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The Last Tudor

Narrated by: Bianca Amato
Length: 19 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (306 ratings)
Regular price: £15.99
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Summary

'How long do I have?' I force a laugh.

'Not long,' he says very quietly. 'They have confirmed your sentence of death. You are to be beheaded tomorrow. We don't have long at all.'

Jane Grey was Queen of England for nine days. Using her position as cousin to the deceased king, her father and his conspirators put her on the throne ahead of the king's half sister Mary, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her crown and locked Jane in the Tower. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner's block. There Jane turned her father's greedy, failed grab for power into her own brave and tragic martyrdom.

'Learn you to die' is the advice that Jane gives in a letter to her younger sister Katherine, who has no intention of dying. She intends to enjoy her beauty and her youth and find love. But her lineage makes her a threat to the insecure and infertile Queen Mary and, when Mary dies, to her sister Queen Elizabeth, who will never allow Katherine to marry and produce a potential royal heir before she does. So when Katherine's secret marriage is revealed by her pregnancy, she, too, must go to the Tower.

'Farewell, my sister,' writes Katherine to the youngest Grey sister, Mary. A beautiful dwarf, disregarded by the court, Mary finds it easy to keep secrets, especially her own, while avoiding Elizabeth's suspicious glare. After watching her sisters defy the queen, Mary is aware of her own perilous position as a possible heir to the throne. But she is determined to command her own destiny and be the last Tudor to risk her life in matching wits with her ruthless and unforgiving cousin Elizabeth.

Read by Bianca Amato, narrator of Three Sisters, Three Queens and The Taming of the Queen.

©2017 Philippa Gregory (P)2017 Simon & Schuster UK

What members say

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the book but was confused by the muddle of the recording.

The book was extremely enjoyable. I saw Elizabeth in a completely new light; Gloriana was shown in a human light, a strong but vindictive woman struggling to hold onto power and so resorting to petty jealousy and consequently subjecting people to unjust and illegal treatment. I now question whether it was her strength or that of her advisors which enabled her to hold on to her throne.
However there was clearly a poor editing of the recording as part way through with a long way still to go before the end the final several chapters were read out which as well as spoiling the ending through myself into some confusion.
Other than that I would certainly say this is a highly enjoyable book and introduced me to a previously unexplored side of Elizabeth's court.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

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The unknown Tudor stories is tragic and spellbinding

This book has been wonderful for me , an avid Tudor reader . This unknown tutor story was difficult to hear at times as it's so hard to think of these women going through such torment with no support from the law of the day .
But what a story the author has created for us , out the pain comes love and life and courage .
The reader bianca is fantastic and brings these incredible ladies to life .
Zena x

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Rosie
  • Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • 23-10-17

Very typical Philippa Gregory, as in very average

This is very much in the same vein as Philippa Gregory's books, of which I have read a good few. I admire her for trying to give the forgotten women of history a voice; it's just unfortunate that she has to give them all the same voice.

The main characters of this book, all of whom have a narrative, sound exactly the same in the way that they speak and think. Lady Jane Grey is probably a bit more interesting than the other two (her sisters), but, well, we all know how long she lasted!

It's unfortunate that, as in a lot of Gregory's books, the women come across as so petty and constantly critical of each other. I can't help feeling that these noblewomen must have recognised how difficult and dangerous life was for each other and would not have despised each other so much for no good reason. In this book, the Grey sisters actually have an excellent reason to despise Queen Elizabeth by the END of the book, but really no reason to do so at the beginning. But Gregory portrays them as hating her for being self-involved and insecure from the very beginning of the book, meaning that neither they nor she have any character development at all.

The lack of character development is one of the most obvious failings of the book. The characters are always so frustrating sure of everything - they're sure that news will come, they're sure that they could never be beheaded - meaning that when the thing does happen, they come across as unbelievably naive and a bit stupid. And yet they sill don't learn from their experiences, but carry on in the same attitudes.

Furthermore, Gregory seems to be a bit obsessed with portraying Queen Elizabeth badly in her books. I would have thought a woman who is so interested in giving a realistic voice to women of history, rather than trying to see them only through the eyes of history (which is inescapably male) would find this queen interesting and inspiring. But Elizabeth gets no credit for any of her political victories, for being strong enough to resist being pressured into marriage, or even for the mere fact of her survival in such a difficult time, and is consistently merely portrayed as a petty, hateful woman. So keen is Gregory to show that Elizabeth is worthless that she portrays one of the Grey sisters as being privately supportive of Mary, Queen of Scots, which I'm sure would never have been the case for anyone from such a staunchly protestant family.

My final gripe is the writing style, which is monotonous and even soporific at times. Gregory can't ever use a pronoun to refer to anybody (it's always 'she, the queen, my cousin Queen Elizabeth' and never just 'she'), as well as other annoying rhetorical devices, such as always saying, 'I feel that it is cold' or 'I think that it is cold' rather than just 'it is cold. This means that her sentences pretty much all sound the same as each other, which is very boring.

In terms of the narration, I must say that Bianca Amato has improved on her reading of previous Philippa Gregory books. A lot of her annoying quirks of speech have disappeared and she pronounces place names correctly now. She still pronounces some words a little oddly, but overall I was quite impressed.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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yet again amazing work

brings to life the story of those the classroom has choose to forget ... outstanding once again !



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic!

Another wonderful audiobook from Philippa. Bianca's narration is great and I just love Philippa's stories.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The last tudor

The last tudor, such enthralling book, found it hard to put down, a great read

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Quite Boring

The story in this book is probably the most uninteresting of the Phillipa Gregory novels. Lady Jane Grey's portion was probably the highlight but her sisters are not interesting at all and any insights they could have given to Elizabeth's court are pretty quickly squandered since they spend most of their parts imprisoned away from court and only hearing things second hand. Also the way the author treats Elizabeth smacks a great deal of misogyny and also of demonization because nothing she ever does is seen in a positive light EVER. She's always a slut or a tyrant and there is no inbetween.

TL:DR: Skip this one.

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The Unknown sisters

Love the way Philippa explains women’s history. It is little written about in such detail. The love she has shown for each character has made me research the other heirs in this story.

Women had it hard in the Tudor times, you would think Elizabeth would be wanting her cousins to feel the security she never had. But it was a time of distrust and the cousins were a threat.

Mary, Katherine and Jane were wonderful characters, having 3 daughters myself. The love they showed each other and respect was something I see in my 3. A worthy read or listen. You won’t be able to stop.

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Fabulous last in the line of Tudors.

A very good listen. An interesting insight into the unknown story of the Grey sister's. How a cousin could treat a member of her own family just because of jealously and vanity.

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loved this book . love the history and facts.

it was a great listen
v intriguing and kept me entertained all the way through. as well as gave me an understanding of living in this strange period in time

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-12-18

Bringing history alive

So many women’s stories are overlooked in the official history books. Once again Philippe Gregory has released the stories of three women who deserve to have their stories told Beautifully read, a sad but compelling story

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  • E.M. Biggs
  • 14-04-18

Tail end (or tale's end) of the Tudor saga

This is apparently the last book the author will write on the Tudors and is about three Tudor sisters (cousins of Elizabeth 1), who sacrificed almost everything either for a religious ideal or for love. Because of the latter, I found the novel quite shallow and lacking in substance. I got quite bored with hearing how much two of the sisters loved their husbands. The book wasn't bad enough to abandon, but it was like drinking a very flat watered down Coke. Not at all satisfying after you were expecting something much fuller-bodied. Very disappointing.

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  • Mary
  • 23-08-17

Wow a great read

Apart from Lady Jane Grey I had never heard or known of the other sisters it certainly portrays Elizabeth's paranoia against her coudins. I enjoyed the story so much I am going to go back and start from the first book again.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-09-17

Did not enjoy

I do not understand the chapter arrangement of the book at all. The timeline seems to be scrambling all over the book. The authors note is in the middle of the book(chapter 30). There seems to be repetitive chapters as well. It confuses and annoyed me to no end. Not sure if it is the intention of the author or a mistake from audible.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful