Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Black Friday egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Get Ready for the Winter Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Black Friday Deals BestoftheYear Outdoor Deals on Tikes
The Life of Elizabeth I and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $18.00
  • Save: $5.49 (31%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
The Life of Elizabeth I has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Clean. Great Binding. Cover Shows Light Wear.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The Life of Elizabeth I Paperback – October 5, 1999

356 customer reviews

See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$4.42 $0.01

Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President by Betty Boyd Caroli
"Lady Bird and Lyndon" by Betty Boyd Caroli
In Lady Bird and Lyndon, Betty Boyd Caroli restores Lady Bird Johnson to her rightful place in history, painting a vivid portrait of a marriage with complex, but familiar and identifiable overtones. Learn more | See related books
$12.51 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Life of Elizabeth I
  • +
  • The Children of Henry VIII
  • +
  • The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Total price: $36.67
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more

Editorial Reviews Review

The long life and powerful personality of England's beloved Virgin Queen have eternal appeal, and popular historian Alison Weir depicts both with panache. She's especially good at evoking the physical texture of Tudor England: the elaborate royal gowns (actually an intricate assembly of separate fabric panels buttoned together over linen shifts), the luxurious but unhygienic palaces (Elizabeth got the only "close stool"; most members of her retinue relieved themselves in the courtyards), the huge meals heavily seasoned to disguise the taste of spoiled meat. Against this earthy backdrop, Elizabeth's intelligence and formidable political skills stand in vivid relief. She may have been autocratic, devious, even deceptive, but these traits were required to perform a 45-year tightrope walk between the two great powers of Europe, France and Spain. Both countries were eager to bring small, weak England under their sway and to safely marry off its inconveniently independent queen. Weir emphasizes Elizabeth's precarious position as a ruling woman in a man's world, suggesting plausibly that the single life was personally appealing as well as politically expedient for someone who had seen many ambitious ladies--including her own mother--ruined and even executed for just the appearance of sexual indiscretions. The author's evaluations of such key figures in Elizabeth's reign as the Earl of Leicester (arguably the only man she ever loved) and William Cecil (her most trusted adviser) are equally cogent and respectful of psychological complexity. Weir does a fine job of retelling this always-popular story for a new generation. --Wendy Smith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Weir describes herself as a social historian but admits that when chronicling the lives of the flamboyant Tudors, it's impossible to keep domestic politics and world affairs apart. One could hardly ignore the threatened depredations of the "invincible" Spanish Armada or pass over the intrigues of Mary Queen of Scots as she struggled to seize the throne and return England to Roman Catholicism. Weir has already negotiated the complex matrimonial life of Elizabeth's father in The Six Wives of Henry VIII and the early lives of the resulting progeny in The Children of Henry VIII. After a lonely and often perilous childhood during which Elizabeth was once imprisoned in the Tower and was nearly executed at the behest of her half sister, Queen Mary, 25-year-old Elizabeth ascended to the throne when Mary died. The prevailing expectation was that she would speedily marry a strong man who would then take over as king: as Elizabeth herself admitted, it was commonly thought that "a woman cannot live unless she is married." Elizabeth did nothing of the kind and, as Weir details, she did quite well for herself manipulating the royal marriage mart of Europe. Weir uses myriad details of dress, correspondence and contemporary accounts to create an almost affectionate portrait of a strong, well-educated ruler loved by her courtiers and people alike. Hot-tempered, imperious Elizabeth has been the subject of innumerable biographies, many very good. But Weir brings a fine sense of selection and considerable zest to her portrait of the self-styled Virgin Queen.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (October 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345425502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345425508
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (356 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

Example Ingredients

Example Directions

More About the Author

Alison Weir is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Innocent Traitor and The Lady Elizabeth and several historical biographies, including Mistress of the Monarchy, Queen Isabella, Henry VIII, Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Life of Elizabeth I, and The Six Wives of Henry VIII. She lives in Surrey, England with her husband and two children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

443 of 456 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Like many of your other reviewers I was amazed at the negative nature of some of the reviews. Statements such as the book is filled with filth, is based on gossip, is a tabloid history, focuses on Elizabeth's flirting with Dudley and others are simply preposterous. These statements prove again that a little imformation in the hands of some can be a dangerous thing - read a book or two and one becomes an instant expert.
How would one write a history of the Tudor period and not rely on gossip? The whole corpus of the primary documents of the period are largely gossip. Gossip also influences history and the players on its stage. Elizabeth simply could not marry Dudley, perhaps the only man she truly loved, due to the gossip surrounding the death of his first wife Amy Robsart Dudley. Gossip is relevant if people believe it (and it is the nature of humans to believe it).
Elizabeth's courtships, flirting, etc. is also of the greatest historical significance. Constant courtship was the device she employed to convince her male courtiers that she planned to marry and produce an heir (hopefully male of course). In fact, she had no intention of marrying, knowing that the moment she did power would immediately pass to her husband whoever that might be.
As to the charges that the book is filled with filth and Monica type tabloid journalism again shows a total ignorance of the period. The Tudor court was a vey racy place even by modern standards. Readers offended by such information should stick with their Jerry Falwell tapes!
I have taught Tudor history for 34 years and I have seen more interest in the Elizabethan Age over that last 6 months than at any other time in my career. The reason is two recent movies: "Elizabeth" and "Shakespeare in Love.
Read more ›
10 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
162 of 165 people found the following review helpful By Gillian M. Kendall on June 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Yeah, O.K., I'm a Shakespeare scholar -- the kind that writes articles 7 people in the world read (and one of them's my husband, and I think he only reads the beginning and the end). I knew I shouldn't like this book. I was ready not to like this book. I was ready to indulge in a feeding frenzy of nit-picking.
The problem is, I really liked the book. Really. Sure, this is a popular treatment of Elizabeth I's life, but what does that mean? It means that Weir occasionally glosses over complexities and that her prose is jargon free. She doesn't enter any spiral-of-doom of arcane theory, and she seems to have a good time romping around the Renaissance. I couldn't put the darn book down.
Perhaps what shows the honesty of this book is an admission Weir makes herself: she set out to show Elizabeth I's private life, and found she could not. No reader should miss that this is a world in which the very concept of a private life has yet to be articulated in any way familiar to us. Weir didn't come up empty (as she seems to think); she enables us, through her presentation, to realize the ways in which privacy in the Renaissance *isn't*. Weir searched for the inner Elizabeth and didn't find her, making us wonder about the entire issue of interiority.
I wanted more, of course, more subtlety, more arcane documents, a more clearly articulated point-of-view (and less psychoanalysis, though there isn't much). But this book is sound -- and it's not to be condescended to. I dare attach my name to that.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
94 of 95 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
In "Practicing History" Barbara Tuchman wonders aloud why anyone would want to write yet another biography of an English monarch, and anyone reading yet another life on such a famous person as Elizabeth I must ask himself what a new book offers that hasn't been done many times before. Alison Weir's approach to her subject is a very conventional one, and she offers no new interpretation of the queen and the accomplishments of her reign. Her Elizabeth is not the finger-breaking shrew of Carolly Erickson, or Jasper Ridley's hesitant ruler who got along mainly by charisma and luck. Weir doesn't have the elegant and economical style of Elizabeth Jenkins, whose "Elizabeth the Great" is probably the best written biography of the Virgin Queen. There are, however, several reasons to read this book. Most importantly for those unfamiliar with Elizabethan age, Weir explains a great deal about daily life in Elizabeth's time, particularly for courtiers, and she does it without interrupting the flow of her story. She also takes pains to let the reader know what has survived the homes and castles that she has mentioned, so that the modern reader can make a pilgrimage if possible(or to know how much has perished.)Most importantly, she cleans off the accumulation of legends that had somehow become facts over the ages. Elizabeth's famous lament upon hearing of James's I birth that she was "but a barren stock"--a quote used by Antonia Fraser, Elizabeth Jenkins, and many others was in fact from a second-hand account, as indeed are many of the famous stories of the queen's life. Weir's disclosure of all these second-hand sources is the main reason to read this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
111 of 116 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Apart from her obvious talents as a historian and biographer, Alison Weir is an exceptional story teller. The historical events in this biography have been dealt with many times before but I don't think Elizabeth's character, personality and motivations were ever described in such vivid and exciting terms. The book is especially rich on Elizabeth's personal life, her relationships with her many suitors and how she played one against the other to her advantage, and how she handled one international crisis after another and always managed to come out on top, even in the most desperate circumstances. Pope Sixtus V, one of her many enemies, once said admiringly: "She is a woman, only mistress of half an island, and yet she makes herself feared by Spain, by France, by the Empire, by all!".
Ms. Weir also gives a detailed exploration of how Elizabeth built her own legend and through cunning, intelligence, talent and perseverance created the almost preternatural characters of Gloriana and The Virgin Queen. Elizabeth was an exceptional personality, a woman who managed to remain in control of her kingdom for many years at a time when women were considered too weak and unstable to occupy any position of power. And she didn't just remain in control, she also managed to transform England from a rather weak country living in the shadows of France and Spain into a major power. Despite having almost everything against her, she obtained the love and respect of her subjects and in the process became an almost legendary figure.
As Ms. Weir so aptly puts it: "No English sovereign, before or since, has so captured the imagination of his or her people or so roused their patriotic feelings".
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Life of Elizabeth I
This item: The Life of Elizabeth I
Price: $12.51
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: a. weir books, books about british royalty