This book is a novelization of the early life of Elizabeth Tudor, set of course in sixteenth-century England. Eminent historian Alison Weir makes her sophomore venture into the world of Tudor-era historical fiction with a vivid and dramatic retelling of the early life of Elizabeth Tudor. The story ranges from Elizabeth’s childhood when her mother Queen Anne Boleyn is beheaded, to Elizabeth’s precipitous descent from princess to bastard, to her survival through several regime changes and her imprisonment for treason–to her triumphant ascent as Queen of England.

This book has something for everyone: political intrigue, sex, scandal, rebellion, vivid characterization and lovingly captured historical detail. Elizabeth is shown as the spirited, brilliant but flawed and human woman she must have been. I can’t speak highly enough about the book, and about Weir in general. The author is best known for her non-fiction historical books, but her treatment of this story proves she’s also a gifted novelist. Look out also for INNOCENT TRAITOR by the same author, which is a novelization of the story of Lady Jane Grey, the Nine-Days Queen. Fans of Tudor history and the intricate, passionate work of Philippa Gregory should enjoy this book.

And I can't forget to mention Weir's excellent biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine.  It was one of the works I relied on most heavily when writing my dark Crusader romance THE DEVIL'S TEMPTRESS (a November 2010 release from Dorchester) that takes place at Eleanor of Aquitaine's court.

But my favorite Elizabeth story of all time is still “I, ELIZABETH” by Rosalind Miles. I'll need to rhapsodize about this one a bit later. :)


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