I, Elizabeth
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

I, Elizabeth

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  9,932 ratings  ·  285 reviews
Publicly declared a bastard at the age of three, daughter of a disgraced and executed mother, last in the line of succession to the throne of England, Elizabeth I inherited an England ravaged by bloody religious conflict, at war with Spain and France, and badly in debt. When she died in 1603, after a forty-five- year reign, her empire spanned two continents and was united...more
Paperback, 656 pages
Published March 25th 2003 by Broadway Books (first published 1993)
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 I, Elizabeth, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about I, Elizabeth

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
20th out of 387 books — 1,115 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
327th out of 4,019 books — 17,372 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Nicole
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hobie Barnes
As a fan of the historical figure and popular interpretations of Elizabeth I, I tend to read anything I can get my hands on dealing with this fascinating part of world history. 'I, Elizabeth' interprets the story from Elizabeth's own perspective as if these are her final diaries while recounting her life.

Amusingly, her later self frequently comments on her recollections, usually with regret and embarassment, especially when she's talking about the Earl of Essex, who turned out to be a great disa...more
Patricia Fawcett
An amazing book. Rosaline Miles writes in the first person, so we are reading this account of the life of probably the most powerful woman in history as she might well have written it. Our preconceptions of Elizabeth I are skewed a little by misty myth, particularly the one about the virgin queen. She was also mistress of spin, before anyone knew what that was. Her rallying speech to the fleet at the time of the Spanish Armada, for example: (paraphrased)'I may have the body of a weak and feeble...more
Kari
I've been wanting a novel that embraced all sides of this Woman and Queen, and I'm glad I picked this one to read. I've read other books that show Elizabeth I as a vain jealous woman, and her character really didn't develop much past that. This book however, doesn't fail to express all aspects of her person. Yes, she was vain AND jealous. But she was also intelligent, strong, passionate, witty, and loving. Whatever faults she had, and every person has faults, she rose above them to lead England...more
Kim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robin
Mar 08, 2008 Robin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
I positively LOVE this book! Despite its size, I have read it several times, never tiring of the story. This is written as an autobiography and seeing things told from Elizabeth's viewpoint is amazing. It covers her entire life, from when she was about 4 years old up until about 2 years before her death in 1603. Miles does a wonderful job of getting her "voice" just right. It really shows the struggles she dealt with, publicly and privately. It really shows the sacrifices she (maybe) made to kee...more
Sam
This was a pretty decent read. I found the beginning to be better than the end as I started to tire of the endless struggles of her rule. I also thought her obsession with the much younger man was a little wierd. It was a much more historical and detailed account than you get with the Philippa Gregory novels, but less of a page-turner at the same time.
Stephanie
I thought this book would never end! How is it that the author turned the great Queen Elizabeth into a whiny, simpering, love-sick fool?!?
Orsolya
Historical fictional buffs are quite used to the endless supply of Elizabeth Tudor books with beautifully decorated covers. Sometimes, though, there are too many books and too little time to stick to reading one which isn’t as satisfying.

As hard as I tried to “truck” through “ I, Elizabeth”, by Rosalind Miles; I simply could not continue after 200 some odd pages. The novel wasn’t overly scholarly and was accurate enough which I thoroughly welcome in historical fiction literature. However, it st...more
Robyn
Nov 12, 2008 Robyn rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
I got so frustrated at this book when I was reading pages in the 400's or so. It is so historically inaccurate that I had to stop. For other novels you don't expect the level of accuaracy that you do of this book because it is supposed to be written from the perspective of Elizabeth herself. I overlooked a lot of inaccuracies but the way that Miles choses to portray Mary Queen of Scots execution is completely inaccurate. I'm sure it's a good story if you don't know the history behind it. She is...more
Stephanie
I believe this was the first Historical Fiction book I had read that really sparked my interest in this genre. Before this book I mostly read classics, romance, mystery, Christian Fiction and religious books.

This is also the first book that intriqued me about the Tudors. Queen Elizabeth is one of the women I admire throughout history.

This is one of my favorite books. I've read this twice and own a copy. I enjoyed this even more the second time I read it.

Lindsey
This book helped me get through my steroid shot insomnia last night, and I finally finished the last 100 pages around 4 this morning. It was excellent. I'm so in love with this time period, the Tudor line, and Elizabeth I. She is without a doubt my favorite monarch ever, and the book portrayed her spirit beautifully.

She was a tease, a feminist, vulnerable, yet with a steel core, and so intelligent. Rosalind Miles wrote Elizabeth as a real person, not as an untouchable, emotionless, one-dimensio...more
Amy
Rosalind Miles, oh Rosalind Miles...how happy I am to have found you! You have written a most excellent novel about my favorite monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, and gave me hours of reading ecstasy that I will never forget! I loved every minute of this book!!!!

I, Elizabeth is a fantastic read of the life, loves, trials and tribulations of Queen Elizabeth I, "The Virgin Queen". We follow Elizabeth from childhood, when she was labeled a "bastard" and her mother a "whore", to the treacherous times befo...more
Maia B.
If Elizabeth was really the petulant, screaming, angry witch presented in this pitiable novel, then I doubt she would have succeeded so well on England's throne.

Okay, first: I hated her. She didn't take ANYTHING calmly: every other line she was screaming or weeping or kicking her feet. This is Elizabeth I, remember, one of the most powerful and intelligent monarchs ever to have lived, and she proved her male advisers completely WRONG about her "womanly weakness", but in Rosalind Miles's version...more
Kim
I seem to agree with most people who have reviewed this, I found the first part really good to read, but found myself losing interest the further I got into the book. My the time I got to the last fifty or so pages I was skimming rather than reading it because I didn't care as much about her anymore. I know it was based on history and that limits what the main character can do, but I don't think she needed to moon over Robert for anywhere near as long as she actually did.

However, Rosalind Miles...more
Breanne
I was anticipating a great historical fiction approach to Queen Elizabeth as the author has many acclaimed novels. I did enjoy the writing but I thought her approach to Elizabeth was crude and frustrating. History hails Elizabeth as the "Virgin Queen". The author spent the whole novel, (600 plus pages) with Elizabeth agonizing over her sexual vulnerability and frustration. Each chapter is dedicated to pages of her pining over "her Robin" in every manner which I believe to be too carnal and licen...more
Beth Anne
Mar 18, 2008 Beth Anne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like historical fiction
so. when i started this book...i was all into it, it was crazy good, a real page turner. then i got half way (almost 3/4) through the book, and i was just...well...confused and a bit bored.

it's an extremely long book...and the author, i think purposefully, portrays the "human" side of Elizabeth as a bit of a weak woman at times. i'm no historical buff, or anything, but i just don't like Elizabeth being portrayed as a lovesick fluffy woman. i dont know. it turned me off a bit.

also...there are so...more
Nicole
i love historical fiction, particularly anything about the tudors. i can also appreciate any attempt to write from a particular historical figures point of view. and this portrayal of Elizabeth was quite different than others I have encountered - no one author will capture everything about any one historical person so I can work with the differences presented by each author to create 'my own Elizabeth'. with that said, this was way too long. i felt that many themes were so overly used and abused...more
Lindsey
This book a novel but I think it doesn't stray too far from the truth of Queen Elizabeth I's life (as far as what I personally know about her). Miles does a good job of writing the struggles of what the first female queen would have went through -- men doubting her, her love life and the pressures of getting married and killing the Mary Queen of Scots. It's written in a first hand account of her life and lets the reader get into Elizabeth's psyche. Great read! Only problem is that because it's p...more
Lori
Okay, so this book took me FOREVER to finish. I’m not sure why, I didn’t find it boring, but it was a slow read. Although it’s “historical fiction” I found the book quite interesting. My favorite part was the beginning when Elizabeth detailed her life in court as a young girl with her father, Henry VIII. I thought the description of his decline was incredible, he is always described as such a “viral” man, however , this author really described what his last few months would have been like. To be...more
Liza
Elizabeth I, the last of the Tudor line, a bastard born of the "Great Whore" Anne Boleyn, was known as the Virgin Queen. She never married, but ruled on her own for 40 years. This novel delves into her reign from the day of her accession, with all of the politics, rumors, plots, and passion in her life. She had to rebuff suitors so as not to create war, had to protect her throne from would be heirs such as Mary Queen of Scots, and had to rule firmly but fairly so she could avoid uprising and reb...more
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Pretty accurate, from what I can tell, historical fiction. Most of the other stuff seems to me at least plausible, given what we know.

The portrayal of Mary Queen of Scots is fairly negative, but this is written from the perspective of Elizabeth I, hence I don't have a problem with it. (And I don't find the "notorious bad picker" a sympathetic, romantic figure to begin with.)
Elaine
The first third was pretty good, but then Elizabeth is portrayed as a whiny bitch. Didn't work for me.
Pam
This might have been a good book if it was about 250 pages shorter.
Page (One Book At A Time)
I picked this book up because Queen Elizabeth I fascinates me. I've read many different historical fictions about her. I really liked the first part of the book. Most things I've read start were her half-sister Queen Mary has her in the Tower of London. So, I haven't read much concerning her childhood and when her father was still alive (at least were she was the focus of the story anyway). I felt that reading about that time period helped me better understand some of her actions as an adult. I...more
Suzanne
“He will make a good death, they say. The better for him, for he could never make a good life. Nature made him a king among men, and offered him a king’s fortune, too. But Cecil, always the wisest of my counselors, called him ‘the Wild Horse,’ and true, it was he never could be backed or broken.”

To get inside the mind of Queen Elizabeth the First, would make for a wonderful novel, and that is precisely what Rosalind Miles did. From her pre-teen years, when she was aware of the dangers, her roy...more
Amie
Goodreads rates a 2 star book as "ok." I'm giving this 2 stars, not because I didn't like it, because I did, but just that it was OK.

First of all, it was very very long. Almost 600 pages and like 1,000 words per page. I exaggerate, but truly, this was not a quick read. I've been reading this for a week straight, hours a day, and it drug on for a while.

Second of all, there are literally hundreds of characters. This book spans around 60 years, and honestly, from the first few pages I was confused...more
Laura
I absolutely love this book and I have read it several times. I have never read another novel about this era that written so beautifully or with so much (I believe) accurate information. As I reread it I have to admit, it does become somewhat of a romance novel in the parts where Elizabeth and Robert Dudley are together, but the first time through I really didn't notice because I was loving the writing so much. In addition to the usual "I began to breathe heavily as his fingers fumbled with the...more
Jennifer Ready
If you enjoy learning about the British monarchy, especially the Tudors, you will love this novel. Although fiction, the novel gives excellent insight into the rule of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and, of course, Elizabeth I. It also is rich on detail about life at the time, from the use of cosmetics to palace life to fashion to food.

The novel also gives a voice to one of England's greatest and most fascinating monarchs. It is impossible to know how accurate Miles' portrayal is in terms of El...more
Ashley W
Wow, this book was not as good as I thought it would be. The first two-fifths of the novel was interesting but when Elizabeth ascended the throne...oh boy...I found the tone of the novel annoying. Elizabeth was not portrayed as the Queen I pictured her to be. In this novel, she mooned over her various crushes/favorites, especially Robert Dudley, and daydreamed about them over and over again. I wouldn't have minded if the romance was toned down a bit and there was a bit more history involved, but...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • The Last Wife of Henry VIII
  • A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • The Last Boleyn
  • Mademoiselle Boleyn
  • The Lady in the Tower (Queens of England, #4)
  • The Virgin's Daughters: In the Court of Elizabeth I
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • The Secret Bride (In The Court of Henry VIII, #1)
  • The Virgin Queen's Daughter
  • The Concubine
  • The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers
  • Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)
  • The King's Daughter. A Novel of the First Tudor Queen (Rose of York)
13891
Rosalind Miles is an author born and raised in England and now living in both Los Angeles and Kent, England. She has written both works of fiction and non-fiction. As a child, Miles suffered from polio, and had to undergo several months of treatment. After being accepted to a junior women's college, Miles acquired a working knowledge of Latin and Greek, along with developing her life-long love of...more
More about Rosalind Miles...
Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country (Guenevere, #1) Isolde, Queen of the Western Isle (Tristan and Isolde, #1) The Knight of the Sacred Lake (Guenevere, #2) The Child of the Holy Grail (Guenevere, #3) The Maid of the White Hands (Tristan and Isolde, #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Oh, I know, I know, she was a sweet girl, a simple country girl; everyone told me that, both then and since. But I could not forgive her animal dumbness - worse, her rank sensuality, easy as any cow's, and like her dumpling breasts, quite irresistable to men - while those of us whom God has made to think and feel, who are strung out like harps along the wires of our own nature, why, we are rarer than music and must content ourselves with smaller audiences.” 3 likes
More quotes…