His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester by Jeane Westin Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester

One of the greatest loves of all time-between Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley-comes to life in this vivid novel.

They were playmates as children, impetuous lovers as adults-and for thirty years were the center of each others’ lives. Astute to the dangers of choosing any one man, the Virgin Queen could never give her “Sweet Robin” what he wanted most-marriage- yet she insist


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    MAP

    Ugh, Elizabeth and Dudley fan fiction.

    This book, presumably, digs into the relationship of Elizabeth I and her favorite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. However, for some reason, 100% of it is a bodice ripper romance novel, 80% of it is focused on them as middle aged adults (why?), 20% of it is remotely historically accurate, and 0% of it is what I was hoping the book would be.

    Ok, how to break this down? Let’s start with the secondary and tertiary characters first. Like any good fan fiction ab

    This book, presumably, digs into the relationship of Elizabeth I and her favorite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. However, for some reason, 100% of it is a bodice ripper romance novel, 80% of it is focused on them as middle aged adults (why?), 20% of it is remotely historically accurate, and 0% of it is what I was hoping the book would be.

    Ok, how to break this down? Let’s start with the secondary and tertiary characters first. Like any good fan fiction about people who didn’t live the lives the author wanted them to, the first step to making them behave the way YOU would prefer is to get rid of all those pesky people who make their ability to have a romance more complicated. For this book, that mainly means Amy Robsart, who the author handwaves as basically a marriage of convenience, despite the fact that there is AMPLE contemporary evidence that it was a love match and therefore highly disapproved of by multiple parties (eg their parents.) Other secondary/tertiary characters, such as Kat Ashley, Lord Burghley, MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS – like all good fan fiction characters – exist solely to provide thoughts about our OTP (one true pairing)/information about our OTP/obsess about our OTP, as opposed to, I don’t know, running a country or something.

    But the real issue is with the characterizations of Robert and Elizabeth themselves. Robert is portrayed as being desperately, unselfishly, unconditionally in love with Elizabeth. Which is just a bunch of BS. Look, I fully believe that Dudley and Liz (as they will be called for the rest of this review) were truly each other’s one great love, but to act as though Dudley’s love was, to use a Jane Austen term, a disinterested love, is horse shit. Dudley’s fascination with Elizabeth was as much about her as Queen as her as a woman. He would not have been so devoted if she were Bess Fitzroy, bastard daughter of Henry VIII. But in this book, everything he does is for her, to prove his love, and is 100% selfless and altruistic. He even wishes she weren’t queen so they could be together. He genuinely has no interest in being king for the sake of being king – only so he can be her husband. Pfffffffffffft.

    The worst offender is Liz herself. The author misses her complexity and her ability to play people off each other while keeping her own council. She takes everything Liz said literally – the author writes as if Elizabeth was ACTUALLY surprised by Mary Queen of Scot’s beheading, and not just acting that way in a calculated ploy to play innocent. This is portrayed through all aspects of Liz’s political career – the author frankly writes her as if she’s an incompetent ruler. She also writes Elizabeth as if she’s perpetually a 14 year old girl whose crush has moved on to another person. Her constant thoughts about how Dudley should be chaste for her just don’t ring true for a woman of the time period. Elizabeth could be jealous, but I have a hard time believing she was naive enough to expect Dudley to not have sex. Worst of all, she writes Elizabeth not just as a ruler who needed men to help her make decisions, but as a WOMAN who needed men (specifically, one man) to make her decisions. PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT!

    For an author who claims to love Elizabeth, she seems to understand very little about who she was a political leader, a person, and a woman.

    Finally, the author’s ability to seamlessly weave in exposition was sadly lacking. My favorite example: “You have many warrants from Cecil – beg pardon, no longer Sir Cecil, but now Lord Burghley, since you made him a baron this year.” *headdesk*

    2 stars because she does have an author’s note at the end where she admits she made up a whole bunch of stuff. No more than two stars because there were sex scenes, and they were cringy. No really. There was dry humping. And now you’ll never be able to scrub that mental image from your brain. I know I can’t.
    …more

    Hannah

    Oct 12, 2010

    marked it as did-not-finish

    I may need to take a break from novels (or re-read some old favorites), as this was yet another D-N-F in 2012….sigh.

    At least with this one, I gave it the ole college try and made it to page 93, but it just wasn’t compelling enough for me to slog on through. A shame, as I was really looking forward to a really good novel featuring one of my historical crushes, Robert Dudley. It would seem difficult to make “sweet Robin” boring and un-sexy. However, Westin managed to do it – at least for me 🙁

    Ma

    At least with this one, I gave it the ole college try and made it to page 93, but it just wasn’t compelling enough for me to slog on through. A shame, as I was really looking forward to a really good novel featuring one of my historical crushes, Robert Dudley. It would seem difficult to make “sweet Robin” boring and un-sexy. However, Westin managed to do it – at least for me 🙁

    Maybe I need to go back and read Katherine with the dishy John of Gaunt, or even my more guilty pleasure, my favorite fictional hottie, Rory Frost from Trade Wind.

    Novel rut — BE GONE!
    …more

    Lori Twichell

    Oct 22, 2013

    rated it
    really liked it

    While doing any research on Elizabeth, you quickly realize that many people know a little about her, but not many know much beyond that. Fewer still understand or recognize the depth of her relationship with Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester. Author Jeane Westin, based on much research and a deep abiding knowledge of Elizabeth’s life, bases this book on the love story and romance that held during the lifetimes of Elizabeth and Dudley. With beautiful scenes and a fast moving yet easy to follow

    For anyone who is even mildly interested in history, the Elizabethan era or the monarchy itself, this book is a delight to read. Westin’s style, pacing and storytelling keep you interested in the story. Then she wraps little known historical details in well rounded characters and dialogue that give the reader an education while thoroughly entertaining him or her along the way.

    If you are a history buff and love to learn while you read or enjoy books that spark questions and imagination in your mind, then you must add this book to your reading list. Westin’s intelligence shines through her work and allows these historical figures to breathe, walk and talk in front of the reader. His Last Letter is guaranteed to be a pleasure for anyone who has even a passing interest in history or historical figures.

    Review copy provided by NAL.
    …more