Elizabeth I

Life Story

Elizabeth was proclaimed as the heir to the throne at her birth, but by the time she was two-and-a-half, she had been demoted to the king’s illegitimate daughter. Restored to the succession in 1543, she navigated scandal in her brother’s reign, and rebellion in her sister’s, to claim the crown at the age of 25. Her skilful handling of her courtiers, her ability to compromise over religion, her choice of able councillors, and her never-failing devotion both to her people at large, and to keeping herself on the throne, made her reign largely successful.

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Following in the Footsteps

Elizabeth I never left England, and seldom travelled far from the south and east of the country, yet within those geographical limits, she regularly moved between her own palaces, and the houses of her courtiers, ensuring that she was widely visible to her people.

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Find out more about Elizabeth I

Elizabeth’s long life and reign encompassed changes in religion, in political ideas, in dress and in England’s place in the world. She herself was always conscious of her image, and her wide popularity make her one of the most painted European monarchs. Much of Elizabeth’s reign was spent balancing competing demands – not always successfully and some of the issues she suppressed erupted fifty years later.

Book Reviews

There are more books on Elizabeth I than there are shelves to put them on. Reviewed here are several we have read over the last few years.