Book review: The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir

Following the tremendous success of her first novel, Innocent Traitor, which recounted the riveting tale of the doomed Lady Jane Grey, acclaimed historian and New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir turns her masterly storytelling skills to the early life of young Elizabeth Tudor, who would grow up to become England’s most intriguing and powerful queen.

Even at age two, Elizabeth is keenly aware that people in the court of her father, King Henry VIII, have stopped referring to her as “Lady Princess” and now call her “the Lady Elizabeth.” Before she is three, she learns of the tragic fate that has befallen her mother, the enigmatic and seductive Anne Boleyn, and that she herself has been declared illegitimate, an injustice that will haunt her.

What comes next is a succession of stepmothers, bringing with them glimpses of love, fleeting security, tempestuous conflict, and tragedy. The death of her father puts the teenage Elizabeth in greater peril, leaving her at the mercy of ambitious and unscrupulous men. Like her mother two decades earlier she is imprisoned in the Tower of London–and fears she will also meet her mother’s grisly end. Power-driven politics, private scandal and public gossip, a disputed succession, and the grievous example of her sister, “Bloody” Queen Mary, all cement Elizabeth’s resolve in matters of statecraft and love, and set the stage for her transformation into the iconic Virgin Queen.

Another story of the Tudor court and another good story. While I did not feel blown over by this one I did enjoy it. The story of Elizabeth I is something that I personally feel you can never really get enough of. She had such a life from her birth and on it is just a great interest. I always get a little laugh because we all know how badly Henry VIII wanted a boy and yet one of the greatest rulers England ever knew was his Heir but a Daughter. So take that guy.

Alison Weir as always does a good job of writing, mixing the history we know with the fiction that we couldn’t possible know what happened one way or another. If you like a good historical fiction this is a good read that will hold your attention. You may not learn any new facts (like me) if you read a lot of Tudor history but you will really enjoy the book.

My Gemstone Rating:



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