“The Lady Elizabeth” by Alison Weir

There are plenty of reasons to like this book. But chief among them is the fact that this work of fiction is written by a reputable historian, Alison Weir, who knows her stuff and for the most part doesn’t mess with the history (except for one controversial plot point) which I appreciated. Her understanding of Elizabeth’s character helps her here; and while her Elizabeth is not as compelling as in Susan Kay’s “Legacy” or even “I, Elizabeth” she is convincingly authentic. The young Elizabeth is endearingly precocious, much as she would have been in real life (at age three after the death of her mother and her bastardization, the perceptive child was recorded as having asked her steward, “How haps it, my lord, that yesterday my lady Princess and today my lady Elizabeth?”). I found the qualities of vanity and imperiousness in the young Elizabeth rather adorable. It is when she enters adolescence that the book loses its way.

The well-known story of Elizabeth’s seduction at the hands of Thomas Seymour is told with a twist here. Without spoiling the story I’ll say that it causes Elizabeth quite a lot of trouble which ultimately harms the book. Elizabeth’s story is exciting enough without any artificial drama. Weir based this particular plot point on a rumor, making it not completely out-of-left-field. But I found it disappointing in a book that was otherwise historically accurate.

Overall however, I think this book should be part of the collection of any Queen Elizabeth I fan. For a beginner, I would recommend the novels “Legacy” and I, Elizabeth” which tell the same story slightly less in depth but without the irritating plot contrivance.

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About elizabethanbookreviews

I have a hobbyist interest in English history, particularly the Tudor period (1485-1603). This blog is a place for me to review fiction and non-fiction books relating to the Tudors, especially Elizabeth I.
This entry was posted in Alison Weir, Elizabeth I, Fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “The Lady Elizabeth” by Alison Weir

  1. Fantastic stuff from you, man. Ive read your stuff prior to and youre just too awesome. I really like what youve got here, like what youre saying plus the way you say it. You make it entertaining and also you nonetheless manage to keep it smart. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is genuinely an incredible blog.

  2. Thank you very much! I’m glad someone is reading and enjoying. I haven’t posted much lately, but I do plan to put up some new reviews over the holidays. I’m guessing by your presence here that you’re a fellow Tudor fan?

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