Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

I'm not a huge fan of Philippa Gregory. She's one of those authours that I think I should like better than I do. Some of her books I really like, the others, I'm not so keen on. Her book on Anne of Cleeves was my favorite so far. I think because she gave me insight into a historical figure that I didn't know much about. Anne of Cleeves is an interesting character to read in fiction.
The Other Queen however is based on a character that much has been written, Mary, Queen of Scots. I find it difficult to get into a book where I already know a lot about the character and have read better books based on her life. Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Margaret George was a much better read. Both authors have different takes on Mary. I guess the question is which history do you believe? As with other books by Philippa Gregory, she takes some literary licence with her character. It's a different Mary than I'm used to seeing. More interesting to me were the secondary characters, Bess of Harwick and George Talbot. These were people that I hadn't really seen before. In fact little is known about George Talbot, so watching how she developed his character was quite intreguing.
Overall, I like that Philippa Gregory gets people interested in historical characters. I just hope that her readers get urged on into further reading to really learn who these people were and why they are remembered. I also hope that her readers take care to note that her writing is historical fiction and that they look to sort out the facts from the story.


Chris said...

I have this one but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

You know, I'm not a huge PG fan either, to be honest. But I have this book and started reading it not long ago. You're right....Margaret George does it better, but I guess it's all relative. I haven't finished this one yet (I'm too easily sidetracked, lol), but I intend to. Love your review here....we must think alike. :)