Top critical review
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Exhausively detailed minutiae of a significant reign.
on 13 February 2006
This book is a heavyweight tome (both literally and metaphorically), which provides detailed account of the life and reign of Elizabeth I. Although doubtless of great interest to those who are fascinated by the period and the woman herself, this is not exactly a page-turner to read on the daily commute. Each individual act and event is pored over at great length, with considered investigation of the motives and actions both of Elizabeth and those surrounding her. While this proves to be a good and accessible route to take for what is essentially an academic textbook, the level of detail - for example a five-page breakdown of the formation and constitution of Elizabeth's first Privy Council - does tend to impede the narative flow. Reading this book you come away with a hugely wide overview of the whys and wherefores of events during the second half of the 16th century, but if you want entertainment you would be better off with another book.