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Elizabeth, the Queen [Paperback]

Alison Weir
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 April 1999
In her highly praised The Six Wives of Henry VIII and its sequel, Children of England, Alison Weir examined the private lives of the early Tudor kings and queens, and chronicled the childhood and youth of one of England's most successful monarchs, Elizabeth I. This book begins as the young Elizabeth ascends the throne in the wake of her sister Mary's disastrous reign. Elizabeth is portrayed as both a woman and a queen, an extraordinary phenomenon in a patriarchal age. Alison Weir writes of Elizabeth's intriguing, long-standing affair with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, of her dealings - sometimes comical, sometimes poignant - with her many suitors, of her rivalry with Mary, Queen of Scots, and of her bizarre relationship with the Earl of Essex, thirty years her junior. Rich in detail, vivid and colourful, this book comes as close as we shall ever get to knowing what Elizabeth I was like as a person.

Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; New edition edition (1 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712673121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712673129
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 573,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alison Weir lives and works in Surrey. Her books include Britain's Royal Families, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Children of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry VIII: King and Court, Mary, Queen of Scots and Isabella: She-Wolf of France.

Product Description

Amazon Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Excellent . . . intricate and absorbing . . . An elegant, shrewd and wonderfully vivacious book."-"Sunday Times" "An informative and entertaining biography."-Peter Ackroyd, "The Times""Full, fair and judicious and particularly good on Elizabeth's private life."-"Literary Review"

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So easy to read, I love this author's style. 31 Dec 2008
By Ria B
I have read David Starkey books on the tudor and period and, personally, I find them pretty hard going and at the end of the book I can't remember much about what has been said for some reason (I think he uses too many big words for me - I have to have a dictionary beside me when I read his books!). I find Alison Weir's books are so much more enjoyable and much easier to understand. I became absolutely engrossed in this book and every day looked forward to my half an hour living and breathing in tudor england with Elizabeth and her Court. That's what this great author does - she makes you feel part of the story, and what a story it is! A great book, well worth reading.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This was by far the best written and most instantly engaging book I have read on the Elizabethan period. Alison Weir perfectly captures the atmosphere at court and the machinations and intrigue which occured there. Her portraits of figures such as Walsingham and Essex really make these people come alive to the reader, and the account of Essex almost drawing his sword on the queen, was one of the finest pieces of historical writing I have encountered. The detail is not overwhelming and is set within a compelling narrative, which makes it accesible to both experts and the interested novice alike. I cannot rate this book highly enough, and I will certainly be reading Alison Wiers' other books.
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insight into Elisabeth as she must have been 18 July 2000
By A Customer
This book, like all others by Alison Weir on the Tudor period, was a delight. The author manages to bring the reader so close to Elisabeth that I really had the feeling I was getting to know her. Particularly enjoyable is the way Weir produces historical evidence : she provides several contemporary accounts on an issue, explains why one account seems to be more reliable that the other - and in the process, never does the record get tedious or scholarly, which in itself is a feat. This approach only gives the impression of a very neutral, objective account - which adds tremendous force to the whole story. And what style, what elegance! A pleasure to read. A great, enjoyable book, which I warmly recommend to anybody interested in history.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this account on the life of Elizabeth, which deigned to cover her entire documented life from her beginnings, adolescence, to the triumph of her accession, troubles with the Catholic recusants and Mary Queen of Scots to her potential matrimonial woes and the final years of her reign.

Weir does well to cover such a complicated and long period as Elizabeth's life was, within a single volume.
In particular, I found Weir's depiction of Elizabeth's relationships with her long standing favourite Robert Dudley and later the Earl of Essex fascinating and illuminating. Similarly, her relationships with her councillors such as the loyal William Cecil and later her trusted advisor, Francis Walsingham are also scrutinised in lucid detail and the way these depictions are interwoven with unfolding events such as the speculation surrounding the death of Amy Robsart, her quest for a suitable husband and the intrigues of Mary Stuart are particularly impressive indeed. Weir also cautiously espouses some new yet very interesting theories surrounding key events of Elizabeth's reign. A few of these relate to the circumstances concerning Amy Robsart, Mary Stuart and the Earl of Essex.

There are also humorous moments throughout the book and nowhere is this more true than in Weir's vivid and engaging portrayal of Elizabeth's endless quest for a suitable husband who would serve her personal needs in the fullfilment of an heir without threatening her personal autonomy and sovereignty. As it was, none presented himself or else, Elizabeth was too fussy, nevertheless Elizabeth appeared to commit herself to several eager suitors on many different occasions before eventually, pulling back from the brink.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very sympathetic portrayal of Elizabeth 28 July 2006
Alison Weir writes a very engaging and sympathetic account of Queen Elizabeth, taking the reader right into the heart of Renaissance England and Elizabeth's splendid court. This is a vivid portrait of Elizabeth and her relationship with her rivals, suitors, courtiers, subjects, foreign diplomats and enemies. All aspects of court life are covered, from social relations and life at court, to war and the politics of 16th century England, thus providing not just an engaging biography but also a journey in time, taking the reader back 500 years to an England at once imperial, majestic, and in the midst of civil political turmoil. One star less because I feel as if not enough space was given to Elizabeth's relationship and dealings with Mary Tudor or the character and motifs of the Earl of Essex, the uprising of the latter being glossed over very quickly and in little detail, despite Essex's influential role at court.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great reading, also for non-UK residents 7 July 2011
Great book, read it in the shortest time possible. Every third book you see mentions it is "unputdownable" - well, this one is. This biography is put in a "European" context, and is relevant even for people like me ( I'm from Belgium ). Can't wait to read more from the same author !
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply compelling 22 Oct 2003
I have read many of Alison Weirs' books (the latest being the Princes in the Tower) and can not fault her. Aside from her exquisite ability to transport you to an age where the ruler of a country was all powerful. She guides and teaches you about the person and era in which the book is based.
This book in particuar is a "just can't put it down" book. There is everything. Murder, intrigue, treachery, love and even a bit of comedy (I found the thought off essex walking though london yelling for people to take arms against the queen and noone responding as most humerous). Fact is without doubt better than fiction.
Buy this book and you won't be disappointed and I guarentee this will not be the last Alison Weir book you shall buy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Lengthy
What you would expect from such a long reign. I found the narrative jumping about a bit of a trial as I personally would have liked the book to have been in chronological order and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by bbtn
4.0 out of 5 stars Tudor fan.
If you are as interested in tudor history as I am, you may enjoy most if not all of Alison Weir's books.
Published 5 months ago by Misty
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read
This book offers up a detailed account of Elizabeth, both in her personal life and habits and her public and working life, in great detail. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. N. Picton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Great read enjoy the most the insight in Elizabeth life and how people live in her times. Was worry as she didn't marry it could become boring,but it was not .fab again Alison weir
Published 6 months ago by julie reeks
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down
Alison Weir is a great storyteller! This book was easily readable, detailed and had the ability to make me want to keep reading when I should have been doing other things! Read more
Published 6 months ago by J. Mottershead
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
I have previously bought Alison weirs henry vlll king and court And enjoyed it so was interested in what Elizabeth's reign was like. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Kevclegg
2.0 out of 5 stars not for me
Did not enjoy stopped reading half way through, very slow, and could not engage with the writing style, would not recommend.
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I recommend you to read Henry, King and Court, Henrys 8 wives, this book then Elizabeth, all by Alison Wier, it answered all my questions and was extremely interesting!
Published 13 months ago by Holly
5.0 out of 5 stars Elizaeth, The Queen
This is a great historical novel regarding Queen Elizabeth 1. It is written in a very easy way, and is extremely interesting. Read more
Published 13 months ago by David
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Written
Great book looking in real depth at the woman behind the throne.
Sometimes a bit long and slightly repetitive on reasons why she could not marry someone or other, but I guess... Read more
Published 14 months ago by David L
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