Elizabeth I is perhaps England's most famous monarch. Born in 1533, the product of the doomed marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth was heir to her father's title, then disinherited and finally imprisoned by her half-sister Mary. But in 1558, on Mary's death, she ascended the throne and reigned for 45 years. Respected by her subjects and idolized by subsequent generations, Gloriana was fiercely devoted to her country and its people. In this first volume of her Elizabethan quartet, Alison Plowden charts the history of Elizabeth's first 25 years, telling the tale of Elizabeth's difficult childhood and her alternate status as princess and bastard, culminating in her coronation and the beginning of the legend.