Gregory’s fourth installment, The Queen’s Fool, follows Hanna Green, a Jewish escapee from Spain. Following the death of her mother, Hanna and her father flee to England, for being Jewish was considered heresy.
As a young girl Hanna finds herself at court as an entertainer. She is discovered by Robert Dudley, whose father is the man behind the young King Edward, only son of Henry VIII. Edward is a sickly child and dies before becoming an adult. Princess Mary, the daughter of Queen Katherine, is next in line to the throne.
The Dudley family, however, conspires to take the throne from Mary and give it to some one of their choosing instead. In this way they hope to gain full control of the throne. The conspiracy fails horribly, bringing Mary to power. She takes it upon herself to jail all of the conspirators. As a Catholic, Mary desires to undo what her father and brother had done. During Henry’s reign he had dissected the church for monetary gain as well as putting aside his first wife. Denying the church and pope, Henry had appointed himself as head of the church. Not long after Mary takes the throne, rumors begin running rampant that everyone is conspiring against Mary to take her throne and give it to her sister, Elisabeth, a Protestant.
Queen Mary knows that she must marry and have a son or she could lose her throne. Consequently, in her late thirties she chooses and marries King Philip of Spain and soon conceives a child. After going into confinement, her pregnancy seems to go on and on without coming to term. Eventually, Mary loses her child and slips into a deep depression. While she had been in confinement, Mary’s sister, Elisabeth, seduces her husband to gain his protection. With him on her side, Elisabeth believes she will be safe from her sister’s threats of heresy or treason.
Mary comes out of confinement, has no child, and is losing her husband. Philip soon leaves her and returns to Spain. Queen Mary again loses herself to profound depression, leaving her with only the pursuit to rid the country of all of the heretics and treasonous persons. She believes in her heart that, after doing God’s work, she will be blessed with a child which and her husband’s attention will return to her.
At King Philip’s direction, Queen Mary goes to war. She loses Calais where Hanna the Fool had fled because someone had unearthed her past.
Look for my next review on The Virgin Lover.
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