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SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

Just another GR refugee.  Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.

Currently reading

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari Dr
Progress: 5 %
Lady Cop Makes Trouble
Amy Stewart
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World
Andrea Wulf
Progress: 2 %
The Hundred Years War, Volume 1: Trial by Battle
Jonathan Sumption
Progress: 166/586 pages
King Solomon's Mines
H. Rider Haggard
Progress: 4 %
Queen's Gambit: A Novel
Elizabeth Fremantle
Progress: 22 %
1913: The Eve of War
Paul Ham
Progress: 20 %
The William Shakespeare Detective Agency: The Dark Lady (The William Shakespeare Detective Agency Book 2)
Colin Falconer
Progress: 15 %
Cosmic Quest Cd (Bbc Audio)
Heather Couper
Firedrake's Eye
Patricia Finney
Progress: 15/249 pages

Elizabeth I and Her Circle

Elizabeth I and Her Circle - Susan Doran

I dithered between 3.5 and 4 stars on this one.


Susan Doran examines all of Elizabeth I's personal relationships, through the course of her long life.  "Kin" covers her relationships with her parents, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn; her series of step-mothers; her step-siblings, Mary I and Edward VI; and her cousins, the Stuarts, the "Tribe of Dan" (her mother's family, the Boleyns, especially the Careys), and the Greys.


Also covered are her relationships with her principal courtiers, Lord Burghley, Robert Dudley, Sir Christopher Hatton, and the Earl of Essex; the ladies of her court, from Kat Astley on down; and her ministers of state, most importantly Walsingham and Sir Robert Cecil (who, unlike his father, Lord Burghley, seems to have been afraid of her).


Some matters are discussed more than once, as the organization is by relationship, not chronological.  Her point, which becomes most clear in the epilogue, is that the usual view we have of Elizabeth and her court - that she was penny-pinching, fickle, and vain, and easily ruled by handsome young men of her court - is the view of 17th century historians, which has lasted without serious reconsideration since then.  (OK, yes, she really was penny-pinching.  Took after her grandfather, Henry VII, there.  No getting around that!)


This is Doran's stab at a reconsideration.


It makes for an interesting read, but I recommend it principally for those already interested in the Tudor period.


My copy courtesy of Oxford University Press and Net Galley - much thanks!