Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 480 pages
18 Reviews
"Superb.... A perceptive, suspenseful account." --The New York Times Book Review

"Dunn demythologizes Elizabeth and Mary. In humanizing their dynamic and shifting relationship, Dunn describes it as fueled by both rivalry and their natural solidarity as women in an overwhelmingly masculine world." --Boston Herald

The political and religious conflicts between Queen Elizabeth I and the doomed Mary, Queen of Scots, have for centuries captured our imagination and inspired memorable dramas played out on stage, screen, and in opera. But few books have brought to life more vividly the exquisite texture of two women’s rivalry, spurred on by the ambitions and machinations of the forceful men who surrounded them. The drama has terrific resonance even now as women continue to struggle in their bid for executive power.

Against the backdrop of sixteenth-century England, Scotland, and France, Dunn paints portraits of a pair of protagonists whose formidable strengths were placed in relentless opposition. Protestant Elizabeth, the bastard daughter of Anne Boleyn, whose legitimacy had to be vouchsafed by legal means, glowed with executive ability and a visionary energy as bright as her red hair. Mary, the Catholic successor whom England’s rivals wished to see on the throne, was charming, feminine, and deeply persuasive. That two such women, queens in their own right, should have been contemporaries and neighbours sets in motion a joint biography of rare spark and page-turning power.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - marshapetry - LibraryThing

Not nearly finished but, man, what a great book, and the narrator is awesome. Read with enough pause between sentences that you can really take in and think about what was just said... excellent ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Auntie-Nanuuq - LibraryThing

This is a well written (sometimes boring) inclusive book about Elizabeth I and the rivalry for the English Crown against her delusional, conniving, presumptuous, arrogant, murderous, and slutty cousin ... Read full review

Contents

The F 1tef11l Step
3
The Educ 1tion of Princes
68
Apprenticeship for 1 Queen
105
Wilftllness and Gods Will 1 11
141
NINE
178
TVELE
435
5
443
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Jane Dunn is the author of Moon in Eclipse: A Life of Mary Shelley; A Very Close Conspiracy: Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell; Antonia White: A Life; and Read My Heart: A Love Story in England's Age of Revolution. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, is married to the linguist and writer Nicholas Ostler, and lives in Bath, England.

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