978-0-224-04414-1 / 0224044141

Elizabeth the Queen

by Alison Weir




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About the book:

Elizabeth I survived to become queen by being very careful. The fact that she avoided being used or implicated by the various plots against her radically Protestant brother Edward VI, and fanatically Catholic sister Mary I, was a triumph in itself, and she never forgot the lesson that survival needed to be her first goal. What many of her contemporaries took for irritating womanly indecision was a refusal to be hurried; some situations change and some go away, but you can never escape the consequences of your actions--she protected Mary, Queen of Scots for as long as she could.

Alison Weir's new biography covers the facts well enough, but she understands Elizabeth's situation imaginatively, and that is what makes her book special. Elizabeth not only overcame the misogyny of the world she lived in--she exploited it; Weir's own feminism gives her insights into the canny role-playing that was so crucial to Elizabeth's chameleon nature. Everything had to be policy from wigs and fans to rack and gallows; this is a biography which understands not only what happened, but how it seemed and felt at the time. This is an excellent conclusion to Weir's series of Tudor biographies--popular history which brings good sense to bear on scholarly fact. --Roz Kaveney

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