fourth and most distinguished husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury.
But what marriage can withstand the charms of Mary? Or the threat of rebellion that she always carries?
©2008 Philippa Gregory Ltd; (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd
"The slice of history that Philippa Gregory offers is generous, filling and never ambiguous." (Independent)
Wow... loved this! I had so thoroughly enjoyed reading this book that I worried the audio version would not meet my expectations or match the images of the main characters which were in my head. The three separate readers on the audio version got it so right... adding depth, complexity and personality to the Queen of Scots and her 'hosts', the Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife, Bess of Hardwick.. I empathised with each in turn and I found myself immersed in the rich atmosphere of those troubled times.
Near the top
Really liked the use of three actors for each of the characters.
Knowing that this is a true(ish) story - based on real events with embellishment.
I read this story as a book and enjoyed it so was tempted to try it as an audiobook but the very poor narration especially by the female characters detracted from the experience.
I found the accents very irritating and although I did persevere to the end it was difficult to ignore them and concentrate on the very good story underneath. It made me realise that checking the narration before purchase is a good idea-unfortunately the preview listening option does not work when browsing on my an iPad
This is one that I shall be returning
When I read this in print, I found it quite tiresome.
However, I thought I would try the audiobook and I found the readings brought it to life. I did enjoy listening to it. Though the characters' inner thoughts were repetitive, their behaviour was often so bizarre that you needed to be reminded of the obsessions or concerns that drove them.
I was encouraged to look up Mary's family tree and I was really struck by how good her claim to the throne was. They say that history is written by the victors and with hindsight we now see Elizabeth as having succeeded inevitably to her father and presided over a golden age but her position was far from secure.
I would give this 3 1/2 if I were able to. Unlike some other audiobooks, I don't think I'll listen to it again though.
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