Arbella: England's Lost Queen

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 450 pages
2 Reviews
This biography restores Arbella, England's "lost queen," to vivid life. Layd Arbella Stuart emerges, through Sara Gristwood's masterly storytelling, as a most contemporary royal, a young woman determined to shape her own destiny in the midst of her plot-ridden world. Arbella was part Tudor, part Stuart, and a niece of Mary, Queen of Scots. She was introduced at court as a young girl and acknowledged as the heir to the throne by Elizabeth I. As Gristwood brilliantly shows, Arbella was literally too royal for her own good. A critical pawn in the struggle for succession, particularly during the long, tense period when Elizabeth lay dying, the young Arbella endured years of isolation, confined amid the rural splendors of Hardwick Hall by her scheming and powerful grandmother. The accession of James I, Arbella's first cousin, ended her royal aspirations but thrust her into James's licentious court. Then, at age thirty-five, Arbella risked everything to make her own forbidden marriage. An escape in disguise, a wild flight abroad, and capture at sea led, in the end, to an agonizing death in the Tower of London. Yet nothing is as remarkable as the almost modern freedom with which, in a series of extraordinary letters -- as passionate and extensive as those of any other woman of this suffocating age -- Arbella Stuart revealed her own compelling personality. Arbella is "an enthralling account of an extraordinary life" (Spectator). - Jacket flap.

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User Review  - Desilu42 - LibraryThing

I loved that this book gave so much insight on a woman that I really knew nothing about. I would have given it a 5 but as most biographies it can get a bit dry. Read full review

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User Review  - bhowell - LibraryThing

this is a great historical read and with all the renewed interest in the Tudor age its a must have. Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Sarah Gristwood is an Oxford-trained historian, journalist, and broadcaster.

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