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Elizabeth and Essex: A Tragic History Paperback – March 19, 1969
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Top Customer Reviews
This is all the more unusual given that Strachey is a historian. In most cases, his style doesn't get in the way of the story; his subjects are usually represented accurately and with respect.
Unfortunately, he doesn't quite succeed in this case. Strachey's Victorian sensibilities and Freudian view of his subjects often take him on wild flights of fancy that fail the test of Occam's razor. For instance, he asserts that Elizabeth was sexually disorganized based on a smattering of rumours which, he claims, prove that she had a deep-seated fear of sex and perhaps a hysterical block which prevented her from engaging in intercourse. Pretty convoluted reasoning, especially considering the fact that Elizabeth had perfectly sound political reasons to remain single.
Strachey's portrait of Essex is likewise suspect. He turns the proud scion of an ancient family into a manic-depressive basket case, but his evidence for this is scanty and his reasoning difficult to follow. Again, is it really likely that Essex plotted to overthrow the government because he saw himself as the true King of England, when a much more simple explanation (he was angry and felt insulted) comes to mind?
Yet even through the flights of psychological fancy and the wildly improbable motives, Strachey's portrait continues to enchant. I cannot stress strongly enough how enjoyable and entertaining this book is. Yes, one does have to take Strachey's explanations with a grain of salt, but the journey itself is a lot of fun and should not be missed.
I highly recommend this book.
TURN off the TV and allow your imagination to costume these intrigues.
as i read it,i couldn't help but feel futility because, i knew robert would crash and burn at the end. i wish he had tried to save himself,but,alas..this is tragedy on a grand scale. do not miss this one!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
That is the only word to describe this book for its wonderful insights into the colourful characters involved.
Highly recommended .
Interesting enough, certainly the writer possesses good knowledge of the era. However, I left knowing not much more than I started of what I was looking for which is what life was... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Cloud Walker
AN IMPORTANT BOOK FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN THIS ERA OF ENGLISH HISTORY.Published 9 months ago by mary lou penner
The style of writing was excellent and it read like a thriller.Published 12 months ago by LYNTON ROBIN HEGELE
I did enjoy this book but I felt that I wanted to understand more about their relationship. Even after reading the book I wanted to know more about Essex. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Maria