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The Lady Elizabeth

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  18,271 ratings  ·  1,029 reviews
Following the tremendous success of her first novel, Innocent Traitor, which recounted the riveting tale of the doomed Lady Jane Grey, acclaimed historian and New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir turns her masterly storytelling skills to the early life of young Elizabeth Tudor, who would grow up to become England’s most intriguing and powerful queen.

Even at age tw
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Hardcover, 473 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa GregoryThe Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison WeirThe Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa GregoryThe Constant Princess by Philippa GregoryThe Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory
Best Books About Tudor England
9th out of 469 books — 1,225 voters
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Best Historical Fiction
208th out of 4,988 books — 19,285 voters


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Community Reviews

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Catherine
I read Weir's Eleanor of Aquitane and was bored stiff by all the contradicting accounts she included. You really wanted her to take a side, and she just wanted to give you all the information she had dug up. Well, this novelized version of Elizabeth I's life preceding her coronation does take sides. You have to credit Weir with creating a sympathetic character out of someone who tried during her reign to obliterate any trace of weakness or even of her past. But one of the first things Weir does ...more
Nadine Doolittle
I expected more from an historian. Weir's imaginary account of Elizabeth I's early years is a bodice-ripper. The problem with academics writing fiction is they lack imagination. Young Elizabeth is described as a "minx" whose "body betrays her" when she falls for the debatable charms of her stepfather--thus explaining why she refuses men thereafter to become the Virgin Queen. Blood, mess, childbirth--Elizabeth recoils from the very idea of marriage.

There's nothing wrong with creating an imaginar
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Anna
Here is another one I was asked to review for Library Journal.

OMG, so good!

This is the second fiction novel from Alison Weir, the fabulous Tudor historian who wrote many biographies, including The Six Wives of Henry VIII, and The Children of Henry VIII. But last year she gave us her first foray into fiction about Lady Jane Grey, who was queen for about a week between Edward VI and Mary I. That one was fascinating since I knew very little about her. I know quite a bit about Elizabeth I, and this
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Mo
Jan 14, 2015 Mo rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Not Recommended
10 days! It took me 10 days to plod my way through this 400 page book.

I kept coming up with reasons NOT to read this. I cleaned out junk drawers, broke down cardboard boxes, sorted through my winter clothes, organized my armoire, etc. And when evening rolled around (my usual time for reading), I surfed the Internet, played games on my tablet, watched television, calculated my taxes, etc. I did just about ANYTHING other than read this book. I never seemed to be "in the mood" for it.

To put it blu
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Diana
Alison Weir is very easy to read. She is in her element writing this kind of historical fiction, because she has written so many biographies on the Tudors, including the Wives of Henry VIII which I loved. I also really enjoyed Innocent Traitor. Unlike Philippa Gregory, Weir's writing is based on actual facts. Do not get me wrong, I loved Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl, but it had very little based on fact, it was made into an entirely different drama. My only issue with this is that I have read ...more
Duane
To me, Elizabeth I is the most interesting of all the English monarchs. This novel is about the young Elizabeth, which may be a more remarkable story than that of her as Queen Elizabeth. She is very lucky to have survived, let alone become Queen.

Her mother was executed as a traitor, she was proclaimed illegitimate, her father was the seemingly mad (my word) Henry VIII, and she had many other detractors as well, not the least being her two siblings, Edward and Mary. But she survived her tribulati
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Orsolya
Before I even dive into my review, I must admit that I am slightly biased towards this book for two reasons: (1) I adore Alison Weir and (2) I was reading this book at a coffee shop when my current boyfriend and love of my life was impressed to see someone in LA reading a book (People don't really read books at coffee shops here. They mostly stalk people on Facebook while on a laptop or play with their phone apps); and so he stopped to talk to me and voila. Now we are happily ever after and talk ...more
Rio (Lynne)
The story telling was 4 stars, the fictional liberties were 1 1/2 stars. Yes, I know it's a fictional book, but I expect more from a "historian" than a bunch of cliches. In Weir's author notes, she says she enjoyed running with this story, but stated she stayed true to the facts. I did not like the portrayal of Kat (Elizabeth's governess) She was immature, annoying and I simply wanted to slap her. The problem with knowing Tudor history is hating to see the myths...Anne Boleyn and the 6th finger, ...more
Laura
Historical novels are one of my guilty, but infrequent, pleasures. I have little patience with archaic dialogue, for one thing, and I chafe at too much fictional corpulence draped over an historical skeleton. But when the author of a fictional novel is also a well-respected historian who's taken her first turn with those characters and events as a non-fiction writer, then we're talking a different-colored horse altogether. Alison Weir's "The Lady Elizabeth" is such a horse. Having already writt ...more
Učitaj se!
Ova je knjiga jedan veoma opširan i vrlo zanimljiv povijesni roman o Elizabeti I, koji započinje u njenom djetinjstvu, a završava njenim usponom na tron. Kod povijesnih romana uvijek postoji problem unaprijed nam znanog kraja. Ponekad je teško pronaći neku nepredvidivu situaciju u romanu za koji već znaš kako završava, i u kojem su ti poznate brojne činjenice i način na koji su se pojedini događaji opisani u njemu odvili. Alison Weir tom je problemu uspjela doskočiti upravo odabirom razdoblja El ...more
Monique
Loved, loved, loved this book..it was a daunting four hundred plus page-turner that I thoroughly enjoyed..and of course it combined all my favorite elements to an amazing book, a strong woman with power, drama and secrets, at least one major scene that makes me reread with my mouth wide open and my weakness:the Tudor dynasty. This is the story of dear Elizabeth, daughter of the infamous Anne Boleyn and her rise to be the longest ruling, most effective and greatest queen England has ever known, r ...more
Katerina
In tutta onestà non so proprio moltissimo su Elisabetta I e i Tudor in generale, per cui ero un po' in ansia all'idea di leggere una versione romanzata prima di una biografia, senza sapere cosa era vero e cosa no.
Di buono c'è che Alison Weir non è Philippa Gregory (che dopo tre libri ho abbandonato senza troppi problemi, chiedendomi cosa le abbiano fatto i Tudor di male) e neanche Jeanne Kalogridis.
In effetti ho apprezzato un sacco che la Weir si sia premurata di dire che alcune svolte narrative
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Steven Peterson
Alison Weir has authored an intriguing fictional representation of "Lady" Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth I). Her understanding of history provides a detailed context in which this story is placed. Since I am not a historian of the era, I cannot comment on historical accuracy per se. Nonetheless, from having read a few other works regarding the era, it does not seem too far off the mark.

The story depicts Elizabeth, bastard daughter of Henry VIII, as a survivor. Her early life often placed her i
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Clare
Between Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory who have both written about the wives and times of King Henry VIII, I feel as if I'm becoming an expert on that era. This book is nicely researched and written. Though it is not as deep in description and detail as Gregory's books, it is a very satisfying read.

I always thought being the Queen of England would be a nice peaceful existence in which you dressed beautifully and had lots of money. That may be the way the Queen lives now but certainly not in th
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Lois
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roniya
I'll admit that after having read most of Weir's nonfiction work, I expected alot. Maybe thats why,for me,her foray into another genre fell so flat. The plot doesn't stay strictly historically accurate (at least according to her own nonfiction on Elizabeth) but this could be forgiven if her characters were just more, well, believable. The writing style lacks the immediacy necessary to draw the reader into the plot and connect with the characters, which seem to be somewhat stiff and one-dimension ...more
Nicole
The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir is an exciting addition to the realm of Tudor fiction. The story follows Lady Elizabeth from when she is three years old to when she is become Queen of England and all the trials in between.

I am very impressed with Alison Weir’s storytelling ability. I have not yet read any of her non-fiction work but as she is an historian first, I appreciated the level of detail and historical account in this novel. The conversations between characters and descriptions of Eng
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Lyn (Readinghearts)
Dec 15, 2009 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Royalty buffs and Tudor lovers
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Jennifer Tudor
This book is about the life of Queen Elizabeth I, and highlights from the day her mother, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded to the day she became Queen upon the death of her sister Mary Tudor. Although I already knew the rudiments of the story, the book helped to fill in a lot of the gaps. I thoroughly enjoyed Weir's portrayal of Elizabeth and her wit and intelligence. I felt at times, though, that she portrayed her as a little too high-strung. What most fascinated me was the portrayal throughout the bo ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Aug 08, 2008 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jennifer (JC-S) by: fionnabhair@bigpond.com
Shelves: librarybooks
A great many novels have been written about Elizabeth I, and still the market is not yet satiated. I picked this novel up wondering what new insights or interpretations could Ms Weir possibly bring to the fictional portrayal of Elizabeth.

Ms Weir’s novel opens with Elizabeth being told of her mother’s death in 1536, by her half sister Mary, and takes us through Elizabeth’s life until the time when the death of Mary in 1558 makes her Queen of England. Ms Weir addresses three distinct phases in Eli
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Aaron
I have long been a fan of Weir's histories and biographies of some of the most intriguing women in Medieval and Renaissance Europe. I have been wanting to give some of her historical fiction titles a try for quite a while. I finally broke down and did so, and it was definitely worth it.

This volume takes readers through a fictional account of the life of Elizabeth I from childhood up to the point when she is taking the crown, becoming queen of England. There is no question that Weir knows her Tu
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Chandra Vice
I read part of a history of Mary Boleyn but this author; I couldn't finish it because it was almost entirely her ranting about how everyone else got it so wrong. I thought this, since it's a novel, would be better.

It kind of was, but she took many liberties with what actually happened and wrote in things that there is no evidence for. Which rather pissed me off, considering her earlier ranting. At the end she admits this and basically says it was dramatic license because she's a novelist.

One o
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Catherine
Read with Book Club, review to follow at February's end.
When I was a young mother back in the 1980's, I absolutely devoured Jean Plaidy's historical novels. In fact doing so fostered an enduring passion for all things English, especially the history surrounding the eras of the Plantagenets, the Stuarts and the Regency of George IV. More often than not, after having read a Plaidy novel, I was motivated to pile the kids in the car in order to borrow non-fiction from the library. They would attend
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Sue Hopkins
A brilliant, highly engaging read! As always loved the writing, and found I couldn't put the book down. Loved learning about the early life of Elizabeth 1. I love historical fiction so loved this! Esp as easy read so hopefully appealing to wise range of readers.
Natalie
Odlična, zanimljiva, osjećaj da priča samo teče i teče :)
Ovo je vjerojatno moj najkrači osvrt o knjizi...ali sve sam rekla i tri riječi :)
Petra
I gather Alison Weir is a historian as well as a novelist. I haven’t read any of her works before but will be reading more, both fiction & non-fiction.
Elizabeth comes alive in this book. It follows her life from the age of 3 when she is declared a bastard to the age of 25 when she becomes Queen. In an afterword, the author states that she remained true to historical facts but did take some literary license to explore some rumours of the time & ask “what if the rumour were true? How coul
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LemonLinda
Toddler to Tiara is the short and sweet synopsis for this book which details the life of the Lady Elizabeth from age 2 to 25 when she is declared as the Queen of England following the death of her sister, Mary. It is well researched but obviously the author has taken just enough literary license and writes a bit fast and furious stretching some of the facts. It seems that most of the novel is mostly historically accurate, but to spice it up a bit she also went with some rumors and innudendos whi ...more
Regina Lindsey
Wier imagines the life of Elizabeth from the age of four through her ascension to the throne. Wier handles all of the salient events of Elizabeth's life such as the possibile influence Elizabeth's mother's history may have had on her life, the rumors of a relationship with Thomas Seymor, the contentious relationship between Elizabeth and Mary, events that impacted Elizabeth's decision not to marry, and events that impacted Mary's reign.

This was a difficult work to assign a rating to. There were
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Erik
I had absolutely no idea that Weir had written any fiction, as I’ve always been lead to believe her to be one of the preeminent Tudor historians in recent times. (After all, I voraciously read through three of her scholarly tomes leading up to my visit to the United Kingdom this last August.) So it was with great excitement when I ran across this on the shelves at the Waterstone’s location near my B&B just north of Russell Square.

I honestly don’t know much about the books of Philippa Gregor
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Erin
I've enjoyed several of Weir's non-fiction works (Life and Court of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Princes in the Tower) so when I saw she's trying her hand at novels I picked this up.

This is the story of the early part of Elizabeth's life, from the execution of her mother Anne Boleyn in 1536 (age 2) to the death of her sister Mary and her declaration as queen in 1557 (age 23). Weir has spent her entire adult life researching the Tudors, so I knew she'd be on solid ground fact-wise (something that bot
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Leah
I really, really enjoyed this book. She's heavy-handed with the adverbs, but the story is just so fascinating that it's easy to overlook. What I loved about her writing is that she did an outstanding job of bringing life to these historical figures, making them multi-faceted, not-too-good, not-too-bad characters. The plot was exceptionally well-developed and clear -- not one thing unexplained or over-explained.

What I really appreciated is that, though this is a novel, Weir is a noted scholar on
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 04, 2015 06:21AM  
  • My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves
  • A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • In the Shadow of the Crown (Queens of England, #6)
  • Mademoiselle Boleyn
  • The Virgin Queen's Daughter
  • The Last Wife of Henry VIII
  • The Pleasure Palace (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #1)
  • The King's Daughter. A Novel of the First Tudor Queen (Rose of York)
  • The King's Grace
  • The Devil's Queen: A Novel of Catherine de Medici
  • The Queen's Mistake (In the Court of Henry VIII, #2)
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Alison Weir (born 1951) is a British writer of history books for the general public, mostly in the form of biographies about British kings and queens. She currently lives in Surrey, England, with her two children.

Before becoming an author, Weir worked as a teacher of children with special needs. She received her
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More about Alison Weir...
The Six Wives of Henry VIII Innocent Traitor The Life of Elizabeth I Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life Henry VIII: The King and His Court

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“I waste so much time sleeping. And time is of all losses the most irrecuperable, for it can never be redeemed.” 2 likes
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