Scholarly and readable Apr 1, 2010
Alison Weir always is both those things and Life of Elizabeth 1 is no exception. Weir carefully delineates the role of the book, ie Elizabeth's personal life - though I hasten to add that this is no prurient peep into bedrooms , nor imaginings of the likes of Phillipa Gregory. When Elizabeth - or any other character speaks, they do so only in actual recorded words actually spoken or written by them.
I particualrly liked the handling of the famous relationship with Dudley, and the agonising dilemma of the one with Mary Queen of Scots. I don't think I ever realised before this book what a lifelong intriguer Mary was, how she never let go of her claim to the the English throne, nor ever ceased to plot with any available enemy of England to overthrow Elizabeth and have herelf crowned as (Catholic) monarch . Frankly I'm amazed she kept her head as long as she did!
If there was one aspect of the book I got a little weary of it was the endless wooing of Elizabeth by foreign suitors and her holding them at bay etc .I know this is how it actually must have been and of what great imprtance it was , but after a while I did want to say 'enough, yes Ok , she isn't going to have him, lets move on'
All in all though, a wonderful, absorbing , brilliantly researched read