I recently finished reading The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory. This is the next book in the Boleyn Inheritance series, and begins many years after when The Other Boleyn Girl finishes. Princess Mary is nearing 40, Princess Elizabeth is in her early 20s, and young King Edward is nearing death’s door.
The story follows young Hannah Green, the daughter of a printer who dresses as a boy. Hannah’s infrequent visions are noticed by a nobleman and his tutor, and she is begged as a Holy Fool. Afraid that her family’s dark secret – that they fled Spain after her mother was burned at the stake by the Spanish Inquisition, all because she was Jewish, Hannah accepts her fate.
When King Edward dies, Hannah becomes fool for the new monarch of England – Queen Mary. Hannah spends her time between Queen Mary and Princess Elizabeth, trying to serve both, as well as Lord Dudley, the man who begged her for a royal fool.
To me, this story was not nearly as interesting or intriguing as The Other Boleyn Girl. I think this is due primarily to two reasons: 1. Hannah Green was not a real person. I love that aspect of The Other Boleyn Girl, and often looked up the people mentioned in the book to find out more of the history. 2. There wasn’t as many affairs as there were in the previous book, so the plots just weren’t as exciting. What can I say? Sex sells.
Regardless, I have started the next book in the series The Virgin’s Lover. This is the tale of Queen Elizabeth and Lord Robert Dudley. It begins during Queen Mary’s reign. And that is all I know about that.