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The virgin queen?
The Lady Elizabeth - Alison Weir
Member Name: anwar7
The Lady Elizabeth - Alison Weir
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Browsing the W.H Smiths at Heathrow airport I came across an Alison Weir novel that I hadn't read. I am a huge fan of her books and had thought I had read them all but The Lady Elizabeth was one I had missed! I normally buy my books, so was a bit shocked at having to pay the cover price of £ 6.99! So was it money well spent? Before I tell you my opinion let me give you a brief outline of the plot.
Elizabeth Tudor was the daughter of King Henry V111 and Anne Boleyn. The story begins in 1536 when Elizabeth was just 3 years old. This was the year in which Anne Boleyn was beheaded for so called treason. The Kings oldest daughter, Mary, is introduced in the early chapters. Her relationship with her younger sister is explored in great detail.
The second chapter begins in 1537 and continues to show what life in Tudor England was like. We are introduced to the people who were around Elizabeth at the time such as beloved governess Kat Astley. As Elizabeth grows into a young woman the story deals with her relationship with Lord Seymour. There are several passionate encounters!
Elizabeth lived through several of her fathers marriages and had relationships with various step mothers. Henry's third wife, Jane Seymour, gave birth to his much wanted son, Edward. It is well documented that Elizabeth had a strong affection for her young brother and this is well covered in the story.
On the death of Henry V111, Edward became king. As he was just a boy, his uncle Seymour became the head of the powerful ruling council. The book deals well with this period, introducing important figures, but not losing sight of the fact this is a novel and not a history book!
On the early death of Edward Mary becomes queen. But not before the attempt to crown Jane Grey as queen. There is a helpful family tree at the front of the book to help remind you who was who!
Mary is portrayed as a tragic figure and the story tries to understand why she became as hated as she did. Mary was a staunch catholic and believed it was her role to bring the country back to the true religion. Many who didn't want to return to the fold and except the mass and the pope as head of the church were burned at the stake as heretics.
During Mary's reign Elizabeth became the focus of many plots to remove Mary from the throne and have her crowned as queen. As we all know Elizabeth survived and was crowned as queen in 15 57. This is where the story ends.
I really enjoyed reading this. I love Tudor history and suppose I do know quite a bit about this period of history. The book does skim over some of the politics of the time that I think are important to help as understand why some of the individuals acted as they did. However this is a novel and is meant to be entertaining.
Elizabeth is portrayed as a very bright child with a huge capacity for learning. We know from documentary evidence that she was indeed very intelligent and could speak several languages.
Elizabeth is known as the virgin queen and this has been questioned for centuries. It is well documented that she had some sort of a relationship with Admiral Seymour. There were rumours circulating in the Tudor court well into 1549. As we will never know the truth you will have to make your own mind up! However the twist that Alison Weir has on the story makes for enjoyable reading!
The relationship between Elizabeth and her father is not often explored although there is documentary evidence about it. Again the Alison Weir takes time to show how the relationship might have been based on fact.
The book shows Elizabeth as a feisty young woman who had to use all her wits to survive in very dangerous and difficult times. She surely was the greatest queen this country has ever known!
I highly recommend this novel. It is a light ,but fairly historically accurate read!
Summary: Historical novel by Alison Weir
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