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Elizabeth I

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  4,794 Ratings  ·  548 Reviews
The legendary Elizabeth Tudor is history's most enigmatic queen: the virgin with many suitors; the victor of the Armada who hated war; and the jewel-bedecked woman always pinching pennies. Elizabeth's cousin, Lettice Knollys, is her bitter rival. Lettice has been intertwined with Elizabeth since childhood.
Published March 1st 2011 by MacMillan Hardback Omes
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(showing 1-30)
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Grace Elliot
Let me preface this review by saying I'm a huge fan of Margaret George. It was reading her book about Mary Queen of Scots that first kindled my interest in history. Ms George is a towering literary talent and I re-read The Autobiography of Henry VIII every year. So why then did I fell an overwhelming sense of release when I finished 'Elizabeth I'?
This book was a slog to read with little or no of the Ms George magic. It struck me she has lost her way as a writer and become totally absorbed by th
Apr 06, 2011 Felice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction novelist Margaret George has never shied away from retelling a well known story. Her subjects have included: Henry the VIII, Cleopatra, Mary Queen of Scots, Helen of Troy and now Elizabeth I. It takes a lot of nerve and a passionate love of the subject to tackle the life of a figure we could all know enough about to write a 200 word bio. Add to that the explosion of novels about the Tudors in the last few years and George's audaciousness is multiplied by a thousand.

There are t
Deborah Pickstone
Margaret George is one of the best historical novelists. Here we find Elizabeth at the point of the invasion of the Spanish Armada and told, largely from her own POV, about the later years of her reign. Quite different from the usual focus on her earlier years and largely less dramatic - but very absorbing! She is one of my favourite characters in English history; this is the equal of The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers which is an all time favorite of mine.
I've never really worshiped at the altar of Margaret George.

"The Memoirs of Cleopatra" is fantastic; that I will never deny. It's probably the best fictional Cleopatra book out there. "Helen of Troy" is frothy and fun and kind of a really long summer beach read? I don't know. "Mary Queen of Scotland & The Isles" was basically a bodice ripper with really disturbing implications... (George apparently dismisses any idea that Mary was kidnapped or raped by her third husband--and believe me, that
Jul 07, 2012 LeAnn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History lovers
As much as I enjoyed the descriptive writing -- boy, can Margaret George make me experience the reality of living as an Elizabethan -- and the deft handling of a middle-aged woman's viewpoint, I struggled to finish this novel. I even struggled as I read it to identify what, exactly, my issues were with it. Was I just not in the mood for a novel that stretched more than 600 pages? Have I gotten so used to reading my guilty-pleasure reads that I can no longer tolerate the slower pace and richer la ...more
Jun 14, 2011 Jodi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book tremendously! Am not one who likes Queen Elizabeth I messed with so when I received this book as an anniversary present from my husband I was a bit skeptical. No need, so thoroughly steeped in history as to be acceptable to even the most proficient in the Tudor era. George does let you know at the end what is historiography and what is fiction (which as a former-history teacher I appreciate—can be so hard to dispel the history students pick up in Disney cartoons or Hollywood mo ...more
Linda C
Jan 26, 2012 Linda C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
Overall, this book was a huge disappointment. It was tedious, boring, and way, way, way too long. It took me over 4 weeks to read, which meant that I really did not want to be reading it. If one ever suffers from insomnia, 30 pages with this book and you will be out like a light (probably why it took me so long to read it, I could never stay awake). I should also add that the four weeks of reading time included an 11 hour plane ride, so if I couldn't even stick with it while confined in an airpl ...more
May 23, 2011 C.W. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Margaret George has cemented her reputation as a grand dame of historical fiction, creating epic novels about history's most legendary characters, from Henry VIII to Mary of Scotland to Helen of Troy. In her latest novel, ELIZABETH I, she tackles perhaps the most legendary and elusive figure of all - the Virgin Queen herself.

Elizabeth Tudor is famous as much for what she said and did as for what she did not. She remains so fascinating precisely because we know so little about her personally, eve
Mar 22, 2011 Francine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I count myself as one of the people lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Margaret George’s new novel Elizabeth I. I can honestly say that having read every one of Ms. George’s novels I had every expectation to thoroughly enjoy it and I was not disappointed. The author researches her subjects for months, even years, and writes a very factual novel but in a fascinating way. She writes in a story format so as to entertain while imparting a wonderful piece of historical data that doesn’t leave ...more
I'm going to say right at the outset that I loved this book and consider it to be one of Margaret George's finest. That said, I know there are some that were disappointed because the author begins the work of historical fiction when the Queen is 55 years old. It's not a book about the excitement of her early years, but I don't believe it takes anything way from this novel.

Robert Dudley has already died. Elizabeth loved him, and although she had already decided to remain unmarried (she was known
Sep 11, 2013 Jana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-stars
Not bad, but underwhelming all the same. Readers should be aware, going into this, that the book begins when Queen Elizabeth I is fifty-five years of age and that any prior events will be referred to in clunky or random exposition. One of the most unfortunate consequences of starting a book so late in Elizabeth I's reign is that two of her most trusted advisors die quite early on, and obviously she's upset, but it's difficult for the reader to have any emotional reaction. If I hadn't known bette ...more
Elizabeth I was not easy for me. I decided to start it because, after devouring The Life of Elizabeth I, I wanted to read a novel about this famous queen, and Margaret George’s book had been waiting on my kindle for quite a while. However, I was startled to discover that, far from covering all of Elizabeth’s life, it only starts with the defeat of the Armada. I had totally missed it when I bought it! Furthermore, the book is long and the pace is quite slow, and sometimes I was unsure if I was go ...more
Aug 09, 2014 Simon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I should start by saying that I enjoy Margaret George's work most of the time, and unlike Sharon Kaye Penman (whom I also like), she doesn't make historical figures unnaturally cosy ("Uncle Richard! Sit down and have a cup of malmsey with Ned and Dickon!" Like that) and when George captures the "voice" of her protagonist, things are usually entertaining without straining credulity.


Elizabeth Tudor emerges from this doorstop of a book as so smart, so kind, so wise, so statesmanlike, so . . . w
Janie Brooks
Mar 12, 2011 Janie Brooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth I was an iconic figure in English history, although there are very little actual personal papers on her that let us delve into her own thoughts. Margaret George did a fine job of breathing character into her volume of historical fiction. This book switches perspective to Lettice Knollys, who was Elizabeth's cousin and rival. Lettice is also the mother to Robert Devereaux, the Earl of Essex and much of the book centers on his relationship with Elizabeth. Margaret covers the Spanish Arma ...more
I didn’t find this book at all boring as others have but then it might be that much of the information about the Tudor era is new to me. Perhaps some scenes could have been cut but I thought they all added to the story. Plus, I thought Kate Reading gave an excellent performance

This story made me think of an odd kind of organic chemistry where two (and more) compounds come together, share electrons, separate, combine with others and then come together again,,, the two main compounds being Queen
May 28, 2013 Staci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this author, and she did something very interesting with this well-known story. She told the life of Elizabeth I from two different people - from Elizabeth herself, and from her rival, Lettice Knollys. Each of them was a horrible bitch to the other.
Ruth Chatlien
Nov 03, 2015 Ruth Chatlien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel looks at the latter half of Elizabeth's reign. It's very detailed, and I found the first half a trifle slow. Once it gets to the conflicts with Essex, however, it really picks up, so I do recommend it.
Stacie (MagicOfBooks)
I will also do a video review here at my channel:

"Elizabeth I" by Margaret George is an historical fiction account of the later years of Queen Elizabeth I reign, starting in 1588 and ending in 1603. It's also a story about the rivalry between Elizabeth and her cousin, Lettice Knollys, and the family drama they have to deal with when Lettice's son, the Earl of Essex, begins to undermine the authority of his queen.

There's so much that happens in this book, that
Mar 20, 2017 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a long read but worth it, as there is no short way to treat Elizabeth I, who reigned so long and through tumultuous times. She is a monarch who was beloved by most of her people but who had many enemies within and without her England. Margaret George has the Queen as narrator to her life and times, and is centered around her love of Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex, and his misbehaviours and her relationship with his mother Leittice who also is her cousin. The complications in these re ...more
Much has been written about and discussed of Robert Dudley: the great “love” of Queen Elizabeth I’s life. However, there was another Robert, the Earl of Essex and Dudley’s stepson, whom also impacted Elizabeth’s later life. Margaret George focuses on this relationship in her novel, “Elizabeth I”.

“Elizabeth I” is unique in its time period setting by beginning the story with the defeat of the Spanish Armada and emphasizing the Virgin Queen’s late adulthood. George highlights the interaction betwe
Lolly's Library
Engaging, absorbing, meticulously researched and exquisitely detailed, Margaret George's Elizabeth I is her most powerful novel to date. And that's saying something as George ain't a slouch in the historical fiction genre.

Unlike most historical fiction novels, even many of George's previous works, Elizabeth I doesn't start at her birth and move forward from there. Instead the book begins in 1588, during Pope Sixtus V's call to the Catholic faithful to aid in the deposition of "that wicked queen
First of all, I want to talk about the glorious cover of this wonderful book. I'm one of those who is drawn to a book cover, and this one is simply irresistible. The Rose of England is featured with the two colors of red representing Elizabeth's two ages she a young girl until her elderly years. Her picture shows her beauty at her prime...a woman of wisdom and wry humor in her eyes and mouth, dark red curly hair, the wealth of her dynasty displayed in her jewels an clothing, and hid ...more
Marie Z. Johansen
One might think that reading through 688 pages is daunting but I tend to prefer longer novels - they allow me to really reside in the book and get to know the characters. One of my favorite female heroines is Elizabeth the First and one of my favorite historical novelists is Margaret George so I figured this would be a perfect combination - and I right!

The novel is co-narrated by Elizabeth herself and begins in 1588 as she enters late middle age . Co-narrator is her cousin, Lettice Knollys - the
I was glad that this novel focused on the later part of Elizabeth's life since I had previously read a novel by another author which focused on her early life, before becoming queen. But I was a little surprised at just how late in life it began - in 1588 at age 55. Especially since Elizabeth's point of view is countered by her cousin and personal rival's perspective, Lettice Knollys (and both are written in first person, which I'm not a fan of - I guess I'm old fashioned and believe that if you ...more
Marinela "SAM" De Leon
Elizabeth I has always been one of my favorite heroines. She was a CEO who managed an almost bankrupt England, had a deep sense of people's inner motives and never wavered in her promise to stay married to the people of England. This isn't just another big book about a Tudor, this is a book to read if you want to know Elizabeth I as a woman too. Margaret George used two points of view--Elizabeth's and Lettice Knollys, her cousin and the wife of her beloved Robert Dudley. These two strong-willed ...more
Jun 10, 2013 Davytron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edit-me
For the length of this novel, it didn't feel that deep, you know what I mean? I didn't feel closer or as if I had a great understanding of many of the characters despite the amount of time I had to spend with them. The whole thing felt very superficial. The novel jumped into the middle of elizabeth's reign on the cusp of crisis and plodded on from there. The background was filled in by snippets here and there but it was a bit overwhelming to be thrust into the middle of the story like that.

May 21, 2011 Jackleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jackleen by: Diana Gabaldon
Margaret George covered new territory in a very popular genre. This book concerns an older Elizabeth and is more reflective in nature. That being said, it does move along at a brisk pace. This is helped to a great extent by the story being told alternately by Elizabeth herself and her rival and hated cousin, Lettice. The two cousins are polar opposites in personality,lifestyle and world view; and, each provides a different, yet equally accurate, view to the events portrayed in the novel. Much of ...more
Prima Seadiva
Though Margaret George has an excellent reputation, at disc 10, I just could not force myself to finish listening. I like to listen before falling asleep but I also like to be able to remember what I heard. It became a chore where I would think gee, still 12,11,10 discs to go. So, I skipped to #20,the last disc for the ending and the author follow up (perhaps the most interesting segment for me).

While the writing was decent, the story was not consistently engaging. I enjoyed some of the descript
Mar 09, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received the ARC of this book from a good reads contest. Having finished reading this a couple of days ago I have been thinking about what to say in my review.

There are so many stories of Elizabeth's life but they are most always told from the point of view of outsiders watching her actions and judging her character and abilities as a leader. This story is being told from the point of view of Elizabeth herself, which is a very interesting perspective.

George is doing a fantastic job thus far
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Was Queen Elizabeth I right in her decision not to take a consort ? 5 18 Feb 16, 2015 09:21PM  
  • Legacy
  • His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester
  • Three Maids for a Crown
  • In the Shadow of the Crown (Queens of England, #6)
  • The Queen's Rival (In the Court of Henry VIII, #3)
  • To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • All the Queen's Players
  • The Tudor Throne
  • The Tudor Secret (The Spymaster Chronicles, #1)
  • Pale Rose of England: A Novel of the Tudors
  • The Confession of Katherine Howard
  • My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves
  • Her Highness, the Traitor
  • At the King's Pleasure  (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #4 )
  • Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I (Ladies in Waiting #3)
  • I Am Mary Tudor (Mary Tudor, #1)
  • Elizabeth, Captive Princess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #2)
  • To Serve a King
Margaret George is a rolling stone who has lived in many places, beginning her traveling at the age of four when her father joined the U.S. diplomatic service and was posted to a consulate in Taiwan. The family traveled on a freighter named after Ulysses' son Telemachus that took thirty days to reach Taiwan, where they spent two years. Following that they lived in Tel Aviv (right after the 1948 wa ...more
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“Perhaps life is like an hour glass, with dear ones the sand that slips from the upper glass--the earth--into the second--eternity.” 11 likes
“I was ever the realist, sometimes to my sorrow. But seldom to my regret.” 6 likes
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