Elizabeth I acceded to the throne in 1558, restoring the Protestant faith to England. At the heart of the new queen's court lay Elizabeth's bedchamber, closely guarded by the favoured women who helped her dress, looked after her jewels and shared her bed. Elizabeth's private life was of public, political concern. Her bedfellows were witnesses to the face and body beneath the make-up and elaborate clothes, as well as to rumoured illicit dalliances with such figures as Robert Dudley. Their presence was for security as well as propriety, as the kingdom was haunted by fears of assassination plots and other Catholic subterfuge. For such was the significance of the queen's body: it represented the very state itself. This riveting, revealing history of the politics of intimacy uncovers the feminized world of the Elizabethan court. Between the scandal and intrigue the women who attended the queen were the guardians of the truth about her health, chastity and fertility. Their stories offer extraordinary insight into the daily life of the Elizabethans, the fragility of royal favour and the price of disloyalty.
The first biography of Lettice Knollys, one of the most prominent women of the Elizabethan era. Cousin to Elizabeth I - and very likely also Henry VIII's illegitimate granddaughter - Lettice Knollys had a life of dizzying highs and pitiful lows. Darling of the court, entangled in a love triangle with Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I, banished from court, plagued by scandals of affairs and murder, embroiled in treason, Lettice would go on to lose a husband and beloved son to the executioner's axe. Living to the astonishing age of ninety-one, Lettice's tale gives us a remarkable, personal lens on to the grand sweep of the Tudor Age, with those closest to her often at the heart of the events that defined it. In the first ever biography of this extraordinary woman, Nicola Tallis's dramatic narrative takes us through those events, including the religious turmoil, plots and intrigues of Mary, Queen of Scots, attempted coups, and bloody Irish conflicts, among others. Surviving well into the reign of Charles I, Lettice truly was the last of the great Elizabethans.
'A masterful biography' Amanda Foreman 'A gripping story of Queen Elizabeth's last years, authoritatively researched and engagingly recounted by the leading Tudor historian of our age' James Shapiro, author of 1599 and 1606 ____________________ An ageing queen, an heirless state, conspiracy all round: here is the court of Elizabeth I as never known before History has pictured Elizabeth I as Gloriana, an icon of strength and power. But the reality, especially during her later years, was not so simple. In 1583 Elizabeth is fifty years old, past childbearing, but her greatest challenges are still to come: the Spanish Armada; the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots; relentless plotting among her courtiers. This gripping and vivid portrait of her life and times - often told in her own words ('You know I am no morning woman') - reveals a woman who is fallible, increasingly insecure, and struggling to lead Britain. This is the real Elizabeth, for the first time. ____________________ 'One of the very best historians we have in the country . . . It is brilliant, vigorous history, and a triumph of storytelling and scholarship' Jessie Childs, Telegraph 'The best biography ever written of the Virgin Queen - a revisionist, sensitive, compelling, majestic masterwork that you can't put down' Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Evening Standard 'Guy's careful work with documents known and unknown allows him to paint a novel portrait of a complex - maybe even unknowable - queen' John Gallagher, Guardian
___________________________________ 'Scintillating, provocative... An elegant synthesis of royal biography and political thriller.' Daily Telegraph A Times History Book of the Year: a story which inspired the Hollywood film MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS Mary, Queen of Scots & Elizabeth I of England. Two powerful monarchs on a single island. Threatened by voices who believed no woman could govern. Surrounded by sycophants, spies and detractors. Accosted for their dominion, their favour and their bodies. Besieged by secret plots, devastating betrayals and a terrible final act. Only one queen could survive to rule all. ___________________________________ 'Brings us a fresh Mary, set in a gloriously rich context, a tragic heroine - irresistibly real and relevant... There isn't a line wasted in this taut, dramatic and utterly beguiling biography.' Charles Spencer author of Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I 'The perfect combination of scholarship and storytelling, meticulous research and emotional insight, Kate Williams brings Mary vividly to life in all her complexities and contradictions.' Kate Mosse, author of The Burning Chambers 'It takes a special kind of historian to turn an old story on its head. Eye-opening, provocative, this is the great rivalry re-imagined for the #MeToo generation.' Lucy Worsley
Part of the Penguin Monarchs series: short, fresh, expert accounts of England's rulers in a collectible format In the popular imagination, as in her portraits, Elizabeth I is the image of monarchical power. The Virgin Queen ruled over a Golden Age: the Spanish Armada was defeated and England's enemies scattered; English explorers reached almost to the ends of the earth; a new Church of England rose from the ashes of past conflict, and the English Renaissance bloomed in the genius of Shakespeare, Spenser and Sidney. But the image is also armour. In this illuminating new account of Elizabeth's reign, Helen Castor shows how England's iconic queen was shaped by profound and enduring insecurity-an insecurity which was both a matter of practical political reality and personal psychology. From her precarious upbringing at the whim of a brutal, capricious father and her perilous accession after his death, to the religious division that marred her state and the failure to marry that threatened her line, Elizabeth lived under constant threat. But, facing down her enemies with a compellingly inscrutable public persona, the last and greatest of the Tudor monarchs would become a timeless, fearless queen.
The essays in this book traverse two centuries of queens and their afterlives—historical, mythological, and literary. They speak of the significant and subtle ways that queens leave their mark on the culture they inhabit, focusing on gender, marriage, national identity, diplomacy, and representations of queens in literature. Elizabeth I looms large in this volume, but the interrogation of queenship extends from Elizabeth's historical counterparts, such as Anne Boleyn and Catherine de Medici, to her fictional echoes in the pages of John Lyly, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, Mary Wroth, John Milton, and Margaret Cavendish. Celebrating and building on the renowned scholarship of Carole Levin, Queens Matter in Early Modern Studies exemplifies a range of innovative approaches to examining women and power in the early modern period.
Amy Robsart was the wife of Queen Elizabeth I's favourite, Robert Dudley, later Earl of Leicester. In September 1560, she was found dead, her neck broken, at the bottom of a flight of stairs at Cumnor Place. Amy was twenty-eight when she died and her marriage to Dudley had been one of great absences and loneliness. Some said she was ill, others that she was desperate. More sinister rumours talked of murder. In this book we look at Amy's unsolved death and examine who had motive to commit such a dark deed. Was it an accident, suicide or murder? The Death of Amy Robsart is the first volume in an exciting new historical true crime series from Chronos Books.
Banned History is all the juicy bits of History which were excluded from your lessons at school. It unashamedly probes into the darker side of some of Britain’s most admired leaders, as well as exploring the hateful and depraved nature of humanity across the last 5000 years. Banned History answers questions which are deliberately avoided by the school curriculum due to the negative light Britain may be portrayed such as the real reason why Britain didn't bomb Auschwitz and how the Transatlantic Slave Trade came into being. Topical issues such as whether Churchill was a racist and how homophobia developed and spread across the world are explored in depth. Concepts which are too horrific to ever feature in the school curriculum are investigated to reveal how many years it takes for incest to wipe out a family; what the most effective method of torture is; and what kind of person tastes best. Written in a bright and breezy tone, Banned History is full of fascinating facts such as who discovered dolphins (and who fell in love with one); why America got involved in the Vietnam war; why Russia turned communist; how Martin Luther King got his name; how many people Europe killed with their colonisation of the Americas; and when and why the British government legalised men hitting their wives. Welcome to the sort of History you definitely didn’t get taught at school.
Exam Board: OCR Level: A-level Subject: History First Teaching: September 2015 First Exam: June 2016 This is an OCR endorsed resource Build strong subject knowledge and skills in A Level History using the in-depth analysis and structured support in this tailor-made series for OCR's British period studies and enquiries. - Develops the analytical skills required to succeed in the period study by organising the narrative content around the key issues for students to explore - Enhances understanding of the chosen historical period, supplying a wealth of extracts and sources that offer opportunities to practise the evaluative skills needed for the enquiry - Progressively improves study skills through developmental activities and advice on answering practice exam questions - Helps students to review, revise and reflect on the course material through chapter summaries and revision activities that consolidate topic knowledge - Equips students with transferable critical thinking skills, presenting contrasting academic opinions that encourage A Level historians to make informed judgements on major debates Each title in the OCR A Level History series contains one or two British period studies and its associated enquiry, providing complete support for every option in Unit Group 1. England 1485-1603 This title explores the reigns of the Tudor monarchs from Henry VII to Elizabeth I through two British period studies and one enquiry. It allows an in-depth understanding of the key historical knowledge, terms and concepts relevant to the period studied and encourages the critical use of evidence in investigating and assessing historical questions in the associated enquiry: 'Mid Tudor Crises 1547-1558'. This title covers the following period studies and enquiry: - England 1485-1547 - Mid Tudor Crises 1547-1558 - Elizabethan England
This is the inside story of Elizabeth I's inner circle and the crucial human relationships which lay at the heart of her personal and political life. Using a wide range of original sources — including private letters, portraits, verse, drama, and state papers — Susan Doran provides a vivid and often dramatic account of political life in Elizabethan England and the queen at its centre, offering a deeper insight into Elizabeth's emotional and political conduct — and challenging many of the popular myths that have grown up around her. It is a story replete with fascinating questions. What was the true nature of Elizabeth's relationship with her father, Henry VIII, especially after his execution of her mother? What was the influence of her step-mothers on Elizabeth's education and religious beliefs? How close was she really to her half-brother Edward VI — and were relations with her half-sister Mary really as poisonous as is popularly assumed? And what of her relationship with her Stewart cousins, most famously with Mary Queen of Scots, executed on Elizabeth's orders in 1587, but also with Mary's son James VI of Scotland, later to succeed Elizabeth as her chosen successor? Elizabeth's relations with her family were crucial, but almost as crucial were her relations with her courtiers and her councillors (her 'men of business'). Here again, the story unravels a host of fascinating questions. Was the queen really sexually jealous of her maids of honour? What does her long and intimate relationship with the Earl of Leicester reveal about her character, personality, and attitude to marriage? What can the fall of Essex tell us about Elizabeth's political management in the final years of her reign? And what was the true nature of her personal and political relationship with influential and long-serving councillors such as the Cecils and Sir Francis Walsingham?
This multi-disciplinary collection of essays is the first cohesive attempt to integrate ladies-in-waiting into the master narrative of court studies. It provides evidence for the multitudinous ways in which ‘women above stairs’ influenced the politics and culture of their times.