Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Queen Elizabeth I” as Want to Read:
Queen Elizabeth I
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Queen Elizabeth I

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  144 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Long considered the definitive biography of the great Tudor Queen, this scholarly and immensely readable book won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography and has been translated into nine languages.

It is one of the first works of history to receive both scholarly and popular acclaim -- testimony, indeed, to both its authority and readability.

Exploring every aspe
Paperback, 446 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Chicago Review Press (first published 1934)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Queen Elizabeth I, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Queen Elizabeth I

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 06, 2012 Peter rated it it was amazing
No - not QE2, but the first Elizabeth. I thought in the 60th year of QE2's reign I ought to fill in the massive gaps in my knowledge of England's history, particularly the first Elizabeth. Sarah recommended this book, which she remembered from he "A" levels. It is a magnificent piece of factual story-telling - with no tedious academic references (although Neale was a Professor of English History at University College, London). It is a very modern historical narrative, told with an eloquence whic ...more
Georgia Butler
Jan 02, 2013 Georgia Butler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographical
This is the biography, which I read as a young woman (maybe early 20's), that spurred my interest in history generally and English history, specifically. Intriguing read.
Jeremy Perron
Aug 09, 2013 Jeremy Perron rated it it was amazing
When this book was first published in 1934 it was titled simply, Queen Elizabeth since there were no other Queens regnant named Elizabeth to distinguish her from. Nor were their signs of any to come. The future Queen Elizabeth II was then just the daughter of the Duke of York, who was the second son of the reigning King George V. When the new Elizabeth ascended in 1952 they had to republish this book under a new title, which made Neale really happy because now he could sell more books! Known as ...more
Apr 28, 2013 Lydia rated it it was amazing
I am told that this biography is the one that all other biographies of Elizabeth I are measured.

The main thing that I got out of this book is that Elizabeth is a good judge of character and luckily for her, she was smarter than most of courtiers --- combined. Her appointment of William Cecil as her right hand was probably her most important decision. It was that initial decision that would make her reign successful.

Because Elizabeth had a strong support mechanism, she was able to withstand the
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]Alas, I was thoroughly spoiled for this by reading David Starkey and Alison Weir on the same subject last year. Though irritated by the writing style I kept hoping that at least I would learn something new; but when I had finished the first quarter of the book without finding anything that had not been covered better by either Starkey or Weir, I decided not to bother with any more.
Erin Cornelius
Feb 26, 2013 Erin Cornelius rated it it was amazing
Neale does an excellent job portraying Queen Elizabeth I as an incredible monarch, adored by her people. This is one of the best biographies that I have ever read. It was easy to follow and well-written. The author portrays how wise the queen was and how amazing her speaking ability was. She was able to deal with multiple attempts on her life and multiple attempts at her crown. She was graceful. I would highly recommend this to all of those who love history or just those who love a good story ab ...more
Aug 13, 2009 Catherine rated it liked it
You really do pay attention to dramatizations of the time period and see where all the inconsistencies are. Read "Her Majesty's Spymaster" if you want to know more about Walsingham's role in Elizabeth's reign and in Mary Queen of Scots' treachery.
Nov 22, 2009 Tom rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, history
Originally published in 1933, my edition is 1998 re-issue. It is considered the definitive biography of E I.
Jun 13, 2007 Megan rated it liked it
Shelves: history
I read this for my secondary tutorial at Worcester College, Oxford (Culture, Politics, and Society in England: 1558-1660). It was a great read.
Molly rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2009
Bobbi rated it it was amazing
May 15, 2011
Pat rated it really liked it
Sep 01, 2014
Hanna Laasberg
Hanna Laasberg rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2015
Rhode rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2015
Ostara rated it really liked it
Jun 26, 2007
Christine Hartweg
Christine Hartweg rated it really liked it
Mar 04, 2011
Audrey Holsclaw
Audrey Holsclaw rated it it was amazing
Mar 20, 2012
Anna Saragena
Anna Saragena rated it liked it
Sep 16, 2014
Ashante Hammons
Ashante Hammons rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2014
Well-written, thorough, and engaging. I enjoyed it immensely.
Sep 13, 2013 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very informative, well written
Emi rated it really liked it
Jun 15, 2007
Martin rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2007
Elizabeth rated it liked it
Mar 25, 2014
Reda rated it it was amazing
Aug 03, 2016
Bhawani Raj
Bhawani Raj rated it liked it
Jun 17, 2011
Lene Koppel
Lene Koppel rated it it was amazing
May 17, 2011
Tajie rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2012
Glenda rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2010
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Tudors The Kings And Queens Of England's Golden Age
  • Elizabeth the Great
  • Henry VIII
  • The Northern Crusades
  • William Tyndale: A Biography
  • Mary Tudor: A Life
  • Catherine of Aragon
  • The Devil's Broker: Seeking Gold, God, and Glory in Fourteenth- Century Italy
  • A Brief History of Life in the Middle Ages
  • England Under the Tudors
  • Collected Works
  • A Social History of the Third Reich
  • Medieval Europe: A Short History
  • Northern Renaissance Art
  • The Awful End of Prince William the Silent: The First Assassination of a Head of State with a Handgun
  • The Young Victoria
  • Cromwell
  • Devil's Dream
Sir John Ernest Neale was an English historian specialising in the Tudor period.
More about J.E. Neale...

Share This Book