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The England of Elizabeth

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  14 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Thanks to Shakespeare, Hollywood, and the formidable Elizabeth I herself, Elizabethan England remains a place and time that fascinates us. Modern England still has visible memorials of the Elizabethans—the houses they built, the objects they cherished, the patterns they imposed upon the very landscape. A. L. Rowse's famously vivid portrayal of the Elizabethan world is a de ...more
Paperback, 648 pages
Published March 18th 2003 by University of Wisconsin Press (first published 1950)
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As a history book, this work has not dated particularly well; as a paean to Elizabethan England, and to the English themselves, though, it's still remarkably enjoyable. Even after his death, Rowse has remained the Grand Old Man of Elizabethan studies, and after reading this, it's really not hard to see why. The depth of erudition he displays is matched only by his humour and common sense, and by the wonderful fluidity of his prose. There is an undercurrent to his prose, though, a certain aspect ...more
The 1970 Macmillan Company version was supplemental reading for an English History course a long time ago. It sat on my shelf for decades until I finally got enough nerve to read it. The book describes Elizabethan society in what may be the most boring way possible. Instead of shining some light on how people lived and thought during that era, the author used this medium as a platform to show how much he knew and how little he cared to share with the reader. Rowse was an Oxford don during the ti ...more
Philip Cook
The author does not suffer fools at all gladly. If you don't understand what he says then it's your hard luck. This is a heavy and elaborate subject dealt with in an extraordinarily humorous manner and with sympathy and love for his subject. He tells it as it is quoting many a learned friend and those not quite so friendly. A fascinating insight to the age of this most famous of monarchs, dispelling many a myth.
Not the easiest read in that it is impossible to forget that this is now dated and somewhat written in awe of "Gloriana" it is an Homage that while interesting must be put in context of time written in the early 1950's when QE II was about to be placed on the throne and again all things Elizabethan were sacrosanct. Useful for reference but with a caution.
Richard Thomas
The book is now very dated and, although beautifully written, much of Leslie Rowse's idiosyncrasy comes through. I first read it at school for history A Level and have returned to it on occasions since although not really for its history. My copy, which I bought then, is now somewhat battered but still holds together.
I read this for my secondary tutorial at Worcester College, Oxford (Culture, Politics, and Society in England: 1558-1660).
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Alfred Leslie Rowse, CH FBA, known professionally as A. L. Rowse and to his friends and family as Leslie, was a prolific Cornish historian. He is perhaps best known for his poetry about Cornwall and his work on Elizabethan England. He was also a Shakespearean scholar and biographer. He developed a widespread reputation for irascibility and intellectual arrogance.

One of Rowse's great enthusiasms wa
More about A.L. Rowse...
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