Elizabeth I stands in the English imagination for one of the formative phases of English history. Her reign saw England transformed, at her command, from a Catholic to a Protestant country, with incalculable consequences for the history of Europe and of the world - starting with the attempted invasion by the Spanish Armada, beaten off by the Queen's legendary naval captains. Of the five monarchs who trod the political stage of sixteenth-century England, Elizabeth was the most accomplished and versatile performer. And it is ultimately this which accounts for her enduring fascination. Richard Rex highlights the vivid and contrary personality of a Queen who could both baffle and bedazzle her subjects, her courtiers, and her rivals: at one moment flirting outrageously with a favourite or courting some foreign prince, and at another vowing perpetual virginity; at one time agonising over the execution of her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, then ordering the slaughter of hundreds of poor men after a half-cock rebellion. Too many biographies of Elizabeth merely perpetuate the flattery she enjoyed from her courtiers, as if her dramatic repertoire was limited to the role of 'Gloriana'. This biography also reflects more critical voices, such as those of the Irish, the Catholics and those who lived on the wrong side of the emerging North/South divide. To them she showed a different face.
Product code: BJRIX
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
Dimensions: 19.8cm x 12.9cm
Publish date: 01/06/2007
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