I have enjoyed previous books by this author. I agree with other reviews, this is mostly a recitation of events from Elizabeth 1's perspective, little depth in characters. I listened to the entire book, hours and hours.
This novel is a well-wrought anesthesia. Perhaps some historian's attempt at fiction, it is so weighted down by dry information and so bereft of character and a well-conceived story that I could NOT stay with it. But I DID listen to it in bed to help me sleep. I would suggest that the author read WOLF HALL: now THAT is a great piece of fiction about real historical characters.
I didn???t find this book at all boring as others have but then it might be that much of the information about the Tudor era is new to me. Perhaps some scenes could have been cut but I thought they all added to the story. Plus, I thought Kate Reading gave an excellent performance
This story made me think of an odd kind of organic chemistry where two (and more) compounds come together, share electrons, separate, combine with others and then come together again,,, the two main compounds being Queen Elizabeth I and her cousin Lettice and the story of how their lives orbited about and entwined with each other.
Perhaps the lack of instant explosive reactions made the story too slow for some but I thought it was a good picture of a time without electronics, digital gadgets and other forms of instant communication. It could take weeks to learn of a battle's outcome and waiting for the answer to a letter must have seemed like forever. The fact that religion and superstition were on the same plane as pseudo-science could only muddy the already murky waters of understanding.
One thing that resonated strongly for me was the Crown's concern with money ??? ???There is no money??? ???We don???t have the money??? The Queen was constantly concerned with finances and Parliament allowed that having a frugal and non-married monarch was a good deal financially. Still she would have to be very creative to get money approved for projects.
WOW A government that had to live within its means! What a concept! I guess borrowing the country into oblivion is a recent concept!
I read margaret george's henry viii and found it wildly captivating. In Elizabeth I was disappointed to find Dudley having just passed, but equally fascinated by the Earl of Essex and his mother, Lettice. The contrasting interpretations of the Queen's actions is are captured between the cousins. You find yourself questioning and celebrating every move from one perspective to another.
British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart.
Having devoured two books by the same author, those being The Autobiography of Henry VIII and Mary Queen of Scotts I could not get into Elizabeth I fast enough.
Initially I listened to the first nine hours and I became so frustrated with the mispronounced names, the 'effected' voice inflection and "how the heck did we get to her 50th birthday so fast?" that I was ready to return this to audible.com.
However the magic happened at hour nine so I decided to go back to the beginning again. I realized that this was a concentration on two decades of her life. A very important two decades at that. Ms. George has, by her own admission in the Afterward added a little for dramatic purposes but only to illustrate a point which she does beautifully.
I fell in love with the characters and understood this Queen more than I ever have before. I had never really questioned how she had felt about her Mother or her Father for killing the woman that gave her life.
If you enjoy English history and would like to know more about Queen Elizabeth I's forgotten years you will not be disappointed.
I had previously read "Henry the VIII" by Margaret George and really enjoyed it, so thought I would try another. Having just finished a biography of Queen Elizabeth, I felt a novelization would be fun and given the long length of her rule, assumed this would be an interesting read, especially since I saw that this particular book was several hours long, so I was surprised that the story started so late in her life. How could the author possibly find so much material in such a short sample of Elizabeth's lifespan?
As it turns out, the book is absolutely brilliant, but Kate Reading makes it even better. She characterizes the two main narrators so flawlessly that it is easy to pick out personalities by her voice and inflection alone. This is one narrator that will lead me to other authors based on her own talents.
We get the confessional tell-all memoir of Elizabeth herself, plus the insights--and often biting commentary--of her bitter and vanquished rival, Lettice Knollys. It's the story of QE1 and her reign told from the perspectives of these two women. Both passionate, intelligent, and in their own ways ruthless. What's not to love?
Margaret George is her usual masterful self here, spinning a wealth of historical detail into a riveting character-driven story. As an ardent Elizabeth I buff (well, er, that's putting it mildly), I loved the scope of this book. George takes on the intimacy of the privvy chamber, the clamor and jockeying of the Court, the self-destructive forces of the Earl of Essex and his ilk, and the struggles of 16th-century England on the world stage--and make them all compelling. And yes, here and there it may be a bit overwrought, but so was the queen herself. So I take those bits in stride. This is lively and vivid historical fiction at its best.
The bonus at the end is George's reckoning of fact with fiction. In a brief afterword she walks us through the parts of the books that are steeped in historical accuracy (that is, about 90% of the story), and lets us know where and why she took license to invent scenes and conversations.
This is a great example of how a book that is historical in nature can be enjoyed while listening to it.
The history of the subject. You could smell the body odors from how it was written. One tends to forget running water wasn't available always.
This book was well spoken, enjoyed and understood.
Catherine, the Queen's cousin. Would like to hear her side.
long story, and worth the time. I learned from this book.
The detail, covering every aspect of Elizabeth's life at that time. More than most biographies do.
That Elizabeth was not always perfect, or right in her decisions.
Nothing. Characters always distinguishable.
Elizabeth's reactions when her friend/servant died.
If you want something zippy and simple, watch a movie. This is a book and acts like it. It takes its time to develop characters and scenes and incidents, as it should. This is history, not an action-action-action thriller.
I was disappointed in one aspect of the book. I didn't read the description closely enough, and expected a full-length biographical novel. This book begins at the time of the Spanish armada, well into Elizabeth's reign. So be ready.