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.
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.
This exciting collection of original essays on early modern women’s writing offers a range of approaches to a growing field. As a whole, the volume introduces readers to a number of writers, such as Mirabai and Liu Rushi, who are virtually invisible in Anglophone scholarship, and to writers who remain little known, such as Elizabeth Melville, Elizabeth Hatton, and Jane Sharpe. The volume also represents critical strategies designed to open up the emergent canon of early modern women’s writing to new approaches, especially those that have consolidated the integration of literary and intellectual history, with an emphasis on religion, legal issues, and questions of genre. The authors expand the methodological possibilities available to approach early modern women who wrote in a diverse number of genres, from letters to poetry, autobiography and prose fiction. The sixteen essays are a major contribution to an area that has attracted the interest of a number of fields, including literary studies, history, cultural studies, and women’s studies.
‘History as it should be written’ Alison Weir, bestselling author of the Six Tudor Queens series A groundbreaking and fascinating biography of England's most famous queen, viewed through the women who influenced her life. Elizabeth I is often portrayed as a ruthless 'man's woman', who derided her own sex – ‘I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman' – and loved to flirt with the young men at her court. Yet she was born into a world of women and it is her relationships with these women that provide the most fascinating insight into the character of this remarkable monarch. As a child Elizabeth was raised by her mother, governesses and stepmothers, while as an adult she was clothed, bathed and watched by her ladies of the bedchamber and her maids of honour. With them she was jealous, spiteful and cruel, as well as loyal, kind and protective. Among her family it was her female relations who had the greatest influence on her life: from her sister Mary, who distrusted and later imprisoned her, to her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, who posed a constant and dangerous threat to her crown for almost thirty years. It was these women – and many more – who brought out the best – and worst – in Elizabeth and reveal the woman behind the carefully cultivated image of the Virgin Queen.
Deirdre Kirkwood, the bastard child of Griffin, a Catholic priest, and demon-infested Roanna Douglas, has been raised with her cousins Betsy and Hal, the children of Griffin’s twin, Donovan. Each of them has inherited a powerful magical talent and a wolfhound familiar. Any of them could become the next Merlin of Britain. Deirdre’s quest to know something, anything, about her father leads to a confrontation with El Lobison the Master of all Werewolves. No one is safe from him, as the cousins learn to their terror In and out of royal courts, the three cousins build a network of spies who are the only ones who can counter the weather, the werewolves, and the Spanish as England faces the relentless Spanish Armada.
John Lyly is the first collection of essays dedicated solely to the work of this University Wit, celebrity prose writer, and playwright to the court of Elizabeth. Lyly's energy and wit inspired his contemporaries to follow new directions in prose fiction and stage comedy, and his writings still illuminate sixteenth-century culture for the modern reader. The twenty-four essays in this selection include some older classics, but most date from 1990 onwards and reflect current critical concerns with politics and sexuality, class and audience. Both Euphues books and the eight plays receive some detailed attention. The essays are grouped into four sections: Lessons in Wit, Courting the Queen, Playing with Desire, and Performing Lyly. A biographical summary and critical survey are provided in the introduction; other voices and insights are alluded to in the notes and listed in the wide-ranging bibliography.