Elizabeth I

Anne Somerset, Author, Judith B. Jones, Editor Alfred A. Knopf $30 (636p) ISBN 978-0-394-54435-9
In this totally captivating, sympathetic biography, English writer Somerset quotes an abundance of primary sources to elucidate Queen Elizabeth I's often criticized actions. For example, she investigates the cunning ruler's ``sound enough reasons'' for attempting to have her hated royal cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, murdered in an underhand fashion without the bother of an execution. Somerset ( Ladies-in-Waiting) argues that the execution of Elizabeth's mother, Anne Boleyn, when she was two and a half cast a dark shadow over the queen's entire life. A virgin monarch, thrilled by the power of her father, Henry VIII, Elizabeth (1533-1603) turned her sex to her advantage in a man's world. She ``flaunted her femininity'' with chivalrous male colleagues and used her marital availability as a chief asset in the conduct of foreign affairs. The success of her 45-year reign, writes Somerset, was very much a personal triumph aided by her magnetism and charm. A wry, convincing portrait of a complex character. Illustrated. BOMC alternate. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Paperback - 672 pages - 978-0-312-08183-6
Paperback - 720 pages - 978-1-84212-624-0
Paperback - 648 pages - 978-1-85799-885-6
Paperback - 672 pages - 978-0-385-72157-8
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