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Summary

1568. Mary Queen of Scots, fleeing rebellion in her kingdom, is offered a safe haven by Elizabeth I with George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his indomitable wife, Bess of Hardwick. The arrival of an extravagent queen turns the household upside down, as it becomes clear that the visit is a house arrest.   

Queen Mary makes Bess’ hard-won house a centre for unrest and treason, and - perhaps worst of all - Mary Queen of Scots’ fabled beauty starts to work on the Tudor loyalist, Bess’ own husband, George.   

The two women fight for their own rights: Mary to regain the crown and the kingdom of Scotland; Bess to win back her husband and houses. A third woman can decide: Elizabeth the First, and nobody knows how far she will go to protect her own safety.   

With an exclusive afterword written and read by Philippa Gregory, exploring the inspiration behind The Other Queen.

©2011 Philippa Gregory (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"Written from instinct, not out of calculation, and it shows." (Peter Ackroyd, The Times)

"For sheer pace and percussive drama it will take a lot of beating." (Sunday Times

"Gregory is great at conjuring a Tudor film-set of gorgeous gowns and golden-lattered dining. She invokes some swoonsome images...while the politics are personal enough to remain pertinent." (Daily Telegraph

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Differing vocal levels

Great story, mostly very enjoyable and an interesting perspective on two of the best know queens and the role of Talbots in Mary’s captivity.

Disappointed with the differences in volume levels between the two performers, I was constantly adjusting the volume or straining to hear the male performer.

Also there was constant repetition in the storyline about Bess as an accomplished and shrew business women. It was unusual for her time, but not necessary to keep referencing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jinty
  • Wiltshire
  • 07-01-19

Yawn ! Yawn !

I enjoy Phillipa Gregory and have a few of her books in my library.. however this one is just so Bad ! the voices of the narrators would put you to sleep and Did !! the droning on about the boring storyline was just to much for my poor brain .had to give it the big off button, going back to Audible .

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful performance and interesting story

The three actors brought the character's to life fabulously. It's easy to sympathise and empathise with each person in turn, despite their differing motives from time to time. It was a pleasure to read and very difficult to switch off!

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Loved it

Loved this book. I had no idea about the other queen's life. We were never taught much about her in English history but she was such an integral part.

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Excellent

Fascinating tale. Having 3 readers works really well. Definitely recommended.
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Different view of the old story

I really enjoyed this for the way it is presented, present tense and from the views of less written about people who were in the thick of the story. It feels more real. As an American living in Scotland, I would appreciate this context in a story about the American Camelot: the government of John F. Kennedy.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julia
  • 10-11-18

brilliant story, brilliant narration

Brilliant story, brilliant performances by all three narrators.
Richard Armitage proved once again that he is the best narrator ever.