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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So easy to read, I love this author's style.
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...
Published on 31 Dec 2008 by Ria B

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An engaging and witty account of the reign of Elizabeth I
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...
Published on 2 Jan 2012 by Apocalyptic Queen


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An engaging and witty account of the reign of Elizabeth I, 2 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Elizabeth, The Queen (Paperback)
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. She would refine the art of keeping her suitors, her council and her country guessing.

My only criticims with regard to this book relate to the fact that as with the Six Wives, some accounts may well be dubious and not thoroughly substantiated. Also, the book is rather short considering that it is a biography of Elizabeth's entire documented life. I also feel that Weir should have deployed a more impartial analysis of Mary, Queen of Scots, and explored perhaps Mary's side of the story.
However, on the whole, I found this to be an entertaining, readable and witty account of Elizabeth's early life and in particular, her reign.
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44 of 45 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 (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Elizabeth, The Queen (Paperback)
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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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A captivating portrait of Englands greatest monarch, 12 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Elizabeth, the Queen (Paperback)
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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79 of 82 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 review is from: Elizabeth, the Queen (Paperback)
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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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very sympathetic portrayal of Elizabeth, 28 July 2006
This review is from: Elizabeth, the Queen (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the mask of good Queen Bess, 27 Jan 2010
By 
Mrs. TK Ellis "Bookworm" (High Wycombe, Bucks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Elizabeth, The Queen (Paperback)
I will admit from the outset that I am a huge fan of Alison Weir's factual works and would happily read anything that she has written. This book does not change this one iota. The book, as with all her others, is engaging, intelligent, well written and exceptionally informative.

Her approach to this book was not just the regurgitation of the facts of Elizabeth's reign but about how she reacted to the situation as a woman and not as a Queen, although arguably it is hard to separate the two. Using a wide variety of sources from both friend and foe Ms Weir pieces together the personal side of Elizabeth's time on the throne. She looks at the games the Queen played in the marriage market, her approach to Mary Queen of Scots, her dealings with her "lovers" notably Leicester and Essex and how she raised a poor and broken nation to the Golden Age.

It is a fascinating read and while I was in awe of Elizabeth's vast intellectual capability and her ability to deal with delicate and sensitive issues making the right decisions and ensuring peace and stability in her realm, I was also shocked at how petulant and vindictive she could be. I will not regale you with the details here, but encourage you to read this fascinating book and make up your own mind.

I would heartily recommend this book to anyone. One of the great things about Ms Weir is that someone with no previous knowledge could pick up this book and have a very firm understanding by the end of it. Please read this book, you won't be disappointed.
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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
By 
Ronald Rens "Torin" (St. Job in 't Goor, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Elizabeth, The Queen (Paperback)
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
This review is from: Elizabeth, the Queen (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing eye opener about aspects of one of our greatest Queens..., 13 Sep 2009
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This review is from: Elizabeth, The Queen (Paperback)
I had never read a book about Elizabeth I before and this filled in many of the gaps in my knowledgege about her. Alison Weir outlines her tactical and strategic ability in managing, ruling the country, that many of us modern day women would appreciate. To think Elizabeth I managed to skillfully maintain a relatively stable Britain in the 16th C, whilst a woman, is admirable. I felt moved and proud of her, by turns and wished almost I could have spoken to her. Aspects of the Reformation were glossed over a bit, as a Catholic we acknowledge saints and martyrs who were executed during E I's reign. Excellent 9/10 book though, highly reccomended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner, 1 Dec 2009
By 
Mr. M. Bourne - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Elizabeth, The Queen (Paperback)
How to turn a work of non-fiction into a real page turner - I read this book after reading the Lady Elizabeth - which was more of a novel based on known facts - Elizabeth The Queen however felt a real 'grown-up' continuation but in a totally different style - having such a factual account really painted a picture of life in the Elizabethan court with all the various intrigues ... and although it was bound to happen - I found myself genuinely saddened at her death (hope I havn't given the ending away .....!!!!!) Well worth it if you have the slightest interest in this fascinating period of history which really shaped how we live today.
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The Life of Elizabeth I
The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir (Hardcover - 30 Sep 1998)
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