Gloriana combines a succinct and colorful biography of Elizabeth I with an incisive analysis of significant questions on the life and reign of this extraordinary woman, arguably England's greatest monarch.
Was she really the Virgin Queen? Was she complicit in the murder of a lover's wife? What were her views and actions on religion? On espionage? On torture? On slavery?
Fully illustrated in color.
Elizabeth I, aka the Virgin Queen, was a colorful figure who still manages to stimulate the popular imagination more than 400 years after her death. This wide-ranging biography is a breathless account that spans the entire Tudor dynasty, with Elizabeth's rise to power, her completion of England's break from the Catholic Church, the war with Spain, and her constantly evolving entourage of advisers, favorites, and paramours. Fields delves into the curios of Elizabeth's life. Was she truly a virgin? Did she sanction the murder of the wife of nobleman Robert Dudley? What were her true thoughts on Catholicism?
Fields introduces readers to aspects of the queen that they may not have heard before. The concision and comprehensiveness are impressive, and the book's brevity and quick pacing keep it from getting bogged down. Fields' enthusiasm is infectious. He finds plenty of intrigues to challenge conventional notions of the queen. Beautiful, full-color portraits from the National Portrait Gallery in London and a timeline of the queen's life round out this volume. Its 450-plus pages belie what a quick read it actually is, making it a perfect primer for those interested in the Good Queen Bess. --Kirkus Review