Elizabeth: Apprenticeship

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9780099286578: Elizabeth: Apprenticeship

A woman in a man's world, confident of her destiny to reign, intensely intelligent, passionately sexual yet (she said) a virgin, Elizabeth was to become England's most successful ruler. Finding her way through the labyrinthine plots that surrounded the court, she had to live by her wits, surrounded by betrayal and suspicion, not knowing who to trust with her desire to be queen, or her desire to be a lover...

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The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, Good Queen Bess; Elizabeth I holds a unique place in the English imagination as one of the nation's most powerful, charismatic and successful monarchs. Elizabeth is usually imagined as the icy, untouchable figure memorably recreated on screen by Bette Davis and Judi Dench, but that vision of Elizabeth ignores the turbulent years of her early life, from her birth as the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn in 1533, until her accession to the throne in 1558 following the death of her sister Mary. It is these early years which are the subject of David Starkey's fascinating Elizabeth I, written to accompany his television series about the life of Elizabeth.

Starkey argues that in her first 25 years Elizabeth "had experienced every vicissitude of fortune and ever extreme of condition. She had been Princess and inheritrix of England, and bastard and disinherited; the nominated successor to the throne and an accused traitor on the verge of execution; showered with lands and houses and a prisoner in the Tower". He draws on his skills as a respected Tudor historian to produce a deft account of the religious, political and dynastic maelstrom of mid-16th century England that reads "like a historical thriller". The book carefully picks its way through the finer points of contemporary religious conflict and the peculiarities of Tudor court ceremony, whilst also exploring the formation of Elizabeth's character in relation to a murdered mother, a charismatic father, a tortured sister, and a predatory guardian. Highly readable and written with verve and pace, this is a fascinating account of the young Elizabeth. --Jerry Brotton

Review:

"Fresh and lively... Vividly told... He sets before us not only the woman behind the throne but the girl behind the woman" ( Sunday Times)

"The best account in English of the early years of Elizabeth... One of the most zestful pieces of narrative history written...a racy read and first-rate history" ( Evening Standard)

"What a page turner! A white knuckle ride through history...inspired research, from the clues embedded in the portraits to court ceremonial to the often circumlocutory letters" ( Time Out)

"I found myself compelled by David Starkey's vivid recreation of the hazardous uncertainty of Elizabeth's early life, her successive exclusions from the centre of power, the studiedly ambiguous answers she offered her interrogators, her inevitable implications in conspiracies and narrow escapes from execution" ( Times Literary Supplement)

"Combines a relaxed and unfussy style with a thorough knowledge of the period and a sharp eye for detail. Elizabeth's life makes for a compelling story and Starkey tells it well" ( Spectator)

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A woman in a man s world, confident of her destiny to reign, intensely intelligent, passionately sexual yet (she said) a virgin, Elizabeth was to become England s most successful ruler. Finding her way through the labyrinthine plots that surrounded the court, she had to live by her wits, surrounded by betrayal and suspicion, not knowing who to trust with her desire to be queen, or her desire to be a lover. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099286578

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A woman in a man s world, confident of her destiny to reign, intensely intelligent, passionately sexual yet (she said) a virgin, Elizabeth was to become England s most successful ruler. Finding her way through the labyrinthine plots that surrounded the court, she had to live by her wits, surrounded by betrayal and suspicion, not knowing who to trust with her desire to be queen, or her desire to be a lover. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099286578

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