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Elizabeth I: A Novel Hardcover – April 5, 2011
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More About the Author
Margaret's father was in the Foreign Service and so she lived overseas for her early life, in such different places as tropical Taiwan, desert Israel, and cold war Berlin, all of which were great training for a novelist to be. She started writing 'books' about the same time as she could write at all, mainly for her own entertainment. It was a diversion she never outgrew. Her published works are: THE AUTOBIOGAPHY OF HENRY VIII, MARY QUEEN OF SCOTLAND AND THE ISLES, THE MEMOIRS OF CLEOPATRA, MARY CALLED MAGDALENE, HELEN OF TROY, ELIZABETH I, and an illustrated children's book, LUCILLE LOST.
Margaret lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and Washington DC, and has a sextagenarian tortoise as a pet.
Top Customer Reviews
Be awed by the presence of Elizabeth Tudor, the woman behind the sovereign, as you explore the humanity of the indomitable Virgin Queen of England through the pages of Elizabeth I. Margaret George's meticulously researched first person account of the last thirty years of the queen's life is an enthralling breath of fresh air. Biographies of Elizabeth I abound. George gives the Tudor-loving world a unique novel, written in both in Elizabeth's voice and also that of her childhood nemesis, Lettice Knollys.
What was Queen Elizabeth I really like? The novel opens in 1588 when Elizabeth Tudor faces her greatest challenge, the Spanish Armada. Written with a consistently regal tone, the book gives us a mirror into the humanity of Elizabeth, the woman. Yet, the author masterfully incorporates the thoughts, actions and attitudes illuminating the greatness of The Virgin Queen who ruled England for forty-five years. Glimpses into the brilliance and machinations of Shakespeare, Francis Bacon and Sir Walter Raleigh abound. Skillfully woven into the book are both the human and regal facets of the queen who "ruled as much from the heart as from the head."
We see the regent's success and love for her people. Queen Elizabeth's ability to stand for long periods of time seems a metaphor for her triumph as regent. She manages uprisings in Ireland and continued assaults from Spain. She masterfully chooses advisors for her privy council perfectly suited to their jobs. In a nation beset with famine, the queen imbues calm. In an attempt to keep the plague under control, Elizabeth closes theaters and concerts and sends provisions to survivors.Read more ›
It is no surprise, then, when Elizabeth is increasingly enchanted by the volatile Essex. And though popular fiction makes much of the passion between Elizabeth and Essex, George reveals the deeper and more ambitious tensions of a young man without vision and an excess of pride, Dudley's devotion sadly lacking in an arrogant earl who fancies himself Elizabeth's equal: "Essex was eager to gallop off to glory, but he had no destination." Lettice Knollys, Elizabeth's cousin and Essex's mother, provides the Devereux perspective. A woman long given to enjoying the amour of younger men, especially since Leicester's death- a marriage that earns Elizabeth's enduring enmity- Lettice wallows in her own self-obsession, nurturing her son's hopes and providing a breeding ground for his ultimate betrayal.Read more ›
But there are some very, very good things about this novel, chief amongst them the alternating first person POVs between Elizabeth I and her romantic rival and cousin, Lettice Knollys. Lettice, of course, married Elizabeth's favorite courtier, Robert Dudley and was mother to Robert Devereux, who Elizabeth would later have executed for treason.
The entire novel focuses on Elizabeth's later years, during which Robert Devereux rose in her favor and then later sunk into rebellion. These moments of the novel are the most compelling, along with the fictional relationship between Lettice and Shakespeare himself.
I do recommend the novel (especially for you Elizabeth fans out there!), but I recommend in the paper version. I think you'll get much more enjoyment out of it than with the audio version.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed "The Autobiography of Henry VIII" but this book is a very tedious read. I made it about halfway and decided to punt.Published 15 days ago by Michael C
Wonderfully textured and totally captivating from the first paragraph right to the very end. This was a masterpiece that I never wanted it to end. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Yeltrab
Firstly, I have read every Margaret George book and fallen in love with the history of them. This is the only book that I had issue with. It was so dry....dry....dry... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sarah Lange
Excellent. Another great Margaret George historical novel. Beautifully written, great detail. Definitely on my "read again" list.Published 4 months ago by Gloria Hall