Synopses & Reviews
Legends surround Elizabeth I like the jewels on her coronation crown. Her awe-inspiring air of command, her mastery of political theater, and her immensely successful policies piloted England into a golden age. Her reign introduced Shakespeare, thrashed the Spanish Armada, and brought calm and unity to a divided, shaken kingdom. But she was also the most unlikely of monarchs. The youngest daughter of one of Henry VIII s many wives, she was only three when her mother was executed. Her Catholic sister Mary imprisoned her for treason, bringing her to the edge of her own death. In Elizabeth, historian David Starkey captures this and much more, depicting the princess s tumultuous life from her birth in 1533 to her accession to the throne in 1558. He recreates the extravagant characters, mad-cap schemes, and tragic plots that overshadowed those years, even as he describes the age s religious turmoil and political chaos with clarity and authority. Starkey s work is a masterpiece of biography offering a new and vivid portrait of the vicissitudes of fortune that shaped England's greatest queen.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -351) and index.
An abused child, yet confident of her destiny to reign, a woman in a man's world, passionately sexual -- though, as she maintained, a virgin -- Elizabeth I is famed as England's most successful ruler. David Starkey's brilliant new biography concentrates on Elizabeth's formative years -- from her birth in 1533 to her accession in 1558 -- and shows how the experiences of danger and adventure formed her remarkable character and shaped her opinions and beliefs.
From princess and heir-apparent to bastardized and disinherited royal, accused traitor to head of the princely household, Elizabeth experienced every vicissitude of fortune and extreme of condition -- and rose above it all to reign during a watershed moment in history. A uniquely absorbing tale of one young woman's turbulent, courageous, and seemingly impossible journey toward the throne, Elizabeth is the exhilarating story of the making of a queen.
In this spirited United Kingdom bestseller, Starkey presents a brilliant examination of the formative years of the "Virgin Queen, " recreating a host of extravagant characters, mad-cap schemes, and tragic plots, while using original documents to depict the princess's tumultuous life before her accession to the throne in 1588. Two 8-page color photo inserts.
About the Author
David Starkey is the Bye Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and winner of the W. H. Smith Prize and the Norton Medlicott Medal for Services to History presented by Britain's Historical Association. He is best known for writing and presenting the groundbreaking and hugely popular series Elizabeth and The Six Wives of Henry VIII. He lives in London.