Doran teaches early modern history at Oxford. She greatly admires her subject while acknowledging her faults. Elizabeth could be vain, petty, and frighteningly ruthless. Yet, that ruthlessness guaranteed her own and her nation's survival during extremely precarious times. Doran rejects the assertions of some historians who give most of the credit for Elizabeth's successes to her counselors. Rather, she portrays Elizabeth as a brilliant manipulator of both men and events, who was also blessed with the ability to manage public opinion, thus reinforcing her virtually mythological status.
Lavery is curator of naval history at Britain's National Maritime Museum He has written a fast-paced, absorbing chronicle of Britain's most celebrated naval commander, who died while engineering the great victory at Trafalgar. At first glance, Nelson was an unlikely hero. He was short, frail, and given to fits of impulsivity. Yet, as Lavery illustrates, he was a natural leader of men, with both physical and moral courage. Despite an authoritarian streak, Nelson was able to form deep bonds of trust and affection with the common sailors under his command. While he also reveals Nelson's less attractive qualities, Lavery clearly believes Nelson deserves his place in the British pantheon.
These two works are an excellent beginning in what promises to be an informative and enjoyable series aimed at general readers with an interest in British history. Jay Freeman
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"This is a concise and fairly compelling portrait of Elizabeth I and it is densely packed with much thoughtful analysis."-Sixteenth Century Journal
"[Doran] portrays Elizabeth as a brilliant manipulator of both men and events, who was also blessed with the ability to manage public opinion, thus reinforcing her virtually mythological status."-Booklist
"This volume reflects Doran's exceptional ability to incorporate tomes of historical documents and interpretive studies into a highly readable, academically solid, beautifully illustrated, and concisely written monograph. The book does a superb job of discussing Elizabeth within the context of the times. Doran's sympathetic portrayal of the queen and her reign will resonate well with readers in both the United States and the United Kingdom"-H-Net Reviews