Oh Philippa Gregory, why do I continue to read you? You are so hard to blog, and I have less and less to say about you each time! Blah blah blah trashyawesome blah blah blah whipped through it in one glorious, cookie-filled afternoon blah blah blah those scandelous royals. Seriously, did the Tudors do anything but doink people they should not have been doinking?
The Virgin’s Lover – Philippa Gregory
So, my dear Philippa, let us sum up this latest delicious piece of impressively well-researched fluff. Bloody Queen Mary dies and her half-sister Elizabeth is crowned. A whole slew of people fall into disfavor, and others come out of the shadow of disgrace, including the dashing Robert Dudley (if there’s a less-sexy name, I don’t know it). Queen Liz the First is well-known for having styled herself ‘The Virgin Queen,’ on account of never having married, and allegedly having taken no lovers. Let us all snort derisively in unison. This is the daughter of Henry VIII (he of the six wives) by Anne Boleyn (who, you may recall, was sluttastic).
Even though Dudley’s father was a traitor to the crown, and he himself is a one-time traitor to the crown, and he led the English army to a crushing defeat in a very important war, AND he’s married, in very short order he and Elizabeth are dooing eet! Dark eyes, people, and the ability to sit well on a horse. Very sexy. But it is secret, for all the reasons mentioned above, and also because England is under threat from every country within spitting distance (namely: Scotland, Spain, and France). Liz has to spend all her time pretending to consider marriage propositions from all those countries, alienating those close to her, inciting war and then changing her mind, and fretting. A great deal of fretting.
And once Liz and Rob finally shacked up, I was all, Hey, there’s still more than half the book left! What are they going to do for some 300-odd more pages? Loads, my friends. There is scandal and intrigue and suspicious deaths and banishments from court and did I mention that Dudley is married? And that I wanted to take his poor, hard-done-by wife out for a Don’t-Need-A-Man-Dammit Day, so that we could get our nails done and buy impractical shoes?
Because even though the characters in Gregory’s books are all self-obsessed, royal idiots, I always feel for them, and I’m always kind of cheering for their promiscuous asses. It is for this reason, Philippa, that I will continue to read your shit (and because the dumbfoundingly-awesome Trish send me Wideacre in the mail JUST BECAUSE SHE THINKS I’D LIKE IT. Internet people are good people), even though you have a bizarre habit of repeating yourself verbatim. Not like you’re trying to be clever and establish some sort of theme, but like you’d forgotten you used that particular turn of phrase before, and your editor didn’t catch it. THIS DOES NOT BOTHER ME!
Keep churning them out, Philippa. The more you stay the same, the more I lap it up.