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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

Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition
Paul Watson
Progress: 6 %
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
Ed Yong
Progress: 40 %
Wizard's First Rule
Terry Goodkind
Progress: 49 %
Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant
Tracy Borman
Progress: 14 %
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life
Helen Czerski
Progress: 20 %
The Hanover Square Affair
Ashley Gardner
Progress: 10 %
Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)
Beth Archer Brombert, Massimo Montanari
Progress: 10 %
Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth
Holger Hoock
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari
Progress: 9 %
Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
John Guy
Progress: 20/512 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!