Saturday, January 12, 2008

Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne

by David Starkey

I liked this book very much. By now, Elizabeth's story is available to pretty much everyone, what with all the TV and movie attention it has been getting. There are also books by Antonia Fraser, or Philippa Gregory if you prefer, as well as numerous academic studies. I like this one, though, because its limited scope allows room for lots of interesting details of how Elizabeth actually lived -- more about her closest servants, advisors, and friends, people who get only a passing mention in books that have more ground to cover. There is a lot of attention paid to the ways in which Elizabeth distinguished herself from her sister Mary, and the ways in which Mary's rule influenced the decisions Elizabeth made on her ascension to the throne. So for anyone interested in Tudor history, this book is really a good read. And aren't we all really? Those Tudors seem to be pretty damn sexy.



Blogger zelda said...

For those fans of historical fiction or historical romance, I'd recommend the Victoria Holt novel, "My Enemy the Queen". Anyone who is a fan of both history and the 1970s pulp fiction novels like, "Flowers in the Attic", will love this one told from the perspective of Robert Dudley's lover, Lettice.

Alison Weir's treatment of Elizabeth in, "The Children of Henry the VIII" is interesting in its exploration of the dynamic between Elizabeth and Mary.

I'd love to read everything ever written about her so now I've another to add to the list.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thanks a lot for the recommendations. Normally I think of historical fiction as something I liked a lot when I was thirteen, but I'm definitely going to give "My Enemy the Queen" a try. And "The Children of Henry the VIII sounds like a must. Sounds like we are both getting into some never-ending lists.

Has the new bio of Eleanor of Aquitaine come out yet?

3:02 PM  
Blogger zelda said...

Ha! I actually read "My Enemy the Queen" when I was about thirteen but it made an impression. I read it again in my twenties and I still liked it.

I don't think I'm aware of the book you mention. What is it?

8:10 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I thought it was you that told me a new biography was being published. So now I'm wondering what we were actually talking about at the time.

12:17 PM  
Blogger zelda said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:41 PM  
Blogger zelda said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:43 PM  
Blogger zelda said...


Probably this:

8:44 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Wow, way to push up the comment meter. Thanks, I guess.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Okay, it wasn't easy but I got that link to work and yes, that probably is what I meant. What a cool looking book? (Four Queens: The Provencal Sisters who Ruled Europe) We should request the library to purchase it.

10:22 AM  

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