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The Life of Elizabeth I Audiobook

The Life of Elizabeth I

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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

4.3 (1131 )
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  •  
    Kaye 08-24-14
    Kaye 08-24-14 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Did you know she NEVER MARRIED?"

    Read from October 06 to 31, 2013

    Narrator: 4 stars
    Book: 2.5 stars - DNF

    I've always been fascinated by Queen Elizabeth I, and after reading Alison Weir's novelization (to use the term loosely) of Elizabeth's pre-reign life (The Lady Elizabeth), I wanted to experience her take on Elizabeth from the perspective of a historian rather than a novelist, since she seems to not only be a great researcher, but also not someone with an obvious bias for or against this queen.

    Unfortunately, there was something I'd forgotten from the other works of Weir's that I've read: her tendency to get stuck on a "theme" and repeat it repetitively continuously redundantly throughout her books, bringing the same thing up over and over repetitiously. Did I mention she tends to repeat herself time and time again?

    This is a 24-hour long audiobook (and Davina Porter does an excellent job bringing life to what could have been dull non-fiction in another's less-capable hands), and the first 18 or so hours of it focus on the fact that ELIZABETH WASN'T MARRIED and played around with the idea a couple of times but never actually got married. Did I mention that everyone wanted Elizabeth to get married, but she didn't really want to? Oh, and she spent all her time with Robert Dudley, not to mention the fact that she was an emotional basketcase and screamed and yelled at people when she didn't get her way or when they reminded her she wasn't married or told her she should get married or presented an idea of whom she could marry to her. Oh, and did I mention SHE WASN'T MARRIED? Because obviously, this was the absolute most vital, important part of her reign that Weir spent about 75% of the book focused on the fact that ELIZABETH WASN'T MARRIED.

    By the time I finally gave up trying to force myself to finish this book and moved on to something else, I'd learned one very important thing:

    ALISON WEIR WANTED TO MAKE SURE WE ALL KNEW THAT ELIZABETH WASN'T MARRIED.

    Oh, and apparently she couldn't do anything without Robert Dudley, either. They fought and she sent him away, but then she had to have him back because she couldn't "do" without him for very long. But she wouldn't marry him.

    And if there was anything international to do, it was only because ELIZABETH WASN'T MARRIED and she might be looking abroad for someone to marry.

    So, all that to say that this probably wasn't the best bio of Queen Elizabeth I for me to read. Because, actually, I already knew that Elizabeth WASN'T MARRIED and NEVER MARRIED. (Except, possibly, David Tennant's version of Doctor Who---but that's another story.)

    38 of 50 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tawny M. Cleveland Chico, CA, USA 10-26-16
    Tawny M. Cleveland Chico, CA, USA 10-26-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Remarkable life story"
    Would you listen to The Life of Elizabeth I again? Why?

    I would listen to this book again because the narrator, Davina Porter, has a wonderful voice, bringing the life and times of Queen Elizabeth to life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved her lifelong desire to love her people and to rule by what was in the best interest of the English. Amazed to find out how well she managed money.


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

    The Queen!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The virgin queen


    Any additional comments?

    Any book narrated by Davina Porter, comes alive with rich characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda 10-12-16
    Brenda 10-12-16 Member Since 2016
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    "The best so far!"

    I've been reading about Queen Elizabeth I since I was a young adult. It was a biography on her that first made me realize that real History was so much more interesting than school has ever made it seem. It fired my interest in her father and from him to many more.

    Since then I've read many books on Elizabeth. She is one of the most interesting figures in history by far. When you realize what she had to overcome to even survive, let alone rule, and rule well, it becomes clear that she had strength and intelligence rarely found.

    I found this book to be the most complete in detail I've ever read on Elizabeth, as well as being extremely enjoyable. The story that was her life has never been covered better.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laurie 06-27-13
    laurie 06-27-13
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    "Like a Virgin"

    Obviously Elizabeth's virginity was important, but I wish the book had been less preoccupied with her hymen.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B J Wakefield 06-14-13
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    "Delicious"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Life of Elizabeth I to be better than the print version?

    What can one say about such a subject, written by such an excellent writer as Alison Weir. Ms. Weir puts so much more into the story, rather than simply regurgitating historical information that can be gleaned from an encyclopedia. Good show!


    Any additional comments?

    I'm looking for more of Alison Weir's books. She has a rare talent; something not to be taken lightly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brooks Krabousanos 04-10-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Historical novels can be boring!"
    If you could sum up The Life of Elizabeth I in three words, what would they be?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The reader, Davina Porter is great!


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

    All


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

    No


    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Pigman 11-12-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Good Biography"

    This biography concentrates on Queen Elizabeth's approximately 40 year reign, giving just a brief summary of her earlier life. And even so, there is a lot to cover, and some important topics, like the Spanish Armada, are discussed rather briefly. The book thoroughly covers Elizabeth's friendship/flirtation with the Earl of Leicester, the long saga of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth’s negotiations for marriage with various foreign princes, which formed an important part of England’s foreign-policy and balancing act with European powers.

    Ms Weir excels at organizing and presenting her voluminous material and in painting vivid pictures of life at court. For example, she describes the annual summer progresses, putting them in context so the listener understands why they were important in keeping the Queen connected with the nobility and the public. She quotes liberally from contemporary sources, so we hear the voices of many of the Court figures, from the Spanish Ambassador to Queen Elizabeth to Sir Walter Raleigh to Mary, Queen of Scots. The audiobook is capably read by Davina Porter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-19-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Majestic!"

    Loved it! Highly informative, excellent narration, loads and loads of sources cited! I heartily recommend this audiobook to anyone who wants to get a firm grasp on the reign of England's most famous queen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley Justice 09-26-17
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    "Way too much time on courtship and succession"

    The author is thorough, in my opinion, too thorough on Elizabeth's courtship and potential successors. Seriously. 12+ hours of the 24 hour audio book are dedicated to it.

    If you want that level of depth, this is for you. If not, I'd find a shorter book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peter 09-05-17
    peter 09-05-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Lots to like but still a bit dense."

    I would have probably given this a 5 if not for the stretches where it became a bit difficult to care about what was happening. But this is a history of a royal court, and your experience will vary depending on how much interest you have in the rises and falls of a succession of court favorites, and how compelling you find a personal quarrel between queen and courtier the nth time it happens.

    But this book did a remarkable job of telling this story thoroughly without ever really losing me. There were bits I stuck with just based on the strength of the best bits, but this is always the way of histories, for me at least. Weir sets up her book so well, painting a compelling picture of Elisabeth that frames all the political games and courtly fuss with this character it is hard not to be fascinated with. What a remarkable person Elisabeth must have been, and what a mark she left.

    Davina Porter was a great choice for this. I loved her Mists Of Avalon and was delighted to listen to her read this one. It seemed she did falter occasionally, an intonation or emphasis off now and then but with a hefty tome like this I would expect it. In any case it didn't detract significantly from the experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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