on 15 November 2003
One odd things comes to mind at once about this book – the second part of the title, as listed by Amazon, does not appear anywhere within the book itself. How’s that for confusion?
David Loades is an accomplished professor – or so we are informed – and he has done an excellent job of providing a biography of Elizabeth I of England, possibly the best ruler that England ever had. He shows both her remarkable talents and unique achievements, as well as how she controlled her kingdom and court, and how her life shaped her for her role.
The book, however, sheds little new light on the Queen. Events it discusses are familiar to most readers from the start, although the book is writing in an engaging style that interests the reader from the start. As we know, an interested reader is one who will learn more from the book.
The biography brings out events that may have been missed by many people and students. Elizabeth was not above the practice of ‘courtly love’, the nobles’ equivalent to cybersex, which may have led to two scandals in her reign. One of them, Dudley, was not fatal, but the other, with the immature Earl of Essex, could have had fatal consequences, as Essex tried to lead a Putsch against her courtiers, who he believed had poisoned the Queen against him. Due to his incompetence and immaturity, the attempt got nowhere and he was executed.