Top critical review
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Interesting take on Elizabethan History, needs more thorough research
on 8 September 2010
I believe this is a book the first of its kind to delve into the power relationships between the women who directly attended to their queen's personal needs and the overwhelmingly male court of Elizabeth the First. Never before, because of the gender of the English monarch, had women of this social class found themselves wielding so much political influence. Elizabeth I's early life was fraught with very real danger because she remained the least cherished of Henry VII's children. She was lucky to have found solace from her wise and learned stepmother, Katherine Parr; but almost was undone by the scheming of her governess, Kat Champerowne and her ruthless stepfather who had designs on making her his wife should anything happen to Queen Katherine. The one complaint I had about this book was that the author seem to repeat verbatim the very biased pro-Catholic sources about Anne Boleyn without further scholarly investigation. Rather than spending any time on examining correspondence between her ladies in waiting, the Queen and various petitioners, Borman seems content to repeat how Elizabeth dealt with various claimants to the English throne, namely Mary, Queen of Scots, and the hapless Arabella Stuart. Interestingly, the women who served Elizabeth the longest chose NOT to use their influence to obtain favors for friends and family members. Overall, this book presents an original and fresh take on the court surrounding Elizabeth I but this topic could do with more thorough research.