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The Lady Elizabeth (Elizabeth I #1)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  21,073 Ratings  ·  1,112 Reviews
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alison Weir's Mary Boleyn.

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 u
ebook, 496 pages
Published August 5th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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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
Anna Karras
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
Jan 21, 2014 Mo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
May 16, 2008 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
I've read a couple of Weir's books, fiction and history and so far I've been very impressed.

I sometimes really struggle with the story of Elizabeth, she is a woman I greatly admire but her life sometimes lacks the excitement her parents had. I keep trying to figure this out and I think the conclusion is that I don't like the men in her life. Thomas Seymour and Robert Dudley are the times when she appears weakest and they are not worthy men in my opinion. I know they are important parts of her l
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
Morana Mazor
Aug 19, 2015 Morana Mazor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Obzirom da su povijesni romani moj omiljeni ž onda još Tudori... (točnije Elizabeta I) pa još i to da sam ovu knjigu dugo, dugo željela čitati nisam baš objektivna u ovom osvrtu.. ;) Meni je ovo sve super.. Priča prati onaj rani dio života Elizabete Tudor, od njezine 3. god pa do trenutka kada postaje kraljica. Likovi, događaj temelje se na povijesnim činjenicama, začinjeno, naravno sa dozom fikcije. I sve skupa je meni odlično. Za ljubitelje žanra- obvezatno štivo. :)
Dec 09, 2008 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Loved, loved, loved this 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
Jan 09, 2016 AdiTurbo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I'm an avid Anglophile, I couldn't resist this book. Even though I've read many books on the subject and know the story, it showed it to me from a different angle, and added a lot to my understanding of the frame of mind of the main character, Elizabeth I, and others around her. The book follows her since the death of her mother Anne Boleyn, to her becoming queen. It is an amazing story, filled not only with some very interesting and unique characters with fascinating personalities, but al ...more
Učitaj se!
May 24, 2015 Učitaj se! rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
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
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
Steven Peterson
Sep 05, 2009 Steven Peterson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Jul 04, 2009 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 17, 2010 Roniya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 21, 2008 Clare rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 09, 2010 Lois rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 23, 2008 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Jennifer (JC-S)
Jun 18, 2008 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer (JC-S) by:
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
Apr 26, 2016 Marta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I adore Alison Weir's non-fiction, but she is not a novelist. The writing is trite, simplistic to the point of childish, and in great need of editing. The sentences were often so awkward and basic that I found myself editing in my head.

Weir drew a great portrait of Elizabeth in her non-fiction books - brilliant, wise, precautious, careful even when young. In this book she is superficial, and talks like an air-headed, dumb bimbo. And Weir wrote sex into the story, even though she herself asserts
Oct 06, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this romp through 16th century royal court life. Whilst initially put off by princess Elizabeth speaking complex sentences at two and a half, I thoroughly enjoyed this mostly historical but partly speculative look at Elizabeth 1st's childhood and young womanhood until she became queen. The author did acknowledge that she makes Elizabeth a tad precocious but apparently it is known/recorded that she had a keen intellect from an early age so I've forgiven her (the author).
Sue Hopkins
Nov 04, 2013 Sue Hopkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 02, 2014 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
Odlična, zanimljiva, osjećaj da priča samo teče i teče :)
Ovo je vjerojatno moj najkrači osvrt o knjizi...ali sve sam rekla i tri riječi :)
This fictional account covers Elizabeth I’s life from the time her mother, Anne Boleyn, is killed up to when she becomes queen.

I do like Alison Weir. This may be the highest I've rated a book about Elizabeth I; I usually don't find her quite as interesting as some of the other Tudors. Surprisingly enough, historian Weir does admit (in a Q&A at the end) to taking a big step away from what she believes really happened in one part of the book, but she said she was enjoying the liberty of it be
Regina Lindsey
Feb 28, 2013 Regina Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
First sentence: "On a hot, still morning in July, the Lady Mary, daughter to King Henry the Eighth, arrived at the great country palace of Hatfield, trotting into the courtyard on a white palfrey followed by four gentlemen, two ladies-in-waiting, and a female fool."

Elizabeth Tudor has lived a sheltered, happy life as the favored princess of England for almost 3 years. All that changes on a May day when her mother, Anne Boleyn, accused of treason is executed. Elizabeth is now a bastard and will
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • In the Shadow of the Crown (Queens of England, #6)
  • Plain Jane
  • My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves
  • The Queen's Governess
  • The Virgin Queen's Daughter
  • Between Two Queens (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #2)
  • The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn
  • The King's Daughter. A Novel of the First Tudor Queen (Rose of York)
  • The Last Wife of Henry VIII
  • The Secret Bride (In The Court of Henry VIII, #1)
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • The Queen's Lady (Thornleigh, #1)
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
More about Alison Weir...

Other Books in the Series

Elizabeth I (2 books)
  • The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I

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“She had already decided that, when she grew up, she was going to do whatever she pleased and not let anyone order her about.” 4 likes
“But what use was the semblance of power without the substance?” 3 likes
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