‘History as it should be written’ Alison Weir, bestselling author of the Six Tudor Queens series
A groundbreaking and fascinating biography of England's most famous queen, viewed through the women who influenced her life.
Elizabeth I is often portrayed as a ruthless 'man's woman', who derided her own sex – ‘I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman' – and loved to flirt with the young men at her court. Yet she was born into a world of women and it is her relationships with these women that provide the most fascinating insight into the character of this remarkable monarch.
As a child Elizabeth was raised by her mother, governesses and stepmothers, while as an adult she was clothed, bathed and watched by her ladies of the bedchamber and her maids of honour. With them she was jealous, spiteful and cruel, as well as loyal, kind and protective. Among her family it was her female relations who had the greatest influence on her life: from her sister Mary, who distrusted and later imprisoned her, to her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, who posed a constant and dangerous threat to her crown for almost thirty years.
It was these women – and many more – who brought out the best – and worst – in Elizabeth and reveal the woman behind the carefully cultivated image of the Virgin Queen.
Borman (King s Mistress) recreates the life, times, and key relationships of one of the most iconic women in history: Elizabeth I. Although Elizabeth is famous for deriding her sex and flirting publicly with favorites like Robert Dudley, Borman explores how other women shaped Elizabeth s personality early on. The beheadings of both her mother, Anne Boleyn, and stepmother Katherine Howard at Henry VIII s behest, and half-sister Mary s humiliating subservience to a foreign prince, made Elizabeth wary of men and convinced her that she must remain a virgin to succeed as queen regnant. Elizabeth shared a passion for religious reform and lively discourse with her stepmother Katherine Parr while her sister Mary s inflexible Catholicism taught her to never openly commit to any single policy. Elizabeth inherited Anne Boleyn s cruelty and vindictiveness, evident in her treatment of cousins who were prettier, younger rivals to the throne: Katherine Grey, who was imprisoned until her premature death, and Mary, Queen of Scots, also imprisoned and eventually beheaded. A standout in the flood of Tudor biographies, this smart book offers a detailed exploration of Elizabeth s private relationships with her most intimate advisers and family members. 2 color photo inserts.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I've always been interested in the Tudors and this book has definitely fed that curiosity. It's well written, informative, and gives great references.