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And each vying to convince the reader of her own private vision of the truth about Elizabeth's character Their gripping drama is acted out at the height of the flowering of the Elizabethan age Shakespeare Marlowe Dudley Raleigh Drake all of them swirl through these pages as they swirled through the court and on the high seas This is a magnificent stay up all night page turner that is George's finest and most compelling novel and one that is sure to please readers of Alison Weir Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mante. As much as I enjoyed the descriptive writing boy can Margaret George make me experience the reality of living as an Elizabethan and the deft handling of a middle aged woman s viewpoint I struggled to finish this novel I even struggled as I read it to identify what exactly my issues were with it Was I just not in the mood for a novel that stretched than 600 pages Have I gotten so used to reading my guilty pleasure reads that I can no longer tolerate the slower pace and richer language of less formulaic fiction In all honesty I made it halfway through Elizabeth I before whatever magic glue pulls a reader through a book ran out Given that I know how it ends I had little motivation to keep reading Perhaps for the less knowledgeable reader not knowing how Elizabeth s relationship with the Earl of Essex develops is enough to maintain suspense But from a purely dramatic standpoint it is a tepid suspense even so In the end I m perplexed about what George could have done differently to keep my attention from wandering After all the broad strokes of her narrative were already defined for her and likely well known Even her use of Elizabeth s cousin and Essex s mother Lettice added little drama and seemed designed to mitigate the limitations of a first person narrator Elizabeth Yet Lettice is really only a commentator on the action rather than an actor Elizabeth herself although a ueen who must have had a very busy life ruling her kingdom comes across as having little to do or think about save Essex and occasionally and as an afterthought the vile Spanish There is very little about the continued religious fragmentation of English society beyond Elizabeth s mention that she has done her best to hold her beloved country together George opens the novel dramatically with the Pope s blessing of papal bulls condemning her the Spanish Armada setting sail and Elizabeth anxiously awaiting the fate of England and herself After that the action dwindles and almost all of it is off stage because neither Elizabeth or Lettice are able to see or experience most of Essex s adventures and plans Essex is a cipher known only through the biased prism of each woman s eyes Both women come across as highly intelligent and mostly reasonable if biased toward one another but I was left frustrated with my inability to decide for myself about Essex s character and motivations As with most historical novels that I read I ve developed a strong desire to learn the actual details of Elizabeth s life and reign Even the small amount that I ve uncovered makes me yearn to read a novel of her early years the ones after her infamous mother Jane Boleyn is beheaded and she is shuffled away from court where she is a sad reminder of Henry s desperate and divisive attempt to beget a male heir I want to read about her romance with Robert Dudley her terror at being sent to the Tower her mother s last home by her eldest half sister Bloody Mary who had every reason to dislike and distrust her and her choices about her advisers the men who empowered her to rule I want to read all the drama and conflict inherent in the tumultuous early decades of her reign including her clever handling of all her suitors and her house arrest of her cousin and rival Mary ueen of Scots I think that that story would provide a nice counterbalance to George s reflective almost elegiac story

Summary · eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ✓ Margaret George

Elizabeth I

New York Times bestselling author Margaret George captures history's most enthralling ueen as she confronts rivals to her throne and to her heart One of today's premier historical novelists Margaret George dazzles here as she tackles her most difficult subject yet the legendary Elizabeth Tudor ueen of enigma the Virgin ueen who had many suitors the victor of the Armada who hated war; the gorgeously attired jewel bedecked woman who pinched pennies England's greatest monarch has baffled and intrigued the world fo. Historical fiction novelist Margaret George has never shied away from retelling a well known story Her subjects have included Henry the VIII Cleopatra Mary ueen of Scots Helen of Troy and now Elizabeth I It takes a lot of nerve and a passionate love of the subject to tackle the life of a figure we could all know enough about to write a 200 word bio Add to that the explosion of novels about the Tudors in the last few years and George s audaciousness is multiplied by a thousandThere are two big nice surprises in Elizabeth I The first is that the book does not start with Henry s marriage to Anne Boleyn Elizabeth s birth or even her ascension to the throne The novel begins when Elizabeth is 55 and the Spanish Armada is about to attack She has already been ueen for almost thirty years and would remain ueen for only another fourteen years According to most historians by this time the great successes of her reign were past The second surprise is Lettice Knollys Lettice was a cousin of Elizabeth s and one of her romantic and political rivals In 1578 Lettice married for the second time after having been married to the Earl of Essex to Elizabeth s great favorite Robert Dudley In her anger and jealousy Elizabeth banished Lettice from courtGeorge alternates the novels chapters between Elizabeth and Lettice These two women were very much alike They were both ambitious brilliant gravely concerned about the future of their houses and powerful Despite that those traits shared blood Lettice was the grandniece of Anne Bolyenand agendas because of Lettice s marriage to Elizabeth s supposed lover and her son s efforts to power grab at court they were doomed to be enemies That s not to say that George has written just a historical frenemy novel The different narrators bring different perspectives to the detailed political and social events occurring during Elizabeth s reign that George covers Despite Margaret George s inspired decision to juxtapose Elizabeth and Lettice and to not tell Elizabeth s life story in a linear fashion the novel never comes alive It s uite disappointing In Elizabeth I George goes to g r e a t pains to write a relentlessly fact filled opus Unlike George s previous novels covering roughly the same period and family The Autobiography of Henry the VIII With Notes By His Fool Will Somers and Mary ueen of Scotland and the Isles Elizabeth I is essentially a humorless play by play imagining of the sovereign s daily planner over her lifetime George didn t leave a drop of her research out of this book and the reader pays the price

Margaret George ✓ 7 characters

R centuries But what was she really like In this novel her flame haired lookalike cousin Lettice Knollys thinks she knows all too well Elizabeth's rival for the love of Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester and mother to the Earl of Essex the mercurial nobleman who challenged Elizabeth's throne Lettice had been intertwined with Elizabeth since childhood This is a story of two women of fierce intellect and desire one trying to protect her country and throne the other trying to regain power and position for her family. Margaret George is one of the best historical novelists Here we find Elizabeth at the point of the invasion of the Spanish Armada and told largely from her own POV about the later years of her reign uite different from the usual focus on her earlier years and largely less dramatic but very absorbing She is one of my favourite characters in English history this is the eual of The Autobiography of Henry VIII With Notes by His Fool Will Somers which is an all time favorite of mine


10 thoughts on “Elizabeth I

  1. says:

    Margaret George writes about ueen Elizabeth I of England and the last years of her reignI think most people are aware that Elizabeth's father was Henry VIII and the tumultuous going's on that preceded and then ushered in h

  2. says:

    Let me preface this review by saying I'm a huge fan of Margaret George It was reading her book about Mary ueen of Scots that first kindled my interest in history Ms George is a towering literary talent and I re read The Autobiography of Henry VIII every year So why then did I fell an overwhelming sense of release when I finished '

  3. says:

    Historical fiction novelist Margaret George has never shied away from retelling a well known story Her subjects have included Henry the VIII Cleopatra Mary ueen of Scots Helen of Troy and now Elizabeth I It takes a lot of nerve and a passionate love of the subject to tackle the life of a figure we could all know enough about to write a 200 word bio Add to that the explosion of novels about the Tudors in the last few years and George's au

  4. says:

    Margaret George is one of the best historical novelists Here we find Elizabeth at the point of the invasion of the Spanish Armada and told largely from her own POV about the later years of her reign uite different from the usual focus on her earlier years and largely less dramatic but very absorbing She is one of my favourite characters in

  5. says:

    I've never really worshiped at the altar of Margaret GeorgeThe Memoirs of Cleopatra is fantastic; that I will never deny It's probably the best fictional Cleopatra book out there Helen of Troy is frothy and fun

  6. says:

    Margaret George has cemented her reputation as a grand dame of historical fiction creating epic novels about history's most legendary characters from Henry VIII to Mary of Scotland to Helen of Troy In her latest

  7. says:

    As much as I enjoyed the descriptive writing boy can Margaret George make me experience the reality of living as an Elizab

  8. says:

    Enjoyed this book tremendously Am not one who likes ueen Elizabeth I messed with so when I received this book as an anniversary present from my husband I was a bit skeptical No need so thoroughly steeped in history as to be acceptable to even

  9. says:

    Overall this book was a huge disappointment It was tedious boring and way way way too long It took me over 4 weeks to read which meant that I really did not want to be reading it If one ever suffers from insomnia 30 pages with this book and you will be out like a light probably why it took me so long to read it I could never stay awake I should also add that the four weeks of reading time included an 11 hour plane ride

  10. says:

    I count myself as one of the people lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Margaret George’s new novel Elizabeth I I can honestly say that having read every one of Ms George’s novels I had every expectation to thoroughly enjoy it and I was not disappointed The author researches her subjects for months even years and writes a very factual novel but in a fascinating way She writes in a story format so as to entertain while imparting

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