Featuring: Elizabeth I; Amy Dudley; Robert Dudley
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In the autumn of 1558, church bells across England ring out
the joyous news that Elizabeth I is the new queen. One
woman hears the tidings with utter dread. She is Amy
Dudley, wife of Sir Robert, and she knows that Elizabeth's
ambitious leap to the throne will pull her husband back to
the very center of the glamorous Tudor court, where he was
born to be. Amy had hoped that the merciless ambitions of
the Dudley family had died on Tower Green when Robert's
father was beheaded and his sons shamed; but the peal of
bells she hears is his summons once more to power,
intrigue, and a passionate love affair with the young
queen. Can Amy's steadfast faith in him, her constant love,
and the home she wants to make for them in the heart of the
English countryside compete with the allure of the new
Elizabeth's excited triumph is short-lived. She has
inherited a bankrupt country, riven by enmity, where
treason is normal and foreign war a certainty. Her faithful
advisor William Cecil warns her that she will survive only
if she marries a strong prince to govern the rebellious
country, but the one man Elizabeth desires is her childhood
friend, the irresistible, ambitious Robert Dudley.
Robert revels in the opportunities of the new reign. The
son of an aristocratic family brought up in palaces as the
equal of his royal playmates, Robert knows he can reclaim
his destiny at Elizabeth's side. Elizabeth cannot resist
his courtship, and as the young couple slowly falls in
love, Robert starts to think the impossible: can he set
aside his wife and marry the young queen?
Philippa Gregory's The Virgin's Lover answers the
question about an unsolved crime that has fascinated
detectives and historians for centuries. Philippa Gregory
uses documents and evidence from the Tudor era and, with
almost magical insight into the desires of Robert Dudley
and his lovers, paints a picture of a country on the brink
of greatness, a young woman grasping at her power, a young
man whose ambition is greater than his means, and the wife
who cannot forgive them.
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