Queen Elizabeth I and Her World

Jane Resh Thomas

A short biography of Elizabeth I that describes her triumphant reign as well as the childhood that shaped the woman she became.

Also available as an eBook.

Alison Plowden

In the wake of the Reformation, Europe lay deeply divided by religion. This second volume tells of the many faceted struggle between Elizabeth and the Catholics of England and the rest of Europe who, denouncing the queen as a heretic, and a usurper, threatened to overthrow her and re-establish the supremacy of Rome in all Christendom.

Chris Skidmore

"...the most sensational crime story of Tudor England. On the morning of September 8, 1560, at the isolated manor of Cunmor place, the body of a young woman was found at the bottom of a staircase, her neck broken. But this was no ordinary death. Amy Robsart was the wife of Elizabeth I’s great favorite, Robert Dudley, the man who many believed she would marry, were he free. Immediately people suspected foul play and Elizabeth’s own reputation was in danger of serious damage. Many felt she might even lose her throne. An inquest was begun, witnesses called, and ultimately a verdict of death by accident was reached. But the mystery refused to die and cast a long shadow over Elizabeth’s reign. Using recently discovered forensic evidence from the original investigation, Skidmore is able to put an end to centuries of speculation as to the true causes of Robsart’s death. This is the story of a treacherous period in Elizabeth’s life: a tale of love, death, and tragedy, exploring the dramatic early life of England’s Virgin Queen."

Jane Dunn
" In a rich and riveting narrative, Jane Dunn reveals the extraordinary rivalry between the regal cousins. It is the story of two queens ruling on one island, each with a claim to the throne of England, each embodying dramatically opposing qualities of character, ideals of womanliness (and views of sexuality) and divinely ordained kingship. As regnant queens in an overwhelmingly masculine world, they were deplored for their femaleness, compared unfavorably with each other and courted by the same men. By placing their dynamic and ever-changing relationship at the center of the book, Dunn illuminates their differences. Elizabeth, inheriting a weak, divided country coveted by all the Catholic monarchs of Europe, is revolutionary in her insistence on ruling alone and inspired in her use of celibacy as a political tool--yet also possessed of a deeply feeling nature. Mary is not the romantic victim of history but a courageous adventurer with a reckless heart and a magnetic influence over men and women alike. Vengeful against her enemies and the more ruthless of the two queens, she is untroubled by plotting Elizabeth's murder.

"Elizabeth, however, is driven to anguish at finally having to sanction Mary's death for treason. Working almost exclusively from contemporary letters and writings, Dunn explores their symbiotic, though never face-to-face, relationship and the power struggle that raged between them. A story of sex, power and politics, of a rivalry unparalleled in the pages of English history, of two charismatic women--told in a masterful double biography."

Anne Somerset

"Glitteringly detailed and engagingly written, the magisterial Elizabeth I brings to vivid life the golden age of sixteenth-century England and the uniquely fascinating monarch who presided over it. A woman of intellect and presence, Elizabeth was the object of extravagant adoration by her contemporaries. She firmly believed in the divine providence of her sovereignty and exercised supreme authority over the intrigue-laden Tudor court and Elizabethan England at large. Brilliant, mercurial, seductive, and maddening, an inspiration to artists and adventurers and the subject of vicious speculation over her choice not to marry, Elizabeth became the most powerful ruler of her time. Anne Somerset has immortalized her in this splendidly illuminating account."

Susan Doran

Describes and assesses England's foreign policy during the second half of the sixteenth century. It includes coverage of Elizabeth's relations with foreign powers, the effect of the Reformation on foreign affairs, Elizabeth's success as a stateswoman and the war with Spain. The book incorporates traditional and revisionist approaches and uses the most recent research to stimulate critical thought and interpretation.
An eBook.

David Starkey

"An abused child, yet confident of her destiny to reign, a woman in a man's world, passionately sexual -- though, as she maintained, a virgin -- Elizabeth I was to be famed as England's most successful ruler. This brilliant new biography, by concentrating on the formative early years -- from her birth in 1533 to her accession in 1558 -- shows how her experiences of danger and adventure formed her remarkable character and shaped her opinions and beliefs."

Alfred Leslie Rowse

In this volume, Mr. Rowse brings vividly to life the age's poetry, music, science, painting, sculpture, and the world of the theater:

1. The drama as social expression -- 2. Language, literature and society -- 3. Words and music -- 4. Architecture and sculpture -- 5. Painting -- 6. Domestic arts -- 7. Science and society -- 8. Nature and medicine -- 9. Mind and spirit.

Susan Doran

"...the first comprehensive study of Elizabeth I's courtships. Susan Doran argues that the cult of the 'Virgin Queen' was invented by her ministers, and that Elizabeth was forced into celibacy by political necessity."

Garrett Mattingly

"Chronicling one of the most spectacular events of the sixteenth century, The Armada is the definitive story of the English fleet's dramatic defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. The esteemed and critically acclaimed historian Garrett Mattingly explores all dimensions of the naval campaign that captured the attention of the European world and played a deciding role in the settlement of the New World."

Alfred Leslie Rowse

"Presents the daily lives of members of the different social classes in Elizabethan England. Includes a section on Elizabeth's fascination with the occult."

Carolly Erickson

"In this remarkable biography, Carolly Erickson brings Elizabeth I to life and allows us to see her as a living, breathing, elegant, flirtatious, diplomatic, violent, arrogant, and outrageous woman who commands our attention, fascination, and awe. With the special skill for which she is acclaimed, Carolly Erickson electrifies the senses as she evokes with total fidelity the brilliant colors of Elizabethan clothing and jewelry, the texture of tapestries, and even the close, perfumed air of castle rooms. Erickson demonstrates her extraordinary ability to discern and bring to life psychological and physical reality."

Alison Weir

"Perhaps the most influential sovereign England has ever known, Queen Elizabeth I reigned prosperously for more than forty years, from 1558 until her death in 1603. During her rule, however, she remained an extremely private person, keeping her own counsel and sharing secrets with no one--not even her closest, most trusted advisors. Now, in this brilliantly researched, fascinating new book, acclaimed biographer Alison Weir brings the enigmatic figure of Elizabeth 1 to life as never before. Here are provocative new interpretations and fresh insights on the intimacy between Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, who rose from Master of the Horse to become Earl of Leicester; the imprisonment and execution of Elizabeth's rival, Mary Stuart; Elizabeth's clash with Philip of Spain, once her suitor and then her enemy; and the cruel betrayal of her beloved Essex."

Susan Ronald

"Dubbed the 'pirate queen' by the Vatican and Philip II of Spain, Elizabeth I was feared and admired by her enemies. Extravagant, whimsical, and hot-tempered, she was the epitome of power. Her visionary accomplishments were made possible by her daring merchants, gifted rapscallion adventurers, astronomer philosophers, and her stalwart Privy Council. All these men contributed their genius, power, greed, and expertise to the advancement of England. Historian Ronald offers a fresh look at Elizabeth I, focusing on her uncanny instinct for financial survival and the superior intellect that propelled and sustained her rise. The foundation of Elizabeth's empire was built on a carefully choreographed strategy whereby piracy transformed England from an impoverished state on the fringes of Europe into the first building block of an empire that ultimately covered two-fifths of the world."

Mary Hill Cole

Every spring and summer, Queen Elizabeth would go on a series of official trips to towns and lordly manors in southern England. Here, the author examines original documents to decipher the meaning and importance of ceremonies past.

An eBook.

Carole Levin

"...looks at the difficulties Elizabeth and England faced during a time
of war and economic distress, and great social and cultural changes. During this time, England became a Protestant nation, and though Elizabeth tried to keep peace, by the end of her reign England was involved in a war with Catholic Spain. The period was also significant culturally and socially, as gender expectations changed and Shakespeare's plays were part of a great cultural development."

Simon Thurley

The Curator of Historic Royal Places shares his insights into the many residences of the Tudor royal family. Lots of illustrations here, including floor and ground plans, and insights into the court's etiquette, hygiene, religion, government, cooking and interior decoration, as well as their preferred sports.

Alison Weir

"Weir has tirelessly made her way through the entire labyrinth of Tudor history to tell the collective story of the six wives of Henry VIII--a vivid, full-blooded portrait of six very different women--in a work of sound and brilliant scholarship."

Kathy Lynn Emerson

"If your writing takes you into the England of the Renaissance, you've surely researched the period's sweeping cultural changes. But the Renaissance is a large tapestry, and it is the often-elusive day-to-day details you weave into your work that bring characters, settings and actions to life. You'll find your details here. In a book that's like a telescope through time, Kathy Lynn Emerson takes you to 1485-1649 England, to show you how people lived. You'll discover fashions of the day, including codpieces for men, bodices for women - many items with some assembly required; what people ate, table customs, and the ubiquity of alehouses in the land; family life, the elaborate customs of courtship and marriage, the problems of infidelity; what the Royal Court was like; the litigious society that was Renaissance England - and the punishments meted out; the work, food and discomfort of seafarers engaged in commerce or piracy; causes for celebration - the major religious and secular festivals; life in the cities and the rural areas, and much more."

Time-Life Books

Drawing on art, artifacts and literature that was left behind, these richly illustrated volumes recount captivating tales of everyday life in long-ago vanished worlds.
Part of the What Life Was Like... series.

Kathy Lynn Emerson

Sixteenth-century England was scarcely a paradise for anyone by modern standards. Yet despite huge obstacles, many sixteenth-century women achieved personal success and even personal wealth. This is a resource for all interested in this time-period.