An awards-season darling, The Favourite has already scored a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Actress for Olivia Colman. The film had 10 (yes, 10!) Oscar nominations, including a nod for Best Picture, Lead Actress (Colman), and Original Screenplay. But the historical film is also memorable for how it brilliantly brings to life a period of history not well covered up to now: the reign of Queen Anne, who ruled Great Britain for 12 years in the early eighteenth century. As I watched actresses Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone knock their performances out of the park in the theater, my curiosity about their real-life characters intensified. I couldn’t wait to learn more about Anne Stuart, Sarah Churchill, and Abigail Masham, and then to read about other scandalous, complex ladies (real and fictional) who bucked society’s norms. These are the five books I immediately added to my to-be-read list:
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Orphan Sue Trinder is raised amongst “fingersmiths”—transient petty thieves. When a fingersmith known as Gentleman asks Sue to help him con a wealthy woman out of her inheritance, she never expects to pity her helpless mark, let alone come to care for her. But no one and nothing is as it seems in this Dickensian novel of thrills and reversals.
Really any Philippa Gregory novel will fill the “Outlander”-sized hole in your heart, but THE OTHER QUEEN will probably fit best, given that it centers around Mary, Queen of Scots. Set two hundred years before the events of “Outlander” (well, the parts featuring Jamie, anyway), THE OTHER QUEEN is filled with scheming, opulence, and lush historical detail.