Elizabeth I has always fascinated me. The fact that she and I share a birthday only serves to heighten that fascination. Along with historical female icons like Matilda of Tuscany, and Boudica of the Iceni, Elizabeth I served her country with honor, integrity and courage. In a time when women were little more than property, Elizabeth I navigated the world of men with fearless cunning. Her exploits are legendary, but once one knows and understands her motivations, the spectacular nature of her victories becomes even more clear.
Countless biographies have been written about Elizabeth I, and I have read many of them. This version, by Rosalind Miles, contains all the requisite historical facts and figures, but presents them in a creative new delivery; from the mouth of the Queen herself. By spinning the tales this way, the author succeeds in revealing more thoroughly the vulnerabilities and emotions of this powerful English leader.
Written in a style that resembles Tudor jargon, the author skates close to the prose of the 1500s, while still making it understandable for modern readers. It is an excellent book; it will lay bare some of the mysteries of the time, beginning before Elizabeth I was born, effectively establishing the source of many of the Queen's motives and anxieties. It is recommended for any reader with an advanced ability, and plenty of quiet time; the real-life characters are many, and the historical plots are complicated and convoluted, which the author succeeds in decoding for present-day readers.