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My Just Desire: The Life of Bess Raleigh, Wife to Sir Walter
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My Just Desire: The Life of Bess Raleigh, Wife to Sir Walter

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  73 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Young, beautiful, and connected by blood to the most powerful families in England, Bess Throckmorton had as much influence over Queen Elizabeth I as any woman in the realm—but she risked everything to marry the most charismatic man of the day. The secret marriage between Bess and the Queen’s beloved Sir Walter Ralegh cost both of them their fortunes, their freedom, and ver ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 26th 2003 by Ballantine Books
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Elizabeth Throckmorton was lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth I when she and Walter Raleigh secretly conceived a child and married. Elizabeth (or Bess) delivered her baby in secret, then returned to court as though nothing had happened. She kept up her facade of perfect virginal loyalty toward her queen, and Raleigh kept up his courtly promises of devotion to the queen, until abruptly they were banished from court and thrown in the Tower of London. Eventually they were released. Raleigh continued to l ...more
Nancy Goldberg Wilks
I found this book to be a bit confusing; but, I think Beer did an admirable job of conveying just how amazing Bess Raleigh was during a time that was difficult for women in general and even more difficult for her in particular.

My Just Desire was interesting and informative. I was unable to put the book down until after I finished reading it.

Highly Recommended.
Bess Throckmorton was one of Elizabeth I's ladies who fell out of favour with the monarch when she secretly got knocked up and then wed Sir Walter Raleigh, Elizabeth's 'dear pug'. This biography tracks Bess' life from childhood through marriage and right to her demise. As history is so often decided upon by men, it's always good to see things from the point of view of the women who were there. It's just a shame that in a lot of cases, very little survives in the way of official records. Beer see ...more
While the title sounds romantic, it's strictly business. It's taken from letter written by Bess Raleigh and it is fully characteristic of the style she used to obtain and re-obtain pensions, property, status and favors lost by the alleged treason of her husband.

Bess has not been developed by other writers and biographers of this period, but she is definitely worthy of more study. Beer portrays the young Bess as being aware of the value of a relationship with Raleigh and willing to take risks to
Endeavour Press
This book is published by Endeavour Press.
I love the Tudor era and learning about people from that era. It's such an interesting time in English history and Bess Raleigh was a really interesting woman. The biography never got dull and while I skipped around chapters, sometimes going several forward and sometimes going several back, I feel like I have a good idea of what Bess was like and that she too was a woman with desires and passions and loves just like me.

That's why I love biographies. They take people from history and make them r
Emily Maurek
I am into British Royalty since I read the Other Boleyn Girl....

This was very good and very fascinating...Bess Raleigh was a woman WAY before her time and it's always a good reminder as a woman to ponder the struggles of previous generations. However, despite the era, some things never change. At least we don't have to worry about the scaffold anymore!!
Wonderful biography of my ancestor, Bess Throckmorton, and her husband, Sir Walter Raleigh. Very enjoyable read, and has left me with a lot of places on my To Visit list.
Johnny Korianitis
A quintessential history on Bess Throckmorton, an extremely resourceful and brave noble woman who survived many hardships and trials during the Elizabethan Age.
Danielle Reily
A fascinating read about a woman who is usually just a footnote in historical biographies. I highly recommend this book for any one who enjoys history.
Interesting and well researched, but there wasn't enough documentation to draw on to make the ending satisfactory.
Suzie Diver
Well written and researched.
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Anna Beer is a writer, lecturer and researcher who specialises in the literature and culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She was Lecturer in Literature at the Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford between 2003 and 2010, and remains a Fellow of Kellogg College. She has published two literary biographies: Bess: The Life of Lady Raleigh, Wife to Sir Walter an ...more
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