The Virgin's Lover

Version: Abridged
Author: Philippa Gregory
Narrator: Graeme Malcolm
Genres: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: December 2006
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 5 hours, 30 minutes
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From the bestselling author of "The Queen's Fool" and "The Other Boleyn Girl" comes a sweeping historical novel full of political intrigue, romance, and danger in a stunning portrait of the first years of Elizabeth I's reign.

Reviews (6)

Standard P. Gregory

Written by Miss Seaweed on June 21st, 2010

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Classic Philippa Gregory. Great historical fiction and keeps the reader interested from the first page to the last. I just don't care for the abridged versions much - you miss so much detail and it ends too quickly. I wish Simply Audio offered a full version of this.

The Virgin's Lover

Written by Aparna Kothari-Mears on February 9th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Philippa Gregory has impressed me with each book of hers that I have read, and this one is no exception. She clearly has a handle on not only the factual historical, and the societal and cultural norms of the time period, but she also captures the human psyche as it relates to love, passion, and the desire for power and wealth.

Interesting Point of View

Written by Anonymous from Sterling, VA on January 7th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

This book was an interesting take on Queen Elizabeth's love life from the wife of one of her lovers. It was good but I'm sure I would have thought it better if I hadn't listened to an abridged version.

Virgin's Lover

Written by Anonymous on August 15th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 2/5

My question is: How well was this book researched? I had always heard that Elizabeth I was a strong, willful, independent queen. This author makes her out to be a ninny unable to think or problem solve even simple situations for herself. Do yourself a favor....pass this one by.

Virgin's Lover

Written by Brandi from Apopka, FL on February 22nd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I have read other books by this author but this story was not as impressive. I don't know if it was the abridged version or the story itself. I think I would read the book before I listened to it.

Nothing Special

Written by Anonymous from Bronx, NY on April 1st, 2005

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I read Philippa Gregory's "The Other Boleyn Girl" and LOVED it. This didn't even come close. It was, at most, tolerable (I did listen to the whole thing). I don't know what it was, it may have been the plot, but, given my previous Gregory experience - I'm not so sure. It is more likely due to it being the abridged version. It definitely lost something. Additionally, I had a problem with the reading. At times his voice got very low and I couldn't hear him over the noise of my car, but if I raised the volume, it got way too loud when he returned to his normal tone.

Author Details

Author Details

Gregory, Philippa

Born in Kenya in 1954, Philippa Gregory moved to England with her family and was educated in Bristol and at the National Council for the Training of Journalists course in Cardiff. She worked as a senior reporter on the Portsmouth News, and as a journalist and producer for BBC radio. Philippa obtained a BA degree in history at the University of Sussex in Brighton, and a PhD at Edinburgh University in 18th-century literature.

Her first novel, Wideacre, was written as she completed her PhD and became an instant world-wide bestseller. On its publication, she became a full-time writer. Her knowledge of gothic eighteenth century novels led to the world-wide success of Wideacre, which was followed by a haunting sequel: The Favored Child, and the delightful happy ending of the trilogy: Meridon. This novel was listed in feminist book fortnight and for the Romantic Novel of the year at the same time – one of the many instances of Philippa’s work appealing to very different readers. Touchstone-Fireside reissued the trilogy in 2003.

In her later novels, Gregory pioneered the genre which has become her own: fictional biography, the true story of a real person brought to life with painstaking research and passionate verve. The flowering of this new style was undoubtedly The Other Boleyn Girl, a runaway best-seller which stormed the US market and then went worldwide telling the story of the little-known sister to Anne Boleyn. The Other Boleyn Girl is becoming a classic historical novel, winning the Parker Pen Novel of the Year award 2002, and the Romantic Times fictional biography award. The Other Boleyn Girl was adapted for the BBC as a single television drama and a film is now in production starring Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn, Scarlett Johansen as Mary Boleyn, and Eric Bana as Henry.

Other Tudor novels followed The Other Boleyn Girl: The Queen's Fool taking a sympathetic look at Mary Tudor through the eyes of a real-life character, a female fool, was a Top Twenty bestseller for twenty weeks in the UK, and has been bought in the US for a four-part television drama special. The Virgin's Lover, telling the story of Elizabeth 1st love affair with Robert Dudley, and the little known story of his wife, was simultaneously in the Top Twenty bestseller lists in both UK and USA whilst being Number One on the New Zealand bestseller list. It reached the Top Ten in paperback. Her third Tudor novel: The Constant Princess, which tells the dramatic life story of Katherine of Aragon, as a princess raised in the Moorish Palace of the Alhambra who achieves her life ambition of becoming Queen of England, stayed in the Top Twenty for thirteen weeks and in the Top Ten for four weeks in the UK.

Two of Gregory’s best-loved novels: Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth are based on the true-life story of father and son John Tradescant working in the upheaval of the English civil war.

Her most recent novel now out in paperback, The Boleyn Inheritance (Touchstone Books, August 2007), will delight her millions of readers world-wide. It tells the stories of three extraordinary women: Jane Boleyn, the widow of Anne Boleyn’s brother George, Anne of Cleves, the young woman who was brought to England by Henry VIII to be his bride, and then spitefully rejected by him, in favor of Katherine Howard the girl, almost a child, whom he adored and then killed. As the three women tell their stories in their own words the paranoid court of the ageing King comes to life on the page.

Philippa's novel A Respectable Trade took her back to the 18th century where her knowledge of the slave trade and her home town of Bristol produced a haunting novel of slave trading and its terrible human cost. This is the only modern novel to explore the tragedies of slavery in England itself, and features a group of kidnapped African people trying to find their freedom in the elegant houses of 18th century Clifton. Gregory adapted her book for a highly acclaimed BBC television production which won the prize for drama from the Commission of Racial Equality and was shortlisted for a BAFTA for the screenplay. Touchstone-Fireside will release A Respectable Trade in February 2007.

Philippa makes regular contributions to newspapers and magazines, with short stories, features and reviews. A frequent broadcaster, she is a regular member on Round Britain Quiz, Quote Unquote, and is the Tudor expert for television Channel 4's Time Team and presents historical programs for BBC, most recently an exploration into eighteenth century African slavery in the North East of England. She was the primary judge for the Whitbread novel of the Year prize.

In her spare time, Philippa runs an extraordinary charity, founded by her and a Gambian schoolmaster, Ismaila Sisay. Gardens for The Gambia digs wells for schools and communities in The Gambia financed by money raised and donated by Philippa herself. The charity is the biggest well-builder in The Gambia and is creating market gardens in this, the poorest nation in Africa at the rate of two a week at present. Philippa and Ismaila have created more than sixty wells so far.

Philippa lives with her family on a small farm in the North of England. She welcomes visitors to her website where there is a readers group, historical background material to the novels, her travel writing, journalism, and updated reports on Gardens for The Gambia.