I’m going to say right at the outset that I loved this book and consider it to be one of Margaret George’s finest. That said, I know there are some that were disappointed because the author begins the work of historical fiction when the Queen is 55 years old. It’s not a book about the excitement of her early years, but I don’t believe it takes anything way from this novel.
Robert Dudley has already died. Elizabeth loved him, and although she had already decided to remain unmarried (she was known as the Virgin Queen), she was terribly jealous and angry when he secretly wed Lettice Knollys. When the novel begins, that event took place long ago, but Elizabeth still harbors a grudge against Lettice.
The author uses dual narratives here. Elizabeth is one narrator and Lettice is the other. A third and very important character is Lettice’s son, Robert, Earl of Essex, who becomes a favorite of Elizabeth. I have always been curious (and a little confused) about the relationship between Essex and Elizabeth. Having Margaret George present this novel through the eyes of Elizabeth and Lettice helped me to gain a better understanding of that relationship and it’s affect on the country and those involved.
Very well done.
5 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2011