Thank you to Pen and Sword for sending me a review copy of this book.
I really enjoyed reading this book about the life of Elizabeth I. There is a lot of focus on various different events of her reign and how they influenced her character and the way she ruled England. The split is pretty much half based around her queenship and half before her queenship, which is really interesting.
Much of the section on Elizabeth’s queenship focuses on Mary Queen of Scots and the relationship between the pair, as well as looking at how Mary’s actions influenced Elizabeth. Although there are a lot of chapters, they are quite short. Perhaps this isn’t the book for you if you are looking for something incredibly detailed, but it introduces a lot of different events and concepts and how the people and events relate to each other.
One thing that did annoy me and has knocked a star off my rating is that there are a few historical errors in the book. It says that the Duke of Cleves had two daughters, but he actually had three – Anne, Amelia and Sybille. John Dudley is described as the Duke of Warwick but was actually the Earl of Warwick. Warwick and Northumberland are described as being two different people but are actually the same person as the Earl of Warwick became the Duke of Northumberland. Anne Boleyn’s last miscarriage is said to have happened in January 1535, but it actually happened in January 1536, no rumours of anything in January 1535 as far as I know.
Despite these few errors I still enjoyed reading it, and I thought that the writing was clear and concise, and the sources were all documented, with plenty of use of primary sources which are quoted throughout. One of the most enjoyable books I’ve read about Elizabeth I, easy to understand and pulling all the chapters back to how the event discussed in that chapter shaped Elizabeth as a queen and woman was fascinating.
- The Birth of a Princess
- The Execution of Anne Boleyn
- The Birth of Prince Edward
- The Second and Third Stepmothers of Lady Elizabeth
- The Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine Parr
- The Death of Henry VIII
- The Scandal of Thomas Seymour
- The Common Book of Prayer & The Prayer Book Rebellion
- The Premature Death of Edward VI – The Tudor’s Last King
- The Nine Day Queen
- The Wyatt Rebellion
- The Death of Queen Mary Tudor
- The Coronation of Elizabeth I & The Religious Settlement
- The Mysterious Death of Amy Robsart
- The Return of Mary Queen of Scots from France
- The Smallpox
- The Death of Lord Darnley
- The Abdication of Mary Queen of Scots & Her Escape to England
- The Northern Rebellion
- The Excommunication from Rome
- The Ridolfi Plot
- The St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre
- The Assignation of ‘William the Silent’
- The Babington Plot
- The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots
- The Spanish Armada
- The Essex Rebellion
- The Death of Elizabeth I