The First Elizabeth is one of Carolly Erickson's richest and most ambitious books. Tracing the life of Elizabeth 1 from the exuberant young queen who ... Show synopsis The First Elizabeth is one of Carolly Erickson's richest and most ambitious books. Tracing the life of Elizabeth 1 from the exuberant young queen who deftly manipulated her ministers to the ageing monarch, with her thin, raucous voice shouting a blessing on her armies, Carolly Erickson portrays an elegant, flirtatious, violent, arrogant and outrageous woman who still commands our attention, fascination and awe. With her trademark unique skill, Carolly Erickson electrifies the senses as she evokes with total fidelity the brilliant colours of Elizabethan clothing and jewellery, the texture of tapestries and the close perfumed air of castle rooms. In this extraordinarily vivid recreation of Elizabeth's life, Erickson paints a psychologically resonant portait of a queen who reigned for more than forty years and whose name became synonymous with one of the most eventful eras in European history. The 'illegitimate' daughter of the condemned and repudiated Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth emerged from her perilous childhood as a consummate politician and an artful dissembler. She withstood intense pressure to marry, survived two decades of aggression from the Catholic Mary Stuart, and stood fast against the Invincible Armada which had been sent to destory her. In this superb work Carolly Erickson has written an admirable biography, graphic, well researched and skilfully constructed, full of the telling details that are an essential ingredient of the narrator's art.