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The Life of Elizabeth I | [Alison Weir]

The Life of Elizabeth I

The New York Times best-selling author of The Six Wives of Henry VIII and The War of the Roses, historian Alison Weir crafts fascinating portraits of England’s infamous House of Tudor line. Here Weir focuses on Elizabeth I, also known as the Virgin Queen, who ascended to the throne at age 25 and never married, yet ruled for 44 years and steered England into its Golden Age.
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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of The Six Wives of Henry VIII and The War of the Roses, historian Alison Weir crafts fascinating portraits of England’s infamous House of Tudor line. Here Weir focuses on Elizabeth I, also known as the Virgin Queen, who ascended to the throne at age 25 and never married, yet ruled for 44 years and steered England into its Golden Age.

©1998 Alison Weir (P)2003 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

“A riveting portrait of the queen and how the private woman won her public role.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Kathleen Bloomington, MN, United States 05-09-15
    Kathleen Bloomington, MN, United States 05-09-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Superb Book on Elizabeth"

    This is the most informative book I've ever read on England's monarchy! Everything was excellent: it was very well written, entertaining,educational, and educational. To top it off, the reader brought the story to life and made it more exciting and memorable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Florida 03-18-15
    Amazon Customer Florida 03-18-15 Member Since 2015
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    "If you are looking for a novel, skip this"
    Would you listen to The Life of Elizabeth I again? Why?

    Yes, great historical information presented in an entertaining manner.


    Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

    I could never choose a favorite Davina Porter portrayal. I love everything she does and have purchased some books I might not have otherwise simply because she was the narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    I love history and Alison Weir definitely does thorough research for all of her books. Although this is not in novel/historical fiction format, it is not dry at all. The facts and theories about Elizabeth's life are presented in a thoughtful, entertaining manner. As always, Davina Porter's narration is spectacular and brings all of the people to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Centurion, South Africa 01-21-15
    Philip Centurion, South Africa 01-21-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Astounding"

    Alison Weir has always been a cut above most popularisers of history, but with this book she has truly outdone herself.

    From start to finish this reads like a bestselling novel. It's a romance, adventure, thriller and tragedy all wrapped into one, and is above all a truly extraordinary study of one of the most fascinating people who ever lived.

    You feel so much a part of the story that by the time the book ends with Elizabeth's death, you'd be hard-pressed to not be truly moved.

    The narrator is perhaps not the best, and the general primer on Elizabethan society that is awkwardly placed in the middle of the book does break up the flow of the story, but other than that there is really nothing to complain about here.

    Highly recommended as the best biography of Elizabeth I in existence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Orit 11-19-14
    Orit 11-19-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Not what i normally read"
    If you could sum up The Life of Elizabeth I in three words, what would they be?

    i do not usually read/listen to history books. i love historical romans, but not so much history books. I picked the book because of Davina Poter, the great narrator, and probably would have left the book after the first 1 hour if not for her.
    But - once into the book, i loved it. go carried away with it, learned to know the characters and really enjoyed the book.


    What other book might you compare The Life of Elizabeth I to and why?

    Just finished reading and listening to the accursed kings which talk about the kings (mainly of France) during the 14'th century - a bt similar.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shirley K. Bigham 09-10-14 Member Since 2007
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    "vagina this and vagina that"

    This is a long book and I got through all the vaginal conversations the entire world was saying. This flirty woman did not feel she could Marry so you arranged marriages among her friends. He however continued to entertain one man who happened to be married. and this book goes on about the conditioned and the use of Elizabeth's need to produce an heir. So, vaginas, heir, flirty are all you get out of this book. very little historical history.
    I am going to give this book back. Reading the Tudors was magnificent and held my interest, but this spin off is just boring and flat.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Shelby 08-04-14
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    "An Engaging Biography of One of History's Greats"
    What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

    Davina Porter has a lovely voice, and a real air of authority. I liked that! She did a few accents for some of the characters, but I really think that Elizabeth's voice would have sounded like Davina's!


    Any additional comments?

    Elizabeth is one of my favorite historical figures, and I loved this portrayal of her. Clearly she was not perfect, and learning about her nasty temper and high level of emotion just made her more real to me. The legend of a Virgin Queen doesn't exactly leave room for the fact that she frequently hit people, cried and swore, and manipulated others for her own gain. I appreciated getting to know all sides of her, and I finished listening to this book with a greater fondness for Bess than when I started.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    paul j boyd hammonton, nj United States 07-31-14
    paul j boyd hammonton, nj United States 07-31-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Liz the first"
    What did you love best about The Life of Elizabeth I?

    Lots of things. Learning how people lived and loved long ago.
    Elizabeth's relationship with Mary. Court intrigue


    What did you like best about this story?

    Finding out how brilliant she was. Spoke Latin,Greek,Italian , German. Etc


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Many many many


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Nope


    Any additional comments?

    Really felt like I hot to know her. Great read. A definite buy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Angelo Juneau, Alaska USA 05-19-14
    M. Angelo Juneau, Alaska USA 05-19-14
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    "An extraordinary woman in extraordinary times."
    What did you love best about The Life of Elizabeth I?

    The book is extraordinarily well researched, written and read. Despite the sometimes overwhelming detail I was never bored with the writing or the performance. Well done everyone!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolina Montreal, QC, Canada 05-14-14
    Carolina Montreal, QC, Canada 05-14-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Great biography of an amazing character"

    Originally posted at: A Girl that Likes Books

    There is a strong idea in the world that a woman cannot live unless she is married

    Why I read this book

    I read The Lady Elizabeth by the same author and I really liked her writing style. Elizabeth I has always been am interesting character to me and having the opportunity to learn a bit more about her by an author that I already like was something I wouldn't pass.

    What the book is about

    Obviously the book is about the life of Elizabeth I as a Queen. While the Lady Elizabeth walks us through the childhood and teenage years of Elizabeth, prior to her coronation, this book explores the year that Elizabeth was on the throne. Divided in sections that tackle her international politics, economy and her court in general, this book is a good example of a well researched biography.

    First impressions

    Alison Weir is amazingly thorough; I knew I liked the romanticized character of Elizabeth, but the Elizabeth portrayed in this book is just unbelievably interesting. From her dealing with the detractors of her father's formed religion to her manipulation of other courts to her advantage, Elizabeth was a woman of vision, not afraid to take the reins of her kingdom.

    Final thoughts

    Elizabeth was praised and criticized largely during her kingdom. In both cases her gender was always a factor to be considered by her allies and enemies. As a young woman she was congratulated on her exceptional memory and curiosity and she would have her father to thank for insisting in her being educated as a prince, for this had a considerable impact in her behavior as a ruler. She spoke more than 5 languages and managed to deal with conspiracies against her life from even before she was considered an heir to the throne and all of this shaped the diplomat that most of us know.

    She was smart (most of the time) when choosing the people around her, and through this close group of people managed to bring prosperity to her land and to establish what we now refer to as the Elizabethan era, an epoch rich in culture that not in vane is considered the Golden age.

    But the book doesn't show a perfect Elizabeth, and this made me like the content even more. While the Virgin Queen is praised often in the book, there is also discussion of some traits in her character that take the figure of the queen from this idealized image to a more humane person, flawed and with weaknesses; a person that overcame such weaknesses in order to fulfill what she considered her destiny.

    It is the first book I hear in the voice if Davina Porter, and I have to say I did enjoy her performance. Her pace was appropriate to a non-fiction book where so much information was given, and her inflections when encountering quotes from Elizabeth or other characters made a nice flow in the book.

    A person who did not wish to treat their mother well, deserves a wicked step mother

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    burkanuck 05-13-14
    burkanuck 05-13-14 Member Since 2012
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    "A Fascinating Monarch"
    Would you listen to The Life of Elizabeth I again? Why?

    Possibly. There are other books I would listen to again before this one but it was an excellent book


    What did you like best about this story?

    The descriptions of court life during that time.


    Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

    Elizabeth


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No. It was very interesting but nothing that brought out any extreme emotions


    Any additional comments?

    This was an excellent history of Elizabeth and the days in which she ruled. Well-narrated, well-written and historically rich.
    The one criticism that I had, and it really was necessary to the story, was the constant prolonged intrigue about whether or not she would marry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Kindle Customer
    England
    7/8/13
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    Performance
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    "A captivating look at Englands first great Queen"

    A richly detailed look at Elizabeth I with fascinating insights in to the way she ruled, managed other princes, court factions and overcame the prejudices against a female monarch.

    Although so far my favourite Alison Weir is her book on Lancaster and York, this is still a captivating listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Doll house addict
    UK
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "History through Biography"

    This enjoyable scholarly account of the life of Elizabeth I was well worth listening to, but there were often mispronunciations that grated and spoiled an other wise good narration for me.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Miss N. Farooqui
    UK
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Elizabeth 1"

    The woman behind the Queen. Elizabeth the first is a detailed story of the life of England's most successful queens. Although many of her actions were prompted by her dedication to her country, most were because of her personal desire, such as her inability to marry. A fantastic read.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • T P Stephenson
    7/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "informative"
    Would you listen to The Life of Elizabeth I again? Why?

    No, but I enjoyed it. Lots of information


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Life of Elizabeth I?

    Her ongoing liaison with Dudley.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I enjoyed all of it, such a rich book of information


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it's a piece by piece book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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