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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gifted and skilled writer,
By A Customer
This review is from: Elizabeth I: Collected Works (Hardcover)
Women's personal papers seldom survive in any quantity before the eighteenth century. This is an unusual opportunity to read the words of a sixteenth-century woman as she wrote them, and all the more rare for being those of such an extraordinary and gifted person. Like or loathe her, you cannot fail to be impressed by the precocious talent of the neglected girl, Lady Elizabeth, nor the skill and humanity of the woman, Queen Elizabeth I.
The book contains her letters, poems, speeches and personal prayers, some in translation from the original French and Latin of courtly and diplomatic use. Elizabeth's writing style could be formal and florid, or snappy and playful. If she had lived now she could have been a novelist! There are public speeches, official correspondence and personal letters to friends, together with poems on subjects such as her failed engagement to the Duke of Alencon etc. These are arranged chronologically by period, with each type of document split into sections accordingly. Most have been previously published in one form or another, but although some are available on the web, a collection has not been in print for some time.
The 'scholarly bit' was a little self-glorifying, instead of concentrating on the woman they were studying, Elizabeth Tudor, and the information supplied was not always strictly accurate. There are also extant letters or copies of letters that no longer exist which were not mentioned at all, and there aren't sufficient historical notes for someone who knows nothing of the period.
The greatest shame about this is that it was not produced by some British Institution, say the British Library, for instance, about ten or twenty years ago, who might have done it a little better. I am surprised no-one thought of doing this since Harrison's edition.
I bothered a couple of friends who don't much like history into reading this and they loved it! All in all a fascinating read I'd recommend to anyone.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive and fascinating scholarly edition of Elizabeth's writings,
This is the result of a marvellous scholarly project (2000) to publish Elizabeth I's `works': her letters, speeches, poems as literary artefacts in their own right. Locating this within the field of modern Renaissance studies, this comprehensive scholarly edition makes many of Elizabeth's textual productions available for wider reading, research and analysis.
All of the speeches, prayers and poems are here, with a selection of letters (which are, anyway, available in full elsewhere). Everything is translated into English (though there is a companion volume which gives us the foreign language originals: Elizabeth wrote often in French or Latin), and has been lightly and sensitively modernised in terms of spelling and punctuation. The collection has been organised into four periods of Elizabeth's life, and then by genre within each period.
As a self-consciously post-modernist project this allows the boundaries between genre, between public and private, between `literature' and the non-literary, even between the idea of an `author' and co-authorship to blur sometimes to the point of extinction.
This is a must-read for anyone working on early modern women's writing, monarchs' writing, letters or speeches as literary artefacts. With extensive contextual notes, and a really helpful index of names, it is also extremely accessible to general readers wanting to experience a direct and unmediated sense of Elizabeth and Elizabethan literary culture for themselves.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing collection,
This review is from: Elizabeth I: Collected Works (Kindle Edition)
This collection of works is quite amazing. You can hear Elizabeth talking through the pages. It is a book to treasure
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning,
This book is everything we hoped it would be. Superb. Everything about the order was perfect. Thank you so much.
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect,
It is as written in the presentation. All the speeches, letters and prayers are catalogued per period. Very useful and clear
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Elizabeth I: Collected Works by Elizabeth I