Saturday 30 May 2015

Review ~ Elizabeth I and her Circle by Susan Doran

Oxford University Press
June 2015

The inner circle of courtiers who surrounded Elizabeth I during her momentous reign is the focus of this beautifully written book, which aims to put the personal into the myth and legend which all too often surrounds this charismatic Queen of England.

Not only does the book look at Elizabeth's personal relationships with her limited family, namely her father and elder sister, but it also shines the spotlight on the interactions Elizabeth had with those courtiers who have come to symbolise the first Elizabethan age, particularly the brightest and best of her statesmen, men like Burghley and Walsingham and adventurers like Raleigh, whose far reaching expertise ensured the overriding success of Gloriana.  The well documented effect that Elizabeth had on certain male courtiers is described in some detail, but perhaps lesser known and beautifully highlighted, is the influence that Elizabeth had on the women of her court, particularly those she treated as maid-servants.

If you enjoy Tudor history and want to add another well written and easily readable version of the Elizabethan age to your collection then this book would be a welcome addition to any bookshelf.

My thanks to NetGalley and Oxford University Press for my copy of this book.


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