March 19, 2014

GUEST POST: April of The Steadfast Reader Reviews The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir

Today I want to give a warm welcome to April from The Steadfast Reader.  April has generously written two posts for the Women's Lit Event, and today is the first one.  (So be sure to come back to read her second!) Thanks, April!  You rock.

The Life of Elizabeth I by: Alison Weir

Source: Purchase (Kindle)
Synopsis: (Goodreads)
Perhaps the most influential sovereign England has ever known, Queen Elizabeth I remained an extremely private person throughout her reign, keeping her own counsel and sharing secrets with no one--not even her closest, most trusted advisers. Now, in this brilliantly researched, fascinating new book, acclaimed biographer Alison Weir shares provocative new interpretations and fresh insights on this enigmatic figure.

Against a lavish backdrop of pageantry and passion, intrigue and war, Weir dispels the myths surrounding Elizabeth I and examines the contradictions of her character. Elizabeth I loved the Earl of Leicester, but did she conspire to murder his wife? She called herself the Virgin Queen, but how chaste was she through dozens of liaisons? She never married--was her choice to remain single tied to the chilling fate of her mother, Anne Boleyn? 

This is a stunning biography on Elizabeth I. It's scope is wide, covering intimate details of Elizabeth I's life that have previously failed to garner attention in history books. But the great thing about this book is that it's also accessible. Even the staunchest 'I don't do non-fiction' reader will likely enjoy this book. 

The biography is well researched and documented. Weir expertly guides readers through the entire reign of Elizabeth, from her succession to her death. Direct quotes from the Queen's correspondence pepper the text but are never so lengthy or numerous to detract from the narrative. 

Elizabeth was truly a remarkable character in English history and quite possibly one of the most remarkable monarchs ever. Elizabeth ascended to the throne after the bloody and tumultuous rule of her half sister Mary I. She was left with the difficult task of piecing back together a fractured kingdom and managed admirably in her 45 years on the throne.  

Not only was Elizabeth's reign known for flourishing of English drama (yay, bookworms!) but she was also known for her reign of peace and when war finally came, she managed to defeat the Spanish Armada in what is widely considered the greatest naval victory in English history. 

So, if you're looking for a mighty lady to read about this women's history month you could do a lot worse than Queen Elizabeth I. If you're looking for biographies on this great woman - Alison Weir's is a fantastic place to start.

Also be sure to check out the previous posts for the Women's Lit Event 2014: 

Quotes That Prove Women Authors Rock
Rhiannon from Ivory Owl Reviews
Tamara of Traveling with T
Author Jade Varden

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