A lucid, well-researched, but unpedantic narrative of 16th-century
English royal life and death at a brutal time when a successful
noble was one who kept his or her head while others were losing
theirs during perennial struggles for power and position.
Biographer Plowden (The Young Victoria, 1981, etc.) relates the
oft-told story of Henry VIII and his search for a male heir. His
union with Catherine of Aragon produced only Mary. The frustrated
Henry had his first marriage declared "null and void" and married
Anne Boleyn, who gave birth to Elizabeth. After the troublesome
Anne was beheaded, he married Jane Seymour, who did have a
short-lived male heir, Edward VI. To continue his matrimonial
marathon after Seymour's natural death, Henry married and divorced
Anne of Cleves, followed by Catherine Howard, whom he beheaded, and
then married Catherine Parr, all without a living male heir. Henry
broke with the Roman Church, thereby forging a divided England.
After his death, his devout Catholic daughter, Mary, became queen
and an enemy of Protestants. Plowden portrays the teenage Elizabeth
as a threat to Mary, who kept the former a prisoner in the Tower of
London but was unable to find hard evidence of treason before the
Privy Council Court. Elizabeth became a heroine of the Protestants
and a popular figure. Plowden's assessment of the 25-year-old
Elizabeth, who became queen after Mary's death: sharp tongued and a
hard bargainer with acting ability but also with hysterical
tendencies perhaps inherited from her mother. From her father she
inherited physical energy, family pride, vanity, personal
magnetism, political instincts, and earthy peasant cunning, thanks
to her Tudor Welsh ancestors. She was an apt scholar who learned
discretion, self-discipline, and self-reliance, and the author
suggests she used her femininity to disarm critics. Plowden proves
that history can be fascinating, readable, and entertaining.
Elizabeth I is perhaps England's most famous monarch. Born in 1533,
the product of the doomed marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn,
Elizabeth was heir to her father's title, then disinherited and
finally imprisoned by her half-sister Mary. But in 1558, on Mary's
death, she ascended the throne and reigned for 45 years. Respected
by her subjects and idolized by subsequent generations, Gloriana
was fiercely devoted to her country and its people. In this first
volume of her Elizabethan quartet, Alison Plowden charts the
history of Elizabeth's first 25 years, telling the tale of
Elizabeth's difficult childhood and her alternate status as
princess and bastard, culminating in her coronation and the
beginning of the legend.
Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate?
Let us know about it.
Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?
Send us a new image.
Is this product missing categories?
Add more categories.
Review This Product
No reviews yet - be the first to create one!