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The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble
The Red Queen of this novel's title is a Korean 18th-century crown princess, Lady Hong. In the first part of the book, although dead 200 years, she tells the story of her marriage to Prince Sado at the age of 9, and her husband's descent into madness, psychosis, and his torturous death. Lady Hong, though, attempts to put her son on the throne and details all the court intrigue involved. The second half of the book centers around Babs Halliwell, an academic on her way to a conference in Seoul who becomes possessed by Lady Hong's ghost when she reads her memoirs. Lady Hong accompanies Babs during her adventures in Seoul, in part to keep her story alive. Or are there other reasons involved? Margaret Drabble's novel has received mixed reviews with The Telegraph saying of The Red Queen, "The life-story of Lady Hong is so extraordinary, and Drabble's fascination so infectiously if nervously conveyed, that it cannot fail to absorb the reader."