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The Queen’s Fool

Narrated by: Yolanda Kettle
Length: 21 hrs and 11 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (115 ratings)

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Summary

It is 1553. Hannah Green, the young daughter of a Jewish bookseller, is forced out of Spain by the Inquisition, and becomes an unlikely player at the fractious Tudor Court.   

Her gifts of foresight mean that she is given, as a Holy Fool to the newly crowned Mary I. But as Mary's grip on the throne loosens, threatened by the ambitions of her sister, Elizabeth, Hannah is trapped in the deadly rivalry between the daughters of Henry VIII.   

As a secret Jew and unwitting spy in the struggle between a Catholic queen and a Protestant princess, Hannah must hide her own identity, as a girl watching a passionate queen and her cold-hearted sister, Hannah must learn how to be a woman.   

With an exclusive afterword written and read by Philippa Gregory, exploring the inspiration behind Hannah's story.

©2003 Philippa Gregory (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

Praise for Philppa Gregory: "Gregory's research is impeccable which makes her imaginative fiction all the more convincing." (Daily Mail)

"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)

"Subtle and exciting." (Daily Express)

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

Her best book yet.

I was sceptical to start this book as I thought it seemed like she was scraping the barrel of Tudor history for the sake of another book.
However, I was proven wrong and actually found this to be the best book out of all them. I think I actually shed a tear! Loved every minute of it and was sad when it came to an end.

3 people found this helpful

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FANTASTIC - AMAZING - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A beautiful narrative that follows the journey of young fool at the Tudor Court - with an insight into the lives of Jews in Tudor times and the loss of Calais.

Beautifully presented with passion and vivid imagery

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Gregory at her best

loved this book, gave an insight into the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth, and the seige of calais

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Unbelievable

After a while I just wanted it to end. I have rated the other Philippa Gregory novels that I have read – The White & Red Queen novels. I know her books are works of fiction based on real historical events but in her other books even when Gregory has written about her characters performing acts of magic I have believed her, I’ve found her stories credible and real.

The main way, The Queen’s Fool differs from the above novels is in place of an actual historical character in TQF the protagonist is a fictional character, specifically a young Jewish girl who happens to find herself in the employ of the Queen of England as a Holy Fool. This girl subsequently finds herself friend and close confident of the Queen of England, The Princess and one of the most powerful men in the country.

With absolutely no social standing the fool’s role as confident to anybody-who-matters was a leap I could not follow. She just happened to be there at the choicest historical moments and personally hears the great and good whisper their secrets. I found it almost painful to listen to, there may be lots of good things about this book but it’s not a good book.

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Brilliant all the way through

Just a really good book. Kept on wanting to listen to find out what's happening next for the main character.

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So so love story - not Gregory's best

I was expecting more history but this is like a mediocre love story that could be enacted at any time really, the history is so light, not gripping or intriguing like some of her other work.

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Teenage romance

The main character has no depth.
The plot is dull and predictable.
If I had known it was going to be 95% romance I wouldn't have bothered.
I'm a huge historical fiction fan and this book is very ordinary and doesn't give a sense of time or place.

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A Book That Really Surprised Me

Narration Performance: 5 Stars; Storyline: 4 Stars

This book has taken me on quite a journey! Although very well written, the slow pace of the plot in the opening chapters, failed to keep me engaged. Only after Queen Mary's Accession to the Throne, did I begin to re-engage with the book. The section based in Calais was really interesting, and took the book in an entirely new and refreshing direction. Actress Yolanda Kettle is also a fantastic & talented narrator of the text. Overall, a book that really surprised me

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Addictive

Really enjoyed this book, and Phillipa Gregory gives a great understanding of a woman in her time with the complications of religion and faith and of love and ambition. Sorry to get to the end of the book and look g forward to the next one in the series.

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brilliant book

it was an amazing book that had me captured and going from the very beginning and by the end it felt like i had know Hannah her whole life