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Publisher's Summary

A stunning new unabridged recording, available on audio download. A dramatic novel of passion, politics and betrayal from the number one best-selling author of The Other Boleyn Girl

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 listeners say about The Other Queen

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Thoroughly engaging

I have to say upfront that I am a fan of Philippa Gregory, I have read most of her books and have always enjoyed them.
This was the first book I used Audible for and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to listen to in fact I almost prefer it to reading it myself. The narration was very engaging.
As for the story itself, I loved how it was told from three different perspectives; they gave you a complete and complex story that you fully understood from all of the characters perspective making it very satisfying.

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very different perspective

Great read. Loved the different story line. The narrators were completely engaging. I couldn't stop listening

2 people found this helpful

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  • Julia
  • 10-11-2018

brilliant story, brilliant narration

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

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  • D. Gillespie
  • 14-11-2018

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.

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  • Ms Jane Feasey
  • 17-10-2019

On a Tudor kick

I have always liked this period in history, and have been listening to several versions of Tudor royalty and enjoying each author's view on what happened. I enjoyed this book a lot some really outstanding narration. My grandson is four and watches peppa pig. And for the life of me Alex Kingston as Bess sounds a lot like ms rabbit in peppa pig. I have found myself at several tense moments saying "oh Ms Rabbit" sorry everyone don't let this put you off . This book is full of ambition treachery and villains to growl at.

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  • Tamorinia
  • 23-07-2019

So Dull!

I am a massive fan of the Philippa Gregory cousin’s war novels so decided to listen to the Tudor novels. Most are fine (not as good but fine) but this and ‘The Virgin’s Lover’ were painful and arguably about the most interesting people. They picked a time where both monarchs did nothing so are so dull for an 18hr novel. Here is a sum up:
He loves the Queen
Mary loves herself
Bess loves her house

That’s the entire novel. Nothing happens...that’s it.
Such a shame. I only listened to this as it’s the last one in the series so I forced myself. The performances were fine but the script was like reading the shipping forecast! Stick to the War of the Roses.

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  • Chloe
  • 01-08-2019

voices of the past

All three characters were very human and having them read individually made me feel like I was getting to know each person's deep secrets. Love a good story like this when it has been based on events.

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  • Stu Young
  • 21-02-2019

A fantastic realistic dramatisation

The three performances within this audio book are breathtaking - showing us an insight of the thoughts of the three main characters - very powerful and I did not want to pause it.

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  • Mrs. K. Sowden
  • 22-11-2018

Excellent

Fascinating tale. Having 3 readers works really well. Definitely recommended.
. . . . .

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  • Naomi Skilling
  • 27-11-2021

God this is a slog

This one was even more of a slog than most other Philippa Gregory novels. At least this one had the benefit of multiple POV characters but that is a very small benefit when none of them get real focus and all of them are contemptable. Ideally, this should have been Mary's story alone or Mary and Elizabeth. Unfortunately we have the intrusions of Mary's jailors George Talbot and Bess of Hardwick and despite the blurb telling us it's a story of two queens, Elizabeth is offscreen for 99% of the book. That is probably for the best as Philippa Gregory continues to treat her like the 500 year dead queen did something personally against her.

George is perpetually unable to make a decision or act for himself thus only really gets carried along by the actions of other characters, mainly Mary. He also falls for the Scottish Queen in record time thus half of his narration is taken up with how remarkable he finds her which feels odd seeing as he neither really knows her and is supposedly loyal to Elizabeth. Mary herself is the embodiment of entitlement. She deserves everything in the world and more because she was practically born a queen and takes no ownership of her own terrible decisions because that would require self-reflection and an acknowledgement she isn't perfect. Bess meanwhile is the embodiment of greed and a miser. She has her entire portions taken up with complaining about every single coin she has to spend and attempting to suck up to the offscreen William Cecil and lovingly cataloguing every single thing she owns or has done which brings her in money.

By the end of this book I wish I had been beheaded alongside Mary.

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  • PAUL DUNICAN
  • 27-09-2021

"Could do better"

Not enjoyed and not allowed to obtain refund because part of " 2 for 1" although not familiar with returning an offer item.

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  • Phoenix
  • 04-12-2020

Wish I'd read it sooner!

Had this in my library a while and so glad I finally got round to it. Brilliant narration from all. I'm going to investigate more by her.

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  • Aapjebaapje
  • 27-05-2020

A story about real people

I have read many stories about Mary Queen of Scots. But this is the first which treats the people involved as real people, with real feelings. Real fears, real hopes and disappointments, real regrets. Reading this book opened up my mind to these historical figures as people just like us, but living in a different time and circumstances. Well done, Philippa Gregory!

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