by Alison Weir
Publisher: Ballantine, 1998
Genre: History; England & Wales
Source: Library copy
Summary in a Sentence:
Chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth I, and discusses both her political and private life; includes information on her relationships with Robert Dudley, Mary Stuart, and Philip of Spain.
My interest in Queen Elizabeth I has long been fed by documentaries, movies, and historical fiction titles such as I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles. I've always found her to be very fascinating and thought it was high time I read a biography about her. But which one do I choose? I found it serendipitous when a student at the high school library at which I'm interning checked in this extensive biography of the Virgin Queen, so I promptly checked it out myself.
I'm so glad I did. I've been on a bit of a non-fiction tear lately, and this biography didn't disappoint. Weir is very thorough, covering all aspects of the queen's reign, from her foreign policy to her personal life. The most discussed topic throughout Weir's writing is Elizabeth's battle to stay unmarried. Elizabeth spends years and years doing a courtly and strategic dance with other heads of state, leading them on for as long as possible in courtships she has no intention of agreeing to in order to keep the peace with foreign nations. Weir makes an excellent point that Elizabeth has good reason to be very wary of marriage. Just look at the disastrous marriages that her father kept entering into, and what happened to her unfortunate mother! Elizabeth knew that in order to be the true head of her country, she must remain single. I cannot imagine the pressure she constantly felt from both her advisors and subjects to capitulate and marry.
This book is recommended to all who are interested in Elizabeth and who want to read an extremely thorough narrative of the queen's private and public life.
- Children of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
- Pirate Queen: Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire by Susan Ronald
- The Young Elizabeth: The First 25 Years of Elizabeth I by Alison Plowden