This is the fourth book (chronologically) in The Tudor Series by Philippa Gregory. The Queen’s Fool is the story of a young Jewish girl during her service in the court of Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. She and her father flee Spain where they were persecuted and her mother burned as a heretic.
When they arrive in England, Hannah poses as a boy and works in her father’s print shop. When an affluent man from court visits the print shop with John Dee in search of specific manuscripts, she is begged as a fool for Edward VI’s court. Hannah becomes a Holy Fool because she has visions called “the sight” and is often asked to skry for John Dee. When Edward is sick, Hannah is sent to Mary I’s court as a “gift” to spy. The rest of her time in court is a tangle of lies and plots in both her personal life and court.
While I really enjoyed reading about the fictitious Hannah Green (originally “Verde”) and her father and fiance Daniel, I felt a little cheated out of a Philippa Gregory Tudor novel. It felt like Gregory wanted to comment more on the time and get someone who could experience some of the country’s turmoil during the rein of Mary I.
Hannah The Fool was sent all over from Mary, to Elizabeth, to Mary, to fleeing the country, then she returned to Mary. It wasn’t hard to follow, but the story definitely revolved more around Hannah than the Tudor Court which disappointed me a little. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good story and Hannah is a compelling character, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. Let’s just say it was a pleasant surprise and certainly a different way to cover four different rulers of England.