Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne

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Harper Collins, Dec 4, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 384 pages
5 Reviews
An abused child, yet confident of her destiny to reign, a woman in a man's world, Elizabeth I was to be famed as England's most successful ruler. This biography, by concentrating on the formative early years--from her birth in 1533 to her accession in 1558--shows how her experiences of danger and adventure formed her remarkable character and shaped her opinions and beliefs. In growing up, Elizabeth experienced every vicissitude of fortune and every extreme of condition. She was three years old at the time of her mother's execution; when she was a young woman, her step-father cut her dress off of her with a knife. She had been Princess and inheritrix of England--then bastardized and disinherited. At sixteen she was the head of a great princely household. Yet she was also an accused traitor on the verge of execution. Amid all this, she had mastered the most advanced classical curriculum of the day. But it was her lessons in the school of life that mattered more--and that taught her her humanity. David Starkey re-creates a host of extravagant characters, madcap schemes and tragic plots, while using original documents to point up the importance of the rituals of power and life at court. Elizabeth, whose own Protestant faith was personal and sophisticated, was extremely judicious in her handling of Reform, as in her choice of advisors and councilors. Here, too, is a fresh view of the famous rivalry between the daughters of Henry VIII: the pious Catholic Mary and her clever sister. While Elizabeth remained utterly devoted to her father, she was also determined not to lose her opportunity for power--and not to make the same mistakes as Mary. The skill with which she achieved her goal proved to be a sign that England had reached a watershed moment in its history. Starkey's close attention to detail and vivid storytelling ability combine to produce a narrative of these extraordinary years that reads like a novel.

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Not as dry as you think

User Review  - mariadelmaria - Overstock.com

I like this book because its informative but you dont feel like you are reading a discertation. Its the story of Elizabeth but he has interpreted some things in a different light than most historians. I didnt feel like I was reading a book I had read before. Read full review

Review: Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne

User Review  - Sophie - Goodreads

This popular biography started out strong but I felt my interest waning in the last third when it got bogged down in religious debate. Overall a good overview of Elizabeth from birth to becoming queen. Read full review

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About the author (2001)

David Starkey is the Bye Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and winner of the W. H. Smith Prize and the Norton Medlicott Medal for Services to History presented by Britain's Historical Association. He is best known for writing and presenting the groundbreaking and hugely popular series Elizabeth and The Six Wives of Henry VIII. He lives in London.

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