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
“A riveting portrait of the queen and how the private woman won her public role.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Yes, if they were interested in British history.
Davina Porter could read the phone book and I'd listen to her. Her accents and voices given the different characters are wonderful.
Why marrying would have ruined Elizabeth I.
Alison Weir is a master of historical narrative. This is a well written, comprehensive biography of Elizabeth I. The book begins with her Grandfather and quickly sets the stage through the reign of her father and siblings Edward and Mary. After the story of her childhood, the real story begins with the reign of her younger brother.
Elizabeth's story is familiar in broad strokes - Bloody Mary, Mary Queen of Scots, the Spanish Armada, Shakespeare and the English Renaissance. Never the less, the details read like a spy novel, a romance, a treatise on civil government, religion and culture. From Sir Francis Drake raiding Spanish ships to Lord Essex at war in Ireland, the book covers her life and 45 year reign in style.
I particularly like the way Weir quotes her sources in an authoritative manner without disrupting the flow of the narrative. In this way the book reads like historical fiction - which it is not. Weir is simply knowledgeable enough having done adequate research to re-create scenes dramatically with the words of her characters.
Ultimately, there is little revolutionary in her point of view on Elizabeth. As a scholar, I don't think her research brings her to any new or shocking revelations though she clarifies and adds details to many points. Elizabeth was with little doubt a pivotal figure in the history of Europe and defining leader in the development of what was to become Great Britain. I suspect Weir's "The Life of Elizabeth I" is well on it's way to becoming a modern classic on the subject of the life of Elizabeth I. Well worth a read if you have any interest at all. This book is long, but quite accessible.
"fabric artist and quilter"
I've listened to several Tudor histories recently and this one completed the series. Alison Weir exhaustively researches her subjects and it shows - there is so much information about Elizabeth its mindboggling.
I was fascinated by her relationships with first Leicester and then Essex - she seemed to have a penchant for men that were as colourful as she was and that had petulant characters and egos that needed constant massaging!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it goes into some depth but its never overwhelming and explains how Elizabeth steered England into its Golden Age.
The audio version is great I'm not sure about the print version as I have not seen it.
The six wives of Henry the 8th. I listened to that one first and loved it as well.
All were great I couldn't pick just one.
Neither. It was just an excellent listen and the narrator was phenomenal.
birds and more birds
i love audio to much to try the print version of anything with rare exceptions
the differences between Elizabeth and Henry the VIII
i love davina porter, as a narrator she is ideal for british history.
listen to the autobiography of henry the viii first and then listen to this one, if you are a history buff like i am you will love it.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
It is obvious that Alison Weir did a lot of research for this book. I like the fact that she subtly inserted the citation into the narrative. There is a lot of information provided in the book but the story line never bogged down. I do wish Weir had provided more information about the day to day rule of Elizabeth 1. I was amazed at how well educated Elizabeth 1 was and how many languages she spoke. I was unaware she served as an arbitrator between various countries helping to solve problems as to avoid war. Elizabeth 1 seemed to be such a talented person beside the above noted education, she was a magnificent horse women, a musician, dancer, singer, good at needle work, and a good politician. She apparently put the people of England as her priority. No wonder she was known as "good queen Bess". Davina Porter is a fantastic narrator and she was superb with the book. I am looking forward to reading more of Alison Weir.
Interesting. Well written
It's interesting how she evaded countless suitors and for great reasons but as Peggy Lee once said "Is That All there Is"? 'Course I'm only 8 hours in.
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
then this is an interesting listen.
Davina Porter even when not at her best is still good as a narrator.
I leaned more about Mary Queen of Scots and found her an interesting personality, especially as she grew up in Valois France ( I think).
The reasons for Queen Elizabeth not doing more for the French Protestants was given some description. The other aspect I found well covered was how Elizabeth engaged the English people as distinct from Aristocracy.
If you do not know much and want to learn more about this extraordinary woman, this is a good place to start, to 'flesh her out' more before getting deeper into her great achievements as a Monarch.
I walk 7 miles a day and listen to about 3 audiobooks a week.
This is a historical novel and is well done.It really needs to be more of a story to hold my interest. I did struggle with parts of it.
The reader, Davina Porter is great!
I’ve read quite extensively on the Tudors, especially Elizabeth I. She has always fascinated me. I found The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir one of the best, perhaps my favorite so far. The book covers the period from Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne at the age of 25 until her death as an old woman at 69 with just a brief overview of her earlier life to provide context. The major events of the period were woven into background information on the culture and society of England during the later part of the 16th century. The book was an excellent narrative that never bogged down, at least not for me. The narrator, Davina Porter was perfect.
Alison Weir is a highly respected historian of the Tudors as well as an accomplished writer. I enjoy her books and learn from them, but this one stood out for me. I recommend it highly as an introduction to Elizabeth I or as a pleasant way to revisit the life of this remarkable woman for those already acquainted with her from previous study.
"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.
"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.
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.
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