Friday, August 20, 2010

"The Lady Elizabeth" by Alison Weir

Title: The Lady Elizabeth
Author: Alison Weir
Published: Ballantine Books, 2008
Where I Got It: Ordered it online somewhere
Why I Read It: Because I wanted to

I love to read about Henry VIII, his wives, and oldest daughter Mary I, but I've never really read an entire book dedicated to Elizabeth I. I decided that one written by my favorite author was a good place to start!

I adored this look into Elizabeth's life before she was queen, a time that is not really known or explored too well. The book opens around the time that Anne Boleyn was executed, and ends when Elizabeth learns that she will be Queen. The fact that this novel was in third person rather than first allows us to get a cleaner look into the minds of the influential and important people around Elizabeth. She truly had a uneasy, traumatic childhood, with the execution of her mother and the constant fear she lived in while Mary was on the throne.

One aspect that I like was the evolution of Mary I. When we see her at the beginning of the book, she is still a young woman, and seems to genuinely care for Elizabeth, especially with the fact that she had just lost her mother. Throughout the course of the book, Mary changes from that mother-like figure to the old, worried, almost maniacal queen.

*Maybe a spoiler, but not really*
The author takes on the controversial and slight rumor that Elizabeth actually had a child at sometime in her lifetime. Here, she miscarries the child of Thomas Seymour. While I don't think Elizabeth ever had a child, especially at that age, it was still an interesting point. I also applaud Weir for adding a footnote saying that this was merely speculation.
*End the maybe-ish spoiler*

I think the only thing about The Lady Elizabeth that I didn't like was a sentence at the very end. I won't write it here (who would want to know the last sentence beforehand?), but it is one of the dorkiest lines ever written. When I read it, I scrunched up my nose, went "Seriously?" and then burst out laughing.

This was one of those books that just reinforced my love for Alison Weir! As I said before, I find it respectable that she sticks to the facts, only adding in little details that are unknown or unsure. Highly recommend, especially for those Tudor-lovers!

4 stars.


  1. I loved this book as well and for all the reasons you mentioned! I'm a bit clueless though on the sentence on the last page, I reread the last paragraph, but couldn't find it.

  2. I don't have the book with me, since I'm at my parent's house, so I can't remember exactly what it was. Something about Robert Dudley looking lovingly at Elizabeth...I'll find it later. Oh, I'm also not a fan of the cover....haha



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