Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Review: The Lady Elizabeth

i Historian Alison Weir makes some bold assumptions in this fictional account of the early life of Elizabeth I. In her notes at the end of the book, she indicates that while there is no absolute verifiable evidence that Elizabeth became pregnant by Thomas Seymour, there were enough historically recorded rumors to allow for the possibility. She takes these and other "possibilities" to provide us with a different slant on historical events in the life of the young 'Virgin Queen'. The story takes us up only to the day she becomes Queen upon the death of her half-sister Mary. It begins with a precocious not quite 3 year old and takes us through the 2 decades of emotional peaks and valleys that Elizabeth endured before assuming the throne at the age of 25: the death of her mother, the ensuing musical chairs list of step-mothers, her imprisonment in the Tower, her house arrest, the on again/off again availability of tutors to help her keep her very keen mind engaged, her numerous illnesses, the plots in which she (or her servants) may or may not have been involved, the constant moving from one house to another, her early teenage crush on Tom Seymour, the death of her brother Edward VI after 6 short years on the throne, her feigned re-conversion to Catholicism to please her sister Mary, the list seems endless. I both read and listened to this work--the audio is well done and easy to follow the different characters. I highly recommend this for fans of the era, although I'm not sure if I'd say this is the best place to start if you've never read anything else about Elizabeth. There certainly are no lack of other volumes on the subject.


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