My Enemy, The Queen by Jean Plaidy

Lettice Knollys, beautiful, determined and strong, sets her sights on Robert Dudley from her first look at him. Nothing will stand in her way. Her dull husband and her children don't worry her and not even the formidable Queen can stop her. Extraordinary, ambitious and handsome, Dudley finds Lettice attractive and becomes tired of playing 'ducks and drakes' with his indecisive Queen Elizabeth, but Lettice is second choice.

Jean Plaidy may be sneered at in some quarters (usually by men) and some of this book comes close to a 'bodice-ripper'. However, her characterization of everyone in this novel is excellent - especially the intimidating and calculating, but sentimental Queen. Lettice could easily be unlikeable in her single-mindedness but she isn't.

Her historical research cannot be faulted and the background is well-written and clear.

This was a moving novel and I thought that it was one of Plaidy's best.


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