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.
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!