Read His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester by Jeane Westin Online


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 insistOne 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 insisted he stay close by her side. Possessive and jealous, their love survived quarrels, his two disastrous marriages to other women, her constant flirtations, and political machinations with foreign princes.His Last Letter tells the story of this great love... and especially of the last three years Elizabeth and Dudley spent together, the most dangerous of her rule, when their passion was tempered by a bittersweet recognition of all that they shared-and all that would remain unfulfilled....

Title : His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451230126
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester Reviews

  • MAP
    2018-09-27 22:27

    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 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.

  • Hannah
    2018-10-17 19:26

    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 :(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!

  • Lori Twichell
    2018-10-02 18:44

    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 storyline, Westin masterfully weaves the tale between letters and historical references to fill in the gaps of this breathtaking romance. Though we know in the first moment of reading that Elizabeth will be left mourning Dudley, still, we follow the tale that Westin weaves and fall as deeply in love with the two of them as they fall for each other. It is a testament to Westin’s writing that when we reach the end of this tale, we’ve become so wrapped in the story and the characters that we can feel Elizabeth’s pain almost as keenly as she does.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.

  • Charlotte Guzman
    2018-10-02 23:22

    This is my kind of book to read, Historical Fiction. First read for this author. This is about the love between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley. The love that was shared between the two was bitter sweet because she was Queen and he, although of high rank, was not in standing as a possible husband. She would have to reach higher for a Queen's husband, but never married to stay loyal to her country and herself and Robert Dudley. This was a lovely rendition of their love for each other, although we didn't know what really happened or was said between the two it was very believable to me. I have read many stories about the Tudor reign and loved this one about Elizabeth.

  • Stephanie Tracy
    2018-09-18 21:19

    I am a huge fan of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, so this book really excited me. I think their love story is beautiful and it was perfectly illustrated in this wonderful story. It bounced around to different times in their romantic, yet tumultuous, relationship, but started and ended in the same place. Robert's words and actions were sweet enough to make the reader fall in love with him as well, as I already was. :P I highly recommend this book to anyone who's a fan of Tudor history, and especially a fan of this beautiful couple. A great read, in my opinion!

  • Kristen Elise
    2018-09-27 23:42

    This was an interesting tale of the relationship between Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, well narrated and quite a page-turner. I really liked the way the novel was set up, beginning and ending with Elizabeth locking herself in her chambers with "his last letter." At times, I thought the sex was a bit gratuitous and the time-flipping maybe a little excessive. But overall, a great read if you're interested in this fascinating queen.

  • Dallas
    2018-09-21 23:21

    "I'm a man...just a man who loves a woman more than life." is lines like this that I found throughout this book that made me fall in love with the story of Elizabeth and Robert Dudley. This book only made my fascination for Bess and her Robin grow deeper. It is a wonderfully written book that will draw you in from the very first page, and warm your heart as you envision their love story. I would give this book more than 5 stars if I could!!

  • Linda Shook
    2018-10-13 21:29

    It was long and at times a very slow read but I could not put it down. Very interesting account of Queen Elizabeth 1, the daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn. Referred to as 'The Virgin Queen' Elizabeth seems to have had a long running relationship with a childhood friend but she never married. After reading this book, I have now ordered the DVD set, starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth 1.

  • Christy English
    2018-10-06 02:36

    I do love Elizabeth...and Robert loved her, so I love him too...

  • Michelle
    2018-10-19 20:49

    Here's my review for The Associated Press:¶ "His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester" (New American Library, $16), by Jeane Westin: More than 400 years after it ended with the death of Queen Elizabeth I, the Tudor period seems back in vogue with a successful movie, sexy cable series and slew of books dedicated to England's most powerful monarchs.¶ While Henry VIII has received a romantic makeover with the 2008 film, "The Other Boleyn Girl," and Showtime's "The Tudors," his daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, are the subject of a new novel and two biographies.¶ Elizabeth, Henry's daughter by Anne Boleyn, was the last of his three children to assume the throne and is well-known as one of England's longest ruling and best-loved monarchs. During her nearly 45-year reign, England established itself as the world's leading naval power with the defeat of the Spanish Armada and a cultural leader with the writings of William Shakespeare and others.¶ With hundreds of books already written about Elizabeth's life, it's a challenge for any author to come up with something new. But Jeane Westin puts a new spin on an old story with "His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester," her novel about Elizabeth's love affair with Robert Dudley.¶ Most novels and other works about their relationship focus on the early years of Elizabeth's reign when the two shocked Europe with their flirtatious behavior. The scandal became worse when Dudley's wife died mysteriously, and many thought he might have killed her so he would be free to marry the young queen.¶ Westin flashes back to those early days, but the bulk of her novel is focused on the middle and later portions of their 30-year romance. When Dudley died in 1588, the grief-stricken queen locked herself in her room for days with his last letter. Westin looks at how their relationship endured, despite Elizabeth's flirtations with other courtiers and Dudley's disastrous marriage to one of the queen's cousins, and they clearly remained the great loves of each other's lives.¶ The novel is not only a recounting of two great lives, but also a look at love in middle age, when couples see each other as they once were and not as the graying, aching, wrinkled beings they have become. Trust and shared memories have become as important as physical passion once was, and while the couple argues, they soon make up, knowing they can't live without each other.¶ Two scenes stand out: one in which Elizabeth disguises herself as a maid to watch an archery contest in which Dudley is competing and another in which he makes his final pitch for marriage.¶ Due out this fall, "Elizabeth's Women: Friends, Rivals, and Foes Who Shaped the Virgin Queen" looks at another part of Elizabeth's life that has received somewhat less attention from historians _ her relationships with other women. As author Tracy Borman notes, Elizabeth is generally thought of as a man's woman as her advisers and courtiers were male and she often referred to herself as a male being, a "prince" instead of a queen.¶ But Borman notes that Elizabeth's closest companions and servants were female, as men were barred from the queen's private rooms, and other women, including stepmother Katherine Parr and governess Kat Ashley, had strong and lasting influences. While Borman takes a traditional view of the historical record and doesn't break a lot of new ground, "Elizabeth's Women" is notable for the detail it provides on historical figures who are but minor players in other works.¶ Also coming up is "Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen," Anna Whitelock's biography of Elizabeth's half-sister, who preceded her as queen. Often known as "Bloody Mary," because of the hundreds of Protestants killed during her Catholic reign, she has received more sympathetic treatment in recent novels, which focus on the unhappiness and chronic insecurity caused by her father's abandonment and mistreatment of her and her mother.¶ Whitelock follows in this vein, exploring the contrast between Mary's accomplishments as England's first ruling queen and her personal tragedies. She is particularly careful to note ways in which Mary laid the groundwork for Elizabeth's longer, more illustrious reign. Like "Elizabeth's Women," "Mary Tudor" doesn't break a lot of new ground, but for those interested in the period, it's a solid addition to the growing body of revisionist writings about the period.¶ ___¶ Online:¶

  • Tudor Book Blog
    2018-09-25 19:41

    A The Tudor Book Blog Review( begins the story on the eve of Elizabeth’s victory over the Spanish armada. Elizabeth. As she goes through the intricacies of the court celebrations, she notices Robert Dudley, her favorite, is not there. It is then that she receives the letter, his last letter. Robert was dead. She locked herself alone in her room and begins to remember their life together.My Thoughts:This novel is a mix of present and past events for Elizabeth. Through out it, she continually has flash backs in a random sort of order. However, Westin masterfully brings these many scenes to life with colorful details and historical fact. I was pleased to see that she had certainly done her research. Westin sets each scene perfectly. I found myself easily transported through time to intricately carved wood paneled rooms, watching Elizabeth and Dudley toying with physical love, jealousy, revenge, and loss.Westin, as any novelist would, takes a few liberties with history. She shows that Elizabeth and Dudley did have a sexual relationship. However, I feel that the way she portrays it would be the way it would have probably happened if they did, in fact, become sexually involved.I really like that Westin also tells the story from several points of view, not just Elizabeth’s. At times, the reader was seeing as Elizabeth, at other times as Dudley. Perhaps the most interesting parts to me were the scenes from Dudley’s point of view. He is depicted as a bit of a lady’s man, having several mistress…and several illegitimate children. He even eventually marries one of these mistresses, Lettice Knollys, whom Elizabeth despises. I found it extremely fascinating to see Dudley’s reaction to the death of his son by Lettice, and his suspicions that she had something to do with it. I felt that by seeing through his point of view, Westin really captured him as a man, not just a historical figure. You feel his loss for his son, his love for Elizabeth…and his jealousy when Elizabeth shows favor to other noblemen.The only flaw of the book I found was that it might be a bit much for a Tudor beginner. The memories jump around a lot, as they would in a normal person’s mind. Each chapter starts a different time period, which do not go in sequential order. If you are not somewhat knowledgeable about Elizabeth, the book could get very confusing. I suggest brushing up on your facts about Elizabeth and Dudley before reading.Overall, I feel like this book is one of the best fictional portrayals I have read of Elizabeth and Dudley, and really captures the love between them. It felt as if Westin was actually there, witness to these events.I give this novel Four Tudor Roses, and I highly recommend this novel as one of the best fictional portrayals of Elizabeth.*Note: I want to thank Jeane Westin for providing me a copy of this wonderful novel!

  • Kylie Cheung
    2018-09-18 20:39

    I was excited to read "His Last Letter" -- I've loved the Elizabeth and Dudley forbidden love since Philippa Gregory's "The Virgin's Lover", and this book was dedicated entirely to them. I truly wanted to love it, but HLL fell a bit flat for me in some areas.Firstly, while this was understandably historical romance, it was romanticized to the point of being a little cliche... okay,a LOT cliche. I don't doubt Robert Dudley was in love with Elizabeth, but I feel like Westin should have addressed the fact that there was some ambition, on his part, in the mix. Next, and this is something unforgivable to me in all novels, it would have to be the awkward placement of their sex scenes. SPOILER AHEAD -- I feel as if there was no build-up to their sex scene in 1576, and that more sexual tension could have been weaved, at least in their earlier years. Which leads to my final complaint -- the story is set between 1585-1588, the last years Elizabeth and Dudley spend together before his death. This was arguably 'sweeter' as they are together still in their old age, thick and thin, but her 'flashback' chapters, which were almost half the book, could have focused more on when they were young, passionate and in love -- most of the book shows them as fond but mellow with age, and I find that a bit unfair. They were once so recklessly in love and that would have been entertaining to read about.Despite the notes in the previous paragraph, I enjoyed many parts of "HLL" as well. I may not have enjoyed how she built up their love, but the way she concluded it was poignant and beautiful, and her version of his real last letter brought me to tears. I don't want to spoil it, but their last ride together in 1588 was a beautiful addition. My favorite part of the book was her in depth chapter guide/timeline so that you don't get confused with the constantly changing dates, and the phenomenal author's note and reader's guide! The reader's guide was like a guide to all of Tudor England and it was deliciously informative. So thankful to her for that interview.All in all, "His Last Letter" is recommended, although not particularly strongly. It's romantic, inclusive, heart-warming and an excellent read for someone who can't get enough of Tudor England and Elizabeth I's iron will and sass.

  • Amanda
    2018-10-01 20:21

    His Last Letter opens with the biggest triumph of Elizabeth I's reign: the defeat of the Spanish Armada. They say it could never happen, that the fleet was unsinkable, especially by some fledgling island country led by an unmarried woman who is the daughter of a supposed witch and whore. But they were wrong. Thanks to Elizabeth's less than ethical relationships with pirates, for lack of a better term, such as Sir Francis Drake, she brought England one of its greatest victories and began the decline of the once-great Spanish empire. Everything seemed to be perfect, but it was the furthest thing from for the Queen. The love of her life, the man she was never able to marry, Robert Dudley, was dying.Through a series of time-jumping flashbacks, author Jeane Westin explores the strange, complex relationship between Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and the notorious Anne Boleyn, and Robert "Robin" Dudley, the Earl of Leicester. From childhood, all the way through the end of Dudley's life, Elizabeth battles with the tension of her love for Dudley, his need to be with her (his marriage), the complex political webs woven throughout court and the constant issue of Elizabeth's marriage -and her adamant stance that she would never marry and share power, as her father's many marriages had taught her.Told in compelling, at times nearly poetic prose, Westin paints a believable portrait of forbidden love, genuine romance, political intrigue and the very real difficulties of Elizabeth's reign, ranging from marriage to Mary, Queen of Scots and issues of succession. Weaving together historical details seamlessly with romance, I found myself pulled into the world of Elizabeth and Robin, cheering them on, but always knowing they could never be. I particularly liked how this novel portrayed romance without being too mushy or over the top, but real rather than romanticized.Apparently, His Last Letter is actually a sequel/follow up to Westin's previous novel, The Virgin's Daughters, which explores the earlier years of Elizabeth I's reign. But even though I haven't read Virgin's Daughters, I had no problem following His Last Letter and being completely drawn into the fascinating, compelling tale of Elizabeth and Robin Dudley. Though sometimes the constant time jumps each chapter got a little confusing, His Last Letter is fabulous historical reading.

  • Kylie
    2018-10-02 01:45

    I did enjoy novel; there were many thrilling, exciting, beautiful parts, but there were also bland boring ones, as well. I have never read fiction so late into Elizabeth I's reign as 1585-1588, when she was in her mid 50s. I do like how Westin still portrays her as relatively youthful. I believe Elizabeth's temper was portrayed well, although honestly I think her character was made a bit too 'soft.' When Dudley angered Elizabeth, I doubt she came running back to him once he said "I love you."I had many problems with the way Robert Dudley is portrayed. Definitely too soft - and rather annoying. On every page, he said "You are the only one I have ever loved..." or something along the lines of "I love you." This was pretty hard to believe, what with him sleeping with practically every woman at court, and then marrying Lettice Knollys. It is still in question as to whether Dudley returned Elizabeth's romantic interest; I personally believe that he did, but he may have pursued her simply out of ambition.My other issue was with the portrayal of Lettice Knollys. I hate her - I do, but it still bothered me that Westin clearly had something against her, as well. She was a nasty 'She-Wolf' in this story, and while I don't doubt that she was this much of a b*tch in real life, the author's obvious distaste for her took away from the story.Now for what I did like about this book. I enjoyed how its chapters would go back to different parts in the lives of Dudley and Elizabeth after some foreshadowing. This is a minor spoiler: I liked how Westin allowed the two to consummate their relationship, and enjoyed how they would constantly look back in remembrance at the night they shared. That was very sweet.Overall, there were many great things about this novel. It covers from their relationship as youths up till Robert's death, so anyone interested in this pairing should definitely read this.

  • Barb
    2018-09-20 21:43

    In 'His Last Letter', Jeane Westin gives readers a nearly exclusive look at the complex relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley the Earl of Leicester by focusing her narrative on several different critical periods in their lives with little attention paid to the queen's other favorites or politics.Westin's chronology of events is completely out of order; she begins her story describing events that occur in 1588. The story unfolds when Elizabeth or Robert are reminded of something that happened between them years ago and Westin takes us to the past where we learn more about their relationship and the events that recalled us to that time. At first I found the chronology, or lack there of, distracting and bothersome but once I got a few chapters into the book the order of events wasn't an issue and I could see how the story connected from one point in time to the next and I didn't mind the order of events.I think the relationship between Elizabeth and Leicester is fascinating and I enjoyed Westin's version of events though I think she was a bit on the sympathetic side in her portrayal of Robert Dudley. This is a story that I could read many different versions of and not grow tired of, for the mere fact that we'll never really know what was truly between them. We have the speculation of their contemporaries at the time but that can only tell us so much. If you are looking for a more comprehensive novel on Queen Elizabeth I recommend Susan Kay's [[ASIN:1402238681 Legacy: The Acclaimed Novel of Elizabeth, England's Most Passionate Queen -- and the Three Men Who Loved Her]]. Which I also enjoyed very much.

  • Crystal
    2018-09-18 23:29

    I had floated around this book in my local Barnes & Noble for a while; however, wary of similar period works of fiction such as those written by Philippa Gregory (no offense to anyone who's a fan of her work ... I have no problem with speculation on history, except that so many people try to think of her work AS history now!), I avoided taking the plunge. By the time I finally read it, I must admit I ended up disappointed.The non-linear style is a complaint I've seen a lot of people make ... I did not have a problem with that, but with the general characterizations. Yes, they're historical figures, so we can't say for certain what they were like in their day-to-day lives. Plenty of people portray themselves differently in written record ... but in the end, their behavior just came across melodramatic.My own opinion of Elizabeth and Dudley's relationship also clashed with the author's (I say they were regularly lovers; she holds that they only consummated the relationship once), and made the hundreds of pages of sexual tension feel like a romance novel building to a happy ending. Of course, there are only happy endings to be had when you end a story earlier than its real-life conclusion.That having been said, if I wish to immerse myself in the golden years of Elizabeth's reign, I would rather pick up the Elizabeth I miniseries, with Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons. (I know, a film over a book?) What it lacked in historical accuracy, it made up for in general character.

  • Svea
    2018-09-22 21:43

    Read my full review on my blog: Confessions and Ramblings of a Muse in the Fog.Having just defeated the Spanish Armada, Elizabeth I spirits could not be higher; that is until she receives word that her long time love, Robert Dudley, has perished. All of her joy and laughter quickly vanishes and she is thrown into deep despair. As she is drawn into her private chambers by loyal subjects, we are taken on a journey through the final years of Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley's erratic and passionate relationship. Jeane Westin has brought Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley to life in this touching and absorbing novel. Focusing mainly on the relationship between these two characters, we see the events of that time period unfold through their eyes. Elizabeth I is not merely portrayed as a....

  • Gaile
    2018-10-06 18:28

    This novel assumes the reader knows something about the history of the Tudor period. I think a reader new come to Tudor history would have to do other reading to understand it. That said, I knew enough of the period to enjoy the novel and see the motives behind Elizabeth's behavior toward her beloved Robin. There are flashbacks here to help the reader understand their entire relationship from the time they were children together.The POV switches between Elizabeth and Robert. The author plays on Lettice Knollys likeness to Elizabeth as a key for Robert to be attracted to her. All in all, excellent characterization.

  • Peg
    2018-09-30 00:33

    This novel about the relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester is based on spare historical fact, but is interesting and informative regarding the Virgin Queen's reign and her time. Although I prefer something with more verifiable factual information, this book does give a probable inside view of Elizabeth's personal life. It certainly gives the reader a view of the Elizabethan Age at court and its intrigues. It also tells of England's conflicts with the Spanish and concerns about the French.

  • Nancy Xyooj
    2018-10-15 20:32

    The cutest and loveliest book I've read with Elizabeth and Robin. You'll fall in love instantly and wished this really happened (but what if it did???). Definitely one I would re-read over and over in the future! Just can't get over the emotions you feel for both characters. You're so frustrated with Robin, but he has his rights too! and then Elizabeth is so difficult, but can we truly understand her fears? So much pulling back and forth, but they always come back to each other.

  • Mitzi
    2018-10-02 21:41

    This is a story I enjoy hearing again and again. I do wish it would have been told in chronological order after the initial flashback.

  • Rosemary Kafka
    2018-10-05 00:36

    I chose this books because of the historical content although, as with anything dating back this far, there isn't a lot to go on. It was an interesting story although slow at times.

  • Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
    2018-10-05 21:46

    Review by Map(thank-you).....pass!

  • Rose Pavlicek
    2018-10-10 02:38

    I have read many books on Elizabeth Tudor both fiction and nonfiction. This is the romantic of them. Each chapter is well written. The switch from earlier and later in the relationship with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leichester, was a little confusing at first, but soon became clear. This book is a real page turner!

  • Amy Bruno
    2018-09-24 02:21

    In Jeane Westin’s sophomore release she tackles one of the most intriguing love stories in history...that of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.His Last Letter focuses on the last three years that Elizabeth and Robert were together before his death and alternately goes back to various pivotal points in their relationship. I thought the author did a fantastic job at this, giving the reader glimpses of their tempetuous past and then bringing it back to their final years, showing how those events transformed their relationship (though I wish she would have touched on the death of Robert’s wife Amy a bit more).“Always she must deny her woman’s wants, a queen outside, a woman inside.”Westin’s characterization of Elizabeth reads true and I felt she gave her a great voice. Not only did Elizabeth have to be strong to survive in a world dominated by men, but she also had a constant battle of wills raging between her head and heart when it came to Dudley. Their bond, forged in childhood, sealed while they were both prisoners in the tower and was tested relentlessly throughout their lives; Elizabeth’s wooing of foreign princes to satisfy her council fueled Robert’s jealousy, Robert’s marriage to Amy Robsart and her subsequent scandalous death and again when Robert secretly married Lettice Knowlys, Elizabeth’s cousin, all threatened to shatter their entanglement but their love would prove too deep. Elizabeth would banish him, and in the next breathe send for him to return to her again, never able to be parted long from her sweet Robin.Engaging, heartfelt and touching, I highly recommend His Last Letter and am very much looking forward to future novels by Jeane Westin.

  • MayaBea
    2018-10-11 01:31

    I suffered my way through this book in the misguided belief that it might finally get better. It didn't. The characters were shallow and poorly written. There were problematic views of both genders; the novel painted men as being entirely unable to control themselves when faced with carnal desire despite being told No, and showed women as secretly wishing to be ravaged because it is in their nature. "Sweet Robin's" infidelities are glazed over again and again because as a man it would be both "wrong and impossible" to expect chastity or celibacy.The writing itself is simplistic and constantly contradictory. Characters' expressions and moods change with no notice. The narrative structure follows no logical path. Rather than chronologically telling a story, or even switching between two timelines, the novel jumps back and forth following the whims of the author or character (it is hard to tell). I would say the writing is far more suited for a young adult novel, except for the several poorly written and highly euphemistic sex scenes.I picked up the novel because my mother gave it to me, recalling how much I'd enjoyed Philippa Gregory's works describing the same era. I was thoroughly disappointed by each page and am glad to finally put this book behind me.

  • Book BloogerReviews
    2018-09-18 22:20

    i made it to page 155 before i saw how bad this book was going to be. first off i love the tudor family history and everything about it, i have followed them for over eight years intrigued by King Henry and his six wives, the most spell binding being the death and life of his second wife Ann. and their daughter Elizabeth. I know Elizabeth's and Roberts relationship left a big gap in history giving people the freedom to write what they believed happened but i didint agree with this book. i dont believe Elizabeth would have put on her grave that she was a virgin queen then secretly sleep with Robert as this book implies. i believe she stayed true to her word and honored that vow. i also believe that the only reason she never married is because she didnt want a man to rule over her or ha e a chance to be like her father and cheat and possible sentence her to death. i also believe that the child birth death of Jane scared her into not wanting kids because she feared dying herself. this book was ok but it was not as good as Phillippa Gregory who has a true gift and meaning into the lives of the Tudor past.

  • Carlie
    2018-09-20 20:44

    i have recently loved reading novels about tudor england. i liked this book, which more deeply shows the queen and her love's relationship, but i have 2 confessions. 1. i think i like the Elizabeth that Phillipa Gregory depicted a bit better. i don't see her as wishy washy as she was showed. 2. to contradict my earlier complaint, we have NO idea what she was really like, and what their relationship consisted of. gregory says they were intimate, westin said they came close, but never came to it. having had a water pipe break, with no running water for a whole week, did put a new perspective on how stinky palace life would have been. it's a time we all like to look on fondly, perhaps as ideal, but i think i would have to pass on life without indoor plumbing.

  • Jennifer
    2018-10-14 22:36

    I have not read the Virgin's Daughters perhaps that would have helped ease me into Ms. Westin's writing style. At first the flash back chapters, out of order, were hard to keep track of and distracted from the story. Using the Chapter Guide at the beg. to keep track of the dates and places does help. Refering back to it before I read each new chapter kept things from becoming to confusing. Once I got into the flow of the book I was caught up in the story of a timeless love. The star-crossed lovers of the Tudor Dynasty.

  • Tarotemp
    2018-09-25 20:31

    A must read for any Anglophile and/or devotee of the Tudor period. Even if you're only slightly intrigued by the story of Queen Bess and Robin, His Last Letter seamlessly blends together all the years between Elizabeth's coronation and Lord Dudley's death not long after the defeat of the Spanish Armada: a relationship that oscillated between hotheaded outbursts of overwhelming love and tender, "What might have been had we only..." recollections by both in the waning days of 1588.