Elizabeth, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


A woman in a man's world, confident of her destiny to reign, intensely intelligent, passionately sexual yet (she said) a virgin, Elizabeth was to become England's most successful ruler.

Finding her way through the labyrinthine plots that surrounded the court, she had to live by her wits, surrounded by betrayal and suspicion, not knowing who to trust with her desire to be queen, or her desire to be a lover...


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Review by

I can't have too many books on Elizabeth l, she has always intrigued me ever since I read 'Young Bess' by Margaret Irwin when I was 12. This biography doesn't disappoint and Starkey has a dramatic writing style I very much like.

Review by

First, a caveat: the book that I read had only "Elizabeth" as its title on the cover. Once inside, it turns out that it is called "Elizabeth - apprenticeship" and that it deals exclusively with the early, formative years. That cheap attempt at deception wasn't necessary, though, because the story of how Elizabeth went back and forth from being a legitimate heir to a bastard and back, fearing that at any moment she might follow her mother Anne Boleyn's footsteps - up on the scaffold - is riveting, as it fills the gap between the two well-known reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Lots of cloak-and-dagger conspiracies, and moreover all this takes place before a dramatic backdrop of England being tossed back and forth between Anglicanism, Lutherism and Catholicism. The author manages to portray Elizabeth as person of flesh and (ice-cold) blood, and clearly sympathises with her. Slightly too much detail is given to certain theological matters dividing the various parties in the religious conflict, but overall, a solid read.

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