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Queen Elizabeth I (The British Library Historic Lives) Hardcover – August 1, 2003

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814719572 ISBN-10: 0814719570

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

These two concise biographies, both published by New York University Press in conjunction with the British Library, are the opening volumes in a series of profiles of Britain's historical icons.

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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"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"This volume reflects Doran's exceptional ability to incorporate tomes of historical documents and interpretive studies into a highly readable, academically solid, beautifully illustrated, and concisely written monograph.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
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (August 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814719570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814719572
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,763,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This slim volume is only 144 pages including index. Susan Doran has written a complete, if brief, biography of Elizabeth I that hits all the main points of her life and rule. Nothing important seems to have been left out, and the narrative seems unhurried. One could read this book in a fairly short time, and have an understanding of Elizabeth's reign. However, for those who would like a bit more elaboration, Doran includes a Further Reading List at the end.
Doran's style is clear, engaging, and very readable. This seems to be a book intended for an adult reader, but it would be an excellent introduction for high school students (or even precocious middle schoolers), as well. The only spot where the narrative jars is when Doran briefly compares Elizabeth to Diana, Princess of Wales. Charismatic celebrities exist in every generation, and in twenty years, this reference may seem dated.
This is also an attractive book, apparently one of the first in a new series by The British Library. It includes many color photographs of portraits and documents throughout.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jim G. on July 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Elizabeth I (The British Library, Historic Lives Series) by Susan Doran is a really superb book! Though I have read many books about Queen Elizabeth this one, though concise, thoroughly captures the essence of the history of Elizabeth and her England. Susan Doran provides us a captivating glimpse into the complicated world facing Elizabeth both in her personal and majestic life as she confronts the dynamic political and religious world developing around her and the England she loves. Elizabeth I was a complex person ruling in a complicated world. In a very even handed way, Susan Doran presents how a dynamic Queen Elizabeth, at her best and worst, navigates as best she can, through the perils and complexities confronting her and England. Susan Doran gives us an Elizabeth who is real. She shows Elizabeth as a Queen who has human frailities, who is adept in propaganda, can be as cruel as she is rewarding, yet whose monarchy enthralls and inspires us to this day. Susan Doran's adept use of a superb collection of illustrations throughout the book really provides a wonderful dimension to her protrayal of Elizabeth as a dynamic queen of England. This is a book I recommend to anyone who has an interest in Elizabeth I, Queen of England.
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By Ivan on March 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love England's history and this book is very helpful to get the background of Britain XVI century and the life of Elizabeth I
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